Employee Handbook Section 3: Compensation, Time Off and Benefits
This section of the handbook provides overall information about how employees are paid and available time off. This is intended as a general description with individual decisions made by supervisors, managers and other leaders based on the individual circumstances. Augustana College is committed to complying with all applicable federal, state and local laws. Employees with questions about individual compensation decisions or Augustana College pay policies should contact the director of Human Resources.
Each employee’s job is classified as either exempt (administrative) or non-exempt (staff) based on guidelines in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This classification determines each job’s eligibility for overtime payment. For purposes of compensation, Augustana College’s workweek starts on Monday at 12:01 a.m. and ends on Sunday at midnight.
Exempt/administrative employees will not receive any additional compensation for time worked beyond a 40-hour workweek.
Non-exempt/staff employees will be paid one and a half times the regularly hourly rate for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime will be paid only when an employee works in excess of 40 hours per week. Weekend work that is part of the regular schedule and/or hours beyond eight in a day will be paid at the regular rate of pay.
In cases where an employee uses accrued vacation time, holiday pay, sick time, bereavement leave, short-term disability time or any other paid leave, these hours will not be considered time worked for purposes of overtime. All overtime must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor. Approval should be requested and received before any overtime hours are worked. Failure to receive advance approval for working overtime hours may result in discipline up to and including termination.
Call-in Pay, Emergency Pay, Hazard Pay
Some employee jobs may be eligible for special categories of pay, including a flat rate for being called in for special duties outside of the scheduled workweek, a rate for accepting phone calls at home and special pay categories for hazardous duties. In all situations, Augustana College complies with the FLSA regarding regulation of special circumstances.
Eligibility for these pay categories is limited to specific job titles and categories. Additional recordkeeping and documentation is necessary for those employees eligible for these pay categories.
Employees are paid on either a biweekly or monthly basis with paydays every other Friday. If Friday falls on a bank holiday when the college is closed, paychecks generally will be issued the preceding day.
Monthly employees are paid on a monthly basis with paydays on the last business day of each month. If the last day of the month falls on a bank holiday when the college is closed, paychecks generally will be issued the preceding day.
Direct deposit is available for all employees. Direct deposit funds may be available earlier than the scheduled pay date, but employees should not rely on this early deposit. Printed paychecks will be issued only to the employee and will not be released to a spouse or other individual.
Pay advances are not available for employees for any reason.
The college is required by law to make certain deductions from employee paychecks each pay period. Such deductions typically include federal and state taxes and Social Security. All deductions and their amounts are listed on the pay stub or pay advice for those utilizing direct deposit. If employees have questions about these deductions, or would like to make allowable changes to their deductions, they should see the payroll staff.
If an employee’s wages are garnished by a court order, Augustana College is legally bound to withhold the amount indicated in the garnishment order from the paycheck. The college will honor federal and state guidelines that protect a certain amount of an employee’s paycheck from being subject to garnishments.
Safe Harbor/Pay Discrepancies
While the college strives for accuracy, employees who believe their pay has been calculated incorrectly, or if improper deductions have been made, should contact the Payroll Manager as soon as possible. The college will investigate the situation and make corrections if errors have been made. If employees are not satisfied that the situation has been correctly handled, they also may bring this matter to the attention of the Vice President of Finance and Administration.
Time Off Policies
The college campus and offices are closed in observance of the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Friday following Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve
As a general practice, if a holiday falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on the previous Friday. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday.
Full-time employees will be paid for eight hours for each of these holidays. Part-time employees with a regular schedule of 20 hours per week or more will receive pro-rated pay based on the hours normally scheduled to work. Intermittent, temporary and part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week are not eligible for holiday pay.
Employees who are required to work on-campus on one of the 10 designated holidays will be compensated by double-time payment for the hours worked, in addition to their regular holiday pay.
Employees who work a schedule less than 12 months are not eligible for holiday pay if the holiday falls outside the period they are generally expected to work, even if they are utilizing paid time before and after the holiday.
Any requests to combine vacation days with holidays must be made in advance. Employees with an unscheduled or unpaid absence on the day immediately before or after a college holiday will not receive holiday pay. Employees who are utilizing any type of unpaid leave will not receive holiday pay, and holidays will run concurrently with any Family Medical Leave or Short Term Disability Leave.
Christmas Break/Extra Holidays
Augustana College’s campus and offices are generally closed during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. These days off are considered extra holidays and are not deducted from an employee’s accrued vacation. Staff/non-exempt employees who are asked to work on-campus during this time will be paid at one and a half times the regular pay rate.
As a way to balance work and personal concerns, Augustana College strongly believes that employees should have some time each year away from work for relaxation and refreshment. Accordingly, the college provides a vacation policy to provide paid time away from the workplace for full-time and part-time employees. All vacation time must be scheduled in advance and approved by the employee’s supervisor or manager. Vacation is always subject to approval from the employee’s manager or supervisor. Vacation requests may be denied based on workflow concerns and/or multiple employee requests for the same time. The vacation schedule is as follows:
Accrual Schedule: Eligible employees accrue vacation time for every full payroll period worked. The accrual amount varies based on length of employment, and new accrual rates are based on the anniversary date of the employee’s hire. Part-time employees who work a schedule of 20 hours or more per week accrue vacation on a pro-rated basis. Part-time employees who are regularly scheduled for less than 20 hours per week do not accrue vacation.
- 0–5 years of employment: 120 hours (three weeks) of vacation
- 6–10 years of employment: 160 hours (four weeks) of vacation
- 11–20 years of employment: 200 hours (five weeks) of vacation
For employees who have a break in service, vacation accrual will start over upon rehire.
Vacation accruals will be provided on each employee’s paycheck report. Vacation time cannot be used until it is accrued, and new employees generally are not permitted to take vacation time during the first three months of employment. Employees can accrue and carry over vacation up to 1.5 times the yearly accrual. On June 30 of each year, vacation hours above this maximum will be forfeited. Employees will be paid for vacation hours that are accrued but not used at the end of employment with Augustana.
Administrative/exempt employees that work a nine- or 10-month schedule either accrue pro-rated vacation hours or observe academic breaks in lieu of vacation. These employees should work with their manager to understand department practices for time away from work.
While the college hopes for good health for all, sick time is provided for those instances when employees are too ill to report for work due to an injury, illness or medical appointment. Sick time also can be used for an injury, illness or medical appointment for a family member. Family members for purposes of this policy include:
- dependent Child
This time is to be used only for the purposes listed earlier. Excessive use of sick time may require documentation that it is being used for legitimate purposes. All sick time usage must be reported for time-tracking purposes.
Full-time employees will be granted 56 hours (seven days) of sick time on or around September 1 each year. Part-time employees who work at least 50 percent or 20 hours a week will receive a pro-rated amount of sick time. Nine- and 10-month full-time employees will receive 48 hours (six days) of sick time each year. Part-time employees will receive a pro-rated amount of sick time.
Employees cannot use sick time for any hours scheduled outside of the normal workweek or work schedule. For instance, an employee with a nine-month schedule who volunteers for work shifts during the summer is not eligible for paid sick time for any voluntary shifts.
Unused sick time will be added to each employee’s short-term disability leave bank on or around August 31 of each year. This can accrue to a maximum of 1040 hours.
As with any absence, employees must notify the supervisor or manager as soon as possible and on a daily basis. Absences of three days or more may require a doctor’s release before returning to work.
Unused sick time is not paid to employees when they leave the organization.
Short-Term Disability Leave
Along with sick leave for routine illnesses, the college provides additional short-term disability leave for serious health conditions of the employee or an eligible family member. This policy does not guarantee continued employment in the event of an employee’s sickness or disability.
After completing one year of service, full-time employees will be granted up to 80 hours (10 days) of short-term disability leave (prorated based on hire date). Part-time employees who work at least 50 percent or 20 hours a week will receive pro-rated leave (based on FTE and hire date). Unused short-term disability will continue to accrue to a maximum of 1040 hours. Additionally, unused sick time each year will be converted into short-term disability leave. While utilizing short-term disability, vacation time will not accrue.
Short-term disability leave is available for any serious health condition as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act, and will run concurrently with Family Medical Leave. Short-term disability leave is NOT available for bonding or other non-medical time related to birth, adoption or placement of a foster child. Instead, employees are provided Parental Leave for paid time off in these situations.
Certification from a health care provider is required for this leave and the college will generally follow the same practices provided in the Family Medical Leave policy.
Employees who are receiving income replacement benefits such as Short-Term Disability time off are not entitled to continue accruing paid leave benefits, such as vacation time.
Full-time staff and administrative employees are provided 10 days of parental leave in any 12-month period upon the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child. This leave is in addition to any needed short-term disability or Family Medical Leave and is non-medical leave provided for transition and bonding time.
This leave should be scheduled with as much advance notice as is practical and must be taken in consecutive days within 12 months of the birth, adoption or foster child placement. Intermittent leave is not available.
Employees who desire additional bonding time can take unpaid leave (under the terms of Family Medical Leave) or use vacation time. In the case that two employees are married or in a similar relationship, typically the “primary care giver” is the employee giving birth. This employee can use her short-term disability time for the medical component related to giving birth under the Family Medical Leave Act and then use her parental leave for transition and bonding.
The “non-primary care giver” will get 10 days of parental leave time off for transition and bonding that must be taken within 12 months of birth, adoption or foster child placement and must be taken in consecutive days.
For employees who are married or in an equivalent relationship, and are both employed at Augustana, the combined maximum leave under the law is 12 weeks. In all cases, all forms of employee leave, whether paid or unpaid, will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).
Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
In compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), unpaid leave is available to employees under the following circumstances:
- To care for a newborn or adopted child
- To care for, or ease the transition of, an adopted child or child placed in the home through foster care
- To care for a spouse (or legal equivalent), child or parent with a serious health condition
- An employee’s own serious health condition
- To care for a family member injured during active military duty
- To ease in the transition when a family member is called to or returning from active military duty
All employees who have been employed at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months are eligible to take time off for Family and Medical Leave. Having met the applicable service requirements, employees may be granted up to a total of 12 weeks of family or medical leave combined during any “rolling” 12-month period and up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a family member injured while on active military duty. A “rolling” 12-month period measured backwards from the date an employee takes leave will be used for computing the period within which the leave may be taken. Any accrued paid time off and/or vacation time must be used before using unpaid time. For employees who are married or in an equivalent relationship, and are both employed at Augustana, the total maximum leave under law is 12 weeks. In all cases, all forms of employee leave, whether paid or unpaid, will run concurrently with FMLA.
How and When to Request Leave
Employees requiring time off from work for one of the reasons identified above must notify the employer of the need for leave by completing a Request for Family/Medical Leave form, available from the Office of Human Resources. This request must be made 30 days in advance of the leave when the need for leave is foreseeable. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, leave must be requested as soon as is practical. Failure to give advance notice might result in the request being denied until the 30-day notice period is met when applicable. When possible, employees should give notice of the need for leave in writing.
Intermittent and Reduced Schedule Leave
Leave may be taken intermittently as deemed necessary. Depending on the circumstance, a reduced schedule may be created to accommodate the leave needs of an employee. Employees are required to record intermittent leave taken and report it each pay period. If leave is unpaid, the college will reduce the employee’s pay to reflect the amount of time actually worked. In addition, employees on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule may be temporarily transferred to an available alternative position that better accommodates the need for leave and which has equivalent pay and benefits.
If leave is requested for a serious health condition, for either the employee or the employee’s family member, a medical certification will be required. This certification requires information from the employee and the relevant health care provider and must be completed to determine eligibility before commencing the leave whenever possible. Medical certification forms are available from the Office of Human Resources. The employer, at its expense, may require an examination by a second health care provider designated by the college. If the second health care provider’s opinion conflicts with the original medical certification, the employer, at its expense, may require a third mutually agreeable health care provider to conduct an examination and provide a final and binding opinion. The employer also may require a subsequent medical recertification. Failure to provide requested certification within 15 days, if practical, may result in delay of further leave until it is provided.
Definition of “Serious Health Condition”
Under FMLA, a serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care (defined as an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility; any overnight admission to such facilities) or continuing treatment by a health care provider that results in an incapacity (inability to work or participate in other daily activities) of more than three consecutive calendar days. Included as a serious health condition are:
- Chronic conditions that require periodic visits to a health care provider over an extended period of time
- Permanent or long-term conditions
- Conditions requiring multiple treatments and recovery from treatments
- Treatment for substance abuse by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services on referral by a health care provider
Definition of “Chronic Health Condition”
Under FMLA, a chronic health condition is defined as a condition that requires visits at least twice a year for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse under direct supervision of a health care provider, that continues over an extended period of time and may cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity.
Definition of “Family Member” covered under FMLA
- SPOUSE: Defined as a husband or wife, including those in same-sex marriages.
- PARENT: Defined as a biological, adoptive, step or foster father or mother or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the employee when he or she was a minor.
- SON or DAUGHTER: Defined as biological, adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is either under age 18 or age 18 or older and “incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.”
Additional definition regarding coverage of adult children (son or daughter 18 years of age or older) under FMLA:
A disability is a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual and may be considered “incapable of self-care.” Major life activities include, but are not limited to, activities such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, eating, standing, reaching, breathing, communicating, and interacting with others, as well as major bodily functions, such as functions of the brain or immune system, or normal cell growth. Conditions that are episodic or in remission are considered disabilities if the condition would substantially limit a major life activity when active.
To be “incapable of self-care” means that the “son or daughter” requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more of the “activities of daily living” (ADLs) or “instrumental activities of daily living” (IADLs).
- ADLs – Grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing and eating.
- IADLs – Cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones, using a post office, etc.
The disability of the son or daughter does not have to have occurred or been diagnosed prior to the age of 18. The onset of a disability may occur at any age for purposes of the definition of a “son or daughter” under FMLA.
Service Member Family and Medical Leave
The leave amounts for easing the transition during a call to active duty or return to active duty are the same as other FMLA leave listed above.
Activities to ease the transition include, but are not limited to: attending certain military events; arranging for alternative childcare; addressing certain financial and legal arrangements; attending certain counseling sessions; and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings. If leave is required to assist in the care of a covered service member who is ill or injured during active duty, a total of 26 weeks of leave is available for the 12-month period as described above. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious illness or injury—incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her duties—for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, or is in outpatient status, or is on the temporary disability retired list.
Reporting While on Leave
If employees take leave because of their own serious health condition or to care for a covered relative, the employees must contact their supervisor or manager at least once every two weeks regarding their status and intention to return to work. In addition, employees must give notice as soon as practical (within two business days, if feasible) if the dates of leave change are extended or initially were unknown.
Health Insurance and Other Benefits
During an approved leave as defined above, the employer will maintain health benefits as if the employee continued to be actively employed. However, if an employee elects not to return to work at the end of the leave period, the employee will be required to reimburse the college for the cost of the health insurance premiums paid by the college for maintaining coverage during the leave, unless the employee cannot return to work because of a serious health condition or because of other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.
If an employee is utilizing unpaid leave during Family Medical Leave, the employee will be responsible for making payment arrangements for any premiums for elected insurance coverages. Retirement contributions will be made only during times of paid leave.
Break/Holiday Periods While on FMLA
If an employee is on FMLA leave the entire week in which the holiday/break period falls, the employer will count the holiday/break period as FMLA leave. If the employee works for part of the week in which the holiday/break period occurs, then the holiday/break period does not count as FMLA leave.
While on leave and utilizing Short-Term Disability Time off (STD), vacation time will not accrue.
Returning to Work
Upon return from FMLA leave, employees will be reinstated to their former, or equivalent, positions with the same compensation and benefits received before their leave, provided their positions have not been eliminated because of restructuring or layoffs. Failure to return from FMLA leave on the designated date for any reason other than those beyond the employee’s control (such as recurrence of a medical condition) will be considered a voluntary termination of employment by the employee. Certification from a medical provider stating that the employee is able to return to work will be required.
Summary of FMLA
Because of the complicated nature and many regulations that accompany this type of leave, it is strongly suggested that employees meet with Office of Human Resources staff to discuss the situation and receive specific details of FMLA. During this meeting, additional information will be provided about benefits continuation during your leave as well as other information relevant to your particular situation.
A Department of Labor notice regarding FMLA leave is included in the Appendix of this handbook, which provides additional information about FMLA.
Full-time employees are eligible to take up to three days of paid leave for the death of an immediate family member. For the purpose of this policy, immediate family members include spouse or spousal equivalent, parents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, grandparents, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, stepparents, stepsiblings, stepchildren and any member of the employee’s immediate household. Part-time employees with a schedule of 20 hours or more per week will be granted this leave on a pro-rated basis. Leave for part-time employees with less than a 20-hour per week schedule or for intermittent employees will be provided on an unpaid basis.
The three days of leave provided must be consecutive, one of which is used to attend the funeral. Additional leave for a longer period of time or for a non-family member should be discussed with the employee’s supervisor. Every attempt will be made to honor the request for leave necessary for these purposes, but is not guaranteed. Additional leave may require that staff and administrative employees utilize their accrued vacation time.
In accordance with state regulations, Augustana College will provide leave for employees who are injured while at work. In these situations, the college works with an outside vendor that provides disability pay when an employee is unable to work due to an event covered by workers compensation. While an employee is on workers compensation leave, no additional leave can be taken and vacation time will not accrue during the leave. Employees on extended workers compensation leave will need to make payment arrangements for the employee portion of any elected insurance benefits.
Jury Duty Leave
Employees are encouraged to complete their civic duty when called to serve on a jury. Full-time employees will be paid at their regular rate for up to two weeks of jury duty service in a two-year period. Part-time employees will be paid for jury duty hours in which they were scheduled to work. Jury duty service beyond two weeks will be granted as unpaid leave. Employees who utilize paid jury duty leave should sign over any compensation received to the college through the Payroll Office.
Employees called for service should alert their supervisor as soon as the summons is received. While on jury duty leave, employees should stay in contact with the supervisor as to the likely length of time away from work.
Augustana encourages all employees to exercise their right to vote in all local, state and federal elections. Illinois polls generally are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Iowa from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., which allows most employees ample time to vote. If there are special circumstances whereby an employee needs additional time to vote, or a work schedule alteration occurs, the supervisor should be contacted with a request at least three days before the election is to take place.
Employees required to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, or are engaged in state military service, will be given the necessary time off as required by Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Depending on the circumstances, administrative/exempt employees may be provided with paid time off when necessary to comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.
For employees required to complete military training annually, leave without pay is granted for 15 working days per year.
Military orders should be presented to the supervisor and arrangements for leave made as early as possible before a departure. This advance notice is required unless military necessity makes this impossible. Employees also must notify the supervisor of their intent to return to employment based on requirements of the law.
Before departure, the Office of Human Resources will meet with affected employees to discuss re-employment issues, benefits continuation and answer questions.
School Visitation Leave
Illinois law provides for eight hours of unpaid leave per school year to attend conferences and/or other activities related to an employee’s biological, foster, adopted, stepchild or legal ward. This leave is available only if the scheduling of this event is not available during non-working hours. Illinois law requires that this leave may be taken only if all other paid leave has been exhausted and no more than four hours may be taken in any workday.
To be eligible, employees must have six months of service and must provide a written request for leave at least seven days in advance, if possible. Employees must provide documentation to support the visit within two days of taking the leave.
In compliance with the Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA), Augustana College grants full-time and part-time employees up to 12 weeks unpaid leave per 12-month period to address domestic or sexual violence by:
- seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence to the employee or the employee’s family or household member
- obtaining services from a victim services organization for the employee or the employee’s family or household member
- obtaining psychological or other counseling for the employee or the employee’s family or household member
- participating in a safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the employee or the employee’s family or household member from future domestic or sexual violence or ensure economic security
- seeking legal assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee’s family or household member, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from domestic or sexual violence
The 12 weeks of VESSA leave may be taken at one time, intermittently or on a reduced work schedule. An employee must provide the college with at least 48 hours advance notice of the employee’s intention to take the VESSA leave, unless providing the notice is not practicable. When an unscheduled absence occurs, Augustana College will not take any action against the employee if the employee provides certification within a reasonable period after the absence. Leave taken under VESSA will run concurrently with FMLA leave and/or other paid leave available.
Should employees need additional information about this leave, including the required certifications and benefit continuation, benefit accrual, reporting requirements and/or other questions or issues, they should contact the Office of Human Resources.
Outside of the leave categories listed above, additional time away from work generally is not allowed. Employees with a situation that is believed to merit additional consideration for unpaid leave should meet with the Director of Human Resources, who will present the request to the president for a decision.
The following is a brief description of benefits made available by Augustana College to its employees. The details of these benefit programs are outlined in separate summary plan descriptions and can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources. Eligibility for each of these programs depends upon the terms of the benefit plan involved. In the event of any inconsistency between the language of this handbook and the language of the benefit plan, the language of the benefit plan will prevail.
From time to time, the benefits described in this section may be changed. Further, although the college does not expect to terminate any benefit, plan or program, it reserves the right to do so. In addition to the benefits outlined online, all employees also receive Social Security, workers compensation and unemployment compensation benefits in accordance with applicable laws.
Visit www.augustana.edu/about-us/offices/hr/benefits for more information.
For most of the benefits described below, employees have the opportunity to elect coverage during the new hire process (within the first 30 days) and then during the college’s open enrollment period. This open enrollment period is generally during a two- to three-week time period each year. Once elections are made, changes are not permitted except during “qualifying events” as defined by ERISA regulations. Employees with a qualifying event should contact the Office of Human Resources regarding changes in benefits. They will be required to provide documentation of the eligibility for such a change.
Full-time employees who work a nine-month or greater schedule on a .75 FTE or 30 hours per week basis are eligible to participate in the college’s health care plan. The college pays a large part of the premium for this benefit with employee contributions covering the rest. Additional coverage is available for spouses and dependents at an additional charge. Because of the changing nature of health care coverage and costs, up-to-date and detailed information is available from the Office of Human Resources, as well as a summary plan description.
In compliance with federal law, Augustana College provides employees, their spouses and their dependent children with the opportunity to temporarily extend their health care coverage if the employee loses coverage as a result of a reduction in hours or the termination of employment. This coverage, referred to as COBRA coverage, is available at group rates at the expense of the employee. The Office of Human Resources can provide detailed information about the cost of COBRA extension as well as the length of the extension available based on individual circumstances.
All Augustana employees who work at least 30 hours per week or are a .75 FTE are able to participate in the college’s wellness program. This program is designed to provide information, incentives and programs to assist each employee in improving health and engaging in a healthy lifestyle.
Participants in the wellness program can qualify for a reduced premium as well as additional prizes and incentives if they participate in the college’s health care plan, and meet the minimum requirements. Spouses or spousal equivalents who are covered on the Augustana medical wellness plan also must meet the minimum requirements for both employee and spouse to retain the premium discount. Spouses are not eligible for additional prices or incentives.
The wellness program is overseen by the Augustana Wellness Team, a cross-functional group that welcomes new members. If you are interested in joining this team or receiving additional information about the wellness program benefit, contact any member of the Office of Human Resources.
Vision Care Insurance (Voluntary)
Full-time and part-time employees (75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) who are interested may elect to participate in our vision care plan. This plan is voluntary and all premiums are paid by the participating employees. The Office of Human Resources can provide interested employees with information about the costs and benefits of the plan as well as enrollment information. Employees who choose to enroll in this voluntary benefit are not able to make changes during the plan year except under the limited qualifying conditions set forth in the summary plan description.
Detailed information and a summary plan description are available from the Office of Human Resources.
Dental Care Insurance (Voluntary)
Full and part-time employees (75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) may elect to participate in the Augustana dental plan. This plan is voluntary, and all premiums are paid by participating employees. The Office of Human Resources can provide interested employees with information about the costs and benefits of the plan as well as enrollment information. Employees who choose to enroll in this voluntary benefit are not able to make changes during the plan year except under the limited qualifying conditions set forth in the summary plan description.
Flexible Spending Account
The college has established a flexible spending account that allows for a tax-effective way of paying premiums for health insurance and other benefit premiums. Unless specifically instructed otherwise, these premiums are deducted from an employee’s pay on a pre-tax basis.
Within this plan, full-time and part-time employees (at least 75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) may choose to set aside additional dollars on a pre-tax basis to pay for eligible health care costs not covered by insurance and/or work-related dependent care costs. The maximum amount that employees can set aside is dependent on federal law and will be shared with employees on a yearly basis. Employees also determine on a yearly basis at what level to participate in this program. Dollars set aside for this purpose must be used by the end of the plan year and any applicable grace period or they will be forfeited; so careful planning is essential.
Questions about this benefit should be directed to the Office of Human Resources. Employees who choose to enroll in this voluntary benefit are not able to make changes during the plan year except under the limited qualifying conditions set forth in the summary plan description.
Life insurance is provided to full-time and part-time employees (at least 75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) at no charge, and the amount of coverage varies based on the age of the employee:
- Under 65: 1.5 times annual salary
- 65–69: 97.5% of annual salary
- 70 and over: 50% of the annual salary earned on the day before turning 65
Detailed information and a summary plan description are available from the Office of Human Resources.
Additional voluntary Benefits
New full-time and part-time employees (50 percent equivalent or 20 hours per week) can purchase additional voluntary benefits beyond those provided by the college. These coverages are available only during the initial hire period or during sporadic open enrollment periods. Prices are based on age and are available in a variety of increments. The Office of Human Resources can provide interested employees with information about the costs and benefits of the plan as well as enrollment information.
Current voluntary products include:
- accident insurance
- critical illness and critical life events insurance
- universal life and universal life events insurance
Accidental Death and Dismemberment
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance is provided to full-time and part-time employees (at least 75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) at no charge, and the amount of coverage varies based on the age of the employee:
- Under 65: 1.5 times annual salary
- 65–69: 97.5% of annual salary
- 70 and over: 50% of the annual salary earned on the day before turning 65
Detailed information and a summary plan description are available from the Office of Human Resources.
The college pays for a long-term disability insurance policy for each full-time and part-time employee (at least 75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) with at least one year of service. New Augustana College employees employed within three months of leaving another group disability insurance plan will become eligible immediately. This policy provides, in the event of a qualifying disability prior to retirement, a monthly income of approximately 60 percent of the monthly gross wage, minus benefits from other sources such as Social Security, workers compensation or other disability programs. The benefit will begin the first of the month after six months of continuous disability. During disability, this insurance also covers employer contributions to the employee’s retirement benefit based upon the employee’s salary at the time of disability. Detailed information and a summary plan description are available from the Office of Human Resources.
Augustana College has created a 403(b) retirement savings plan to assist employees in setting aside funds to meet retirement needs. All employees are eligible to save for retirement within this plan. However, only those employees with a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week or who are 50 percent FTE are eligible to receive the matching contributions and college contributions outlined below. For faculty, the eligibility requirement to receive the matching contributions and college contributions is that they must teach at least 14 credit hours.
Upon hire, full-time and part-time employees who are 50 percent FTE or work at least 20 hours per week on a regular basis are eligible to participate in the retirement plan by receiving matching funds from the college. While the amount of the match is subject to change, currently the college will match the first 4 percent of employee savings on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Employees indicate the whole percentage amount they would like to withhold and whether they choose to do this on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis. Those employees who do not make an election will be automatically enrolled with a 4 percent salary deferral. Employees will work with our record-keeper, TIAA CREF, to make decisions on how to invest these funds within the plan options currently available. Employees can make a change to investment decisions at any time with the record-keeper. Changes to salary withholding amounts are made with our Payroll Office and also can be made at any time. However, the Payroll Office will provide guidance on when the withholding changes will take effect. Employees can choose to participate in whole percentage increments up to the allowable IRS maximum. Any employee who saves at a 1 percent rate will receive a minimum match of $500. This minimum match will be made at the end of the plan year; it requires active employment on that date.
After one year of service, full-time and part-time employees who are 50 percent FTE or work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible for the college contribution to retirement in addition to any matching funds. Employees who have been fully vested within a qualified employer plan within the last 12 months will not be subject to the waiting period. While the amount of the college contribution is subject to change, currently the college will contribute the equivalent of 7 percent of base salary or wage. This contribution will be made with each pay period. Overtime, stipend payments or other compensation are not eligible for the 7 percent contribution. Employees will work with the college’s recordkeeper, TIAA CREF, to make decisions on how to invest these funds within the plan options currently available. Changes to investment allocations can be made at any time with our recordkeeper.
All money contributed by the college either through a matching contribution or college contribution is subject to a vesting schedule. A year of service is defined as 12 consecutive months of service. Employees will be vested as follows:
- 1 year of service 25 percent vested
- 2 years of service 50 percent vested
- 3 years of service 75 percent vested
- 4 years of service 100 percent vested
Detailed information and a summary plan description are available from the Office of Human Resources. Additional information is available at www.tiaacref.org/Augustana. The college periodically will have in-person advice sessions and group education sessions with TIAA-CREF.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Augustana provides access to the Genesis Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all Augustana employees (both full and part-time) as well as members of an employee's family. This is a free confidential professional counseling service designed to help employees and/or family members with a range of personal issues including marital, emotional/stress, alcohol and drug abuse, elder care, family illness, family relationships, financial concerns, job stress, addictions of any sort as well as many additional common issues.
Employees and their family members can access the Genesis EAP by calling 800-475-1641. Counseling can be provided in person at one of six Quad-City locations or by telephone. Immediate appointments always are available for crisis situations.
Employee Education Benefits/Tuition Remission
Augustana College offers several education benefit options for employees, their spouses and their qualifying children. Each program described below has varied eligibility requirements. Cost and availability may vary based on the program and the participating school. Meetings will be held on a periodic basis to answer questions and help employees who hope to use this benefit understand the details of their particular situation.
The education benefit policy at Augustana College is subject to changes or elimination at any time by the Board of Trustees and is not considered a contractual or vested obligation. These programs currently are not taxable; however, should these benefits be declared compensation subject to either federal or state taxes, Augustana College will not be financially liable for such taxes. All inquiries concerning benefit eligibility should be directed to the Office of Human Resources. Coordination for tuition exchange with other institutions, as well as tuition remission, is coordinated by the Office of Financial Assistance once eligibility has been confirmed.
For the purposes of this policy only, eligibility for benefits is defined below:
Employee: Refers to full-time or half-time (working more than 20 hours per week) regular employees with a schedule of at least nine months per year. Benefits vary based on full- or part-time status. Part-time employees are eligible only if they work a schedule of at least 20 hours per week and will receive a benefit proportional to a 40-hour workweek. Adjunct faculty are those faculty members teaching at least 14 credits per year. Adjunct faculty are considered part-time employees for the purpose of this policy. Children of a deceased or totally disabled person are entitled to this benefit if the parent died or became disabled while serving as an active full- or part-time employee of Augustana. In the case of death or disability, this benefit must be used within six years of the employee’s death or total disability and will be at the same proportion as when the employee died or became totally disabled.
Qualifying Spouse: Refers to the legal spouse or equivalent as recognized by a state, court or religious sect recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Employees will be required to show proof of this relationship to determine benefit eligibility.
- The biological child of the employee.
- The legally adopted child of the employee.
- A legal guardian of the employee who has resided in the employee’s home for 12 of the last 12 months.
- A stepchild of the employee who has resided in the employee’s home for 12 of the last 12 months.
- A ward (employee is the legal guardian) who has resided in the employee’s home for 12 of the last 12 months and is claimed as a legal dependent for IRS purposes.
In all of the above categories, the employee will be required to show proof of this relationship to determine eligibility, and the qualifying children must begin the program before the end of their 24th year.
Children may continue to receive the benefit if the benefit began prior to age 24 and enrollment is continuous.
Exceptions will be made for military service with age extensions based on the length of military service. Requests for military exceptions should be made in writing to the director of Human Resources.
A. Tuition Remission at Augustana College
The tuition remission benefit is available for full-time employees who work a nine-month or greater schedule. Employees must work continuously at the college for two years to become eligible for this tuition exemption scholarship. Part-time employees regularly scheduled for 20 or more hours per week and adjunct faculty will receive this benefit on a pro-rated basis after continuous employment of two years. Four years of continuous full-time service at another college, university or high school with a tuition benefit within one year of the date of employment at Augustana College also will satisfy this requirement. Tuition remission will be available to retired employees if the qualifying child is currently enrolled at Augustana College and actively utilizing the tuition remission benefit upon the effective date of the employee’s retirement.
Employees normally may not enroll in courses conducted during their working hours. An exception may be made when the supervisor determines the course to be for the improvement of the employee’s service to the college, and it is not offered outside of working hours. Additionally, an employee who takes classes for the improvement of the employee’s service to the college can be exempted from the waiting period with approval from the Office of Human Resources.
The tuition exemption scholarship is for full-time or part-time study, but applies to tuition only. Those eligible to receive this tuition exemption scholarship will be required to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, and any funds received through state or federal funding will offset the amount of the tuition exemption. Employees applying for this benefit are responsible for meeting the state filing deadline. Failure to meet this deadline will require the employee to pay the portion of the tuition that would have been covered by a state or federal grant.
Employees and/or their qualifying spouse or dependent child will be responsible for any fees. This tuition exemption does not take the place of other scholarships. If a student enjoys the benefits of a scholarship, the exemption applies only to the balance due on tuition. Students must apply for scholarship help from outside sources if they are eligible. This exemption may NOT be applied to costs for books, room, board or other expenses associated with attendance at Augustana College.
This tuition exemption does not cover fees for applied music courses or courses not completed on our Rock Island campus. International study, for example, would not qualify for this tuition exemption scholarship. Internship experiences can be covered with a tuition remission scholarship. Also, students receiving the tuition remission benefit are still eligible for the Augie Choice program under the same rules and restrictions as other students.
Potential students must meet Augustana College admission requirements.
Employees, an employee’s spouse or qualifying children interested in receiving Augustana tuition remission must fill out an eligibility form available through the Office of Human Resources. Once eligibility is verified, the Office of Financial Assistance will coordinate the billing for the enrolled student.
The benefit will cease upon receipt of a degree from any institution or 140 attempted credit hours at Augustana College, whichever occurs first. A tuition exemption for employees or qualifying spouses with a baccalaureate degree shall be permitted. All Augustana College coursework assessed on the student’s billing statement will be considered attempted credits. This includes courses dropped after day two of the term but before week five, even if they do not appear on the transcript. Credits will be prorated for students who withdraw from the institution and receive a partial term benefit.
Additional information on this benefit is available from the Office of Human Resources. Employees who are interested are encouraged to review detailed eligibility agreements as well as enrollment forms for applicable deadline dates.
B. ELCA Tuition Exchange Program
Augustana College also participates in the ELCA Tuition Exchange program. Qualifying children of full-time employees may attend another participating ELCA college (receiving institution) through this program. Qualifying children receive a tuition benefit at the receiving institution that is generally equivalent to the benefit that the receiving institution provides for its own full-time employees. Some institutions limit the imports they will take in any academic year.
ELCA Tuition Exchange is available to qualifying children (as defined previously) of full-time employees. This exchange is not available to part-time employees, adjunct faculty or to employee spouses. Full-time employees must complete two years of service at Augustana College to be eligible for this tuition exchange benefit. Four years of continuous full-time service at another college, university or high school with a tuition benefit within one year of the date of employment at Augustana College also will satisfy this requirement. Additionally, prospective students must meet criteria set by the receiving institution for acceptance into the college. A full listing of ELCA institutions is available at www.elca.org.
The ELCA Tuition Exchange will be available to retired employees if the qualifying child is currently enrolled in a consortium institution and actively utilizing the tuition exchange benefit upon the effective date of the employee’s retirement.
ELCA Tuition Exchange benefit will cease upon:
- receipt of a baccalaureate degree at any institution, or
- completion of four academic years (12 terms or equivalent) of full-time post high school study
Employees who have qualifying children interested in participating in the ELCA Tuition Exchange program must fill out an eligibility form available through the Office of Human Resources. Once eligibility is verified, the Office of Financial Assistance will coordinate the exchange with the receiving school. Advance planning is necessary to receive this benefit. Employees are encouraged to attend one of the group meetings held periodically on this subject and/or meet individually with the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Financial Assistance to discuss participation.
Additional detailed information on this benefit is available from the Office of Human Resources, and employees who are interested are encouraged to review eligibility agreements as well as enrollment forms for applicable deadline dates.
C. The Tuition Exchange Program
Augustana College participates in The Tuition Exchange Program, which provides tuition exchange benefits with many colleges and universities across the country. This benefit is available to qualifying children (as previously defined) of current full-time employees with four or more continuous years of service at Augustana College. Eight years of continuous full-time service at another college, university or high school with a tuition benefit within one year of the date of employment at Augustana College also will satisfy this requirement. While service at another college or university may be used for eligibility purposes, only years of service at Augustana College will be used for determining seniority. A full listing of participating institutions and information on the specific benefit offered by each school is available at www.tuitionexchange.org.
The Tuition Exchange is a reciprocal scholarship program, which means Augustana College must balance the number of individuals sent out on the exchange (exports) by an equal number of imports over the most current five-year period. Because of this requirement, this program is not a guaranteed program.
Should it be necessary to limit the number of exports of qualifying children, priority will be based on previous use of the program and the employee’s seniority. Once a dependent child uses the tuition exchange benefit for any period of time, this will be considered use of the program for future waiting list purposes.
The Tuition Exchange is available to retired employees if the qualifying child is currently enrolled in a consortium institution and actively utilizing this benefit upon the effective date of the employee’s retirement.
The Tuition Exchange benefit will cease upon:
- receipt of a baccalaureate degree at any institution, or
- completion of four academic years (12 terms or equivalent) of full-time post high school study
As with the other tuition benefit programs, employees who have children interested in participating in the program should fill out an eligibility form available through the Office of Human Resources. Once eligibility is verified, the Office of Financial Assistance will coordinate the exchange with the receiving school. Advance planning is necessary to receive this benefit. Employees are encouraged to attend one of the group meetings held periodically on this subject and/or meet individually with the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Financial Assistance to discuss participation.
Additional detailed information on this benefit is available from the Office of Human Resources. Employees who are interested are encouraged to review eligibility agreements as well as enrollment forms for applicable deadline dates.
D. Summer School
Use of the Augustana College tuition remission for employees’ qualifying children utilizing The Tuition Exchange or ELCA Tuition Exchange programs will be limited to six summer school credits per summer, not to exceed 24 total credits, and will cease upon receipt of a baccalaureate degree at any institution.
Additional fees may be required for participation in summer school sessions.
E. High School Student Benefit
Full-time or part-time employees eligible under the Augustana Tuition Remission guidelines also can receive a limited tuition benefit for currently enrolled high school students. These students can take up to one course per term, as long as space is available in the selected course. High school students interested in this option should complete a special enrollment form available from the Registrar’s Office to begin the process.
F. Tuition Reduction at Rivermont Collegiate
Employees of Augustana College are eligible to receive a reduction of tuition at Rivermont Collegiate. For updated pricing and discount rates, please call Rivermont Collegiate and identify yourself as an employee of Augustana College. Proof of employment, if needed, can be provided by the Office of Human Resources.
Use of Carver, PepsiCo and Campus Facilities
The identification (ID) card issued to each employee upon hire allows for entry and usage of the Carver P.E. Center and PepsiCo Recreation Center during the regularly scheduled hours of operation. This privilege extends to an employee’s spouse and children under 18 years of age. An employee’s family member can either use the employee’s ID card or can come to the PepsiCo Center and request a family pass. Employees also may bring a guest, but these guests may be subject to a usage fee. For details on the hours of operation and guest fees, information is available on the campus website or by calling the facility the employee plans to visit.
The ID card issued to each employee upon hire provides stack and library privileges at the Thomas Tredway Library. Employees are expected to follow all policies set forth by the library regarding use of equipment as well as borrowing and returning library materials. Hours and policies for the library can be found on the college’s website.
Augustana College is a campus full of enriching and diverse activities and events. Employees are encouraged to participate in events that are of interest. The ID card issued to each employee provides for free or discounted admission for employees and their immediate family members to regularly scheduled athletic events, lecture series, plays and concerts sponsored by the college. Employees are encouraged to seek detailed information as to whether an admission fee will be charged and if an advance ticket is needed for specific events.