Section III: Benefits, Leaves and Compensation
Non-exempt/hourly employees are paid on a biweekly 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.
Exempt/salaried 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.
Exempt/salaried employees who work in a continuing role with an academic year schedule may elect to defer their pay over a 12-month period to avoid unpaid periods.
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 earnings statement for those utilizing direct deposit. If employees have questions about these deductions, or would like to make allowable changes to their deductions, questions should be directed to the Payroll Department.
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.
Resolving 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.
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 prorated 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.
Non-exempt employees who are required to work on-campus on one of the 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 paid time off 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.
Winter 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 paid time off bank. 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.
Short Term Disability
The college provides an additional short-term disability benefit for qualifying serious health conditions of the employee. This policy does not guarantee continued employment in the event of an employee’s sickness or disability. Additionally, employees who do not qualify for Family Medical Leave benefits will not have job protected leave during any short-term disability leave.
Eligible Positions: After completing 90 days of service, employees who work at least a 75% schedule, are designated as adjunct teaching at least 18 credits, or full time faculty, or work 30 hours a week on a regular basis may be eligible for the college’s short-term disability benefit.
Qualifying conditions: Childbirth and other serious health conditions are generally covered by this benefit. Employees must first contact the college’s designated vendor, Symetra, to submit the necessary medical information to determine if the health event will be covered and for what duration, based on medical necessity. Any approved time will also run concurrently with Family Medical Leave.
Pre-Existing Conditions: Employees who join the college will be subject to an initial exclusion of pre-existing conditions. Conditions for which treatment has been received within the first 3 months of eligibility will be excluded until six months after eligibility has been satisfied.
Waiting Period and Pay Information: Approved health events will be subject to a 14-calendar wait period and then the employee will receive 60% pay for the remainder of the approved leave period. Employees may use Life Event Pay to receive pay during the waiting period and may use Life Event Pay or available Paid Time Off to supplement the leave and receive 100% pay. While on leave, employees will not accrue additional PTO.
Faculty employees may substitute an equivalent credit load reduction instead of weeks of time off with approval of the Provost.
Non-faculty employees approved for this benefit will be required to use any available life event pay, paid time off, and vacation reserve hours (in that sequence) before receiving partial pay. Employees may request a different sequence of time usage by contacting the Office of Human Resources.
Intermittent Leave: Employees who are approved for intermittent leave will be required to first satisfy the waiting period of 14 days. Intermittent leave of greater than 5 hours will be considered one day for periods of the waiting period. Employees will be required to contact Symetra each time that intermittent leave is taken to ensure payment of the benefit. If time away is not reported within 3 days of the occurrence, payment will not be available.
Approval Process: Employees who are experiencing a health event that may qualify for short-term disability should start the process by calling Symetra at 1-877-377-6773 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EST or visit www.symetra.com/mygo to begin the application process. Medical documentation must be provided within the required timelines. Failure to meet required timelines will result in a denial of benefits.
Appeal Process: Employees who have a claim denied can appeal the process. Information on the appeal process if available from the Office of Human Resources.
Life Event Pay
After one year of service, Life Event Pay is provided by the college to employees to offset leaves that would otherwise be unpaid. Events that qualify for Life Event Pay are serious health conditions for employees or to provide care to a family member with a serious health condition as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act.
Eligible Positions: After completing one year of service, employees who work at least a 75% schedule, are designated as adjunct faculty with a teaching load of at least 18 credits, or full-time faculty, or work 30 hours a week on a regular basis may be eligible for the college’s short-term disability benefit.
• For those employees who are eligible to accrue paid time off, 80 hour (2 weeks) of Life Event Leave is available for qualifying family events in any rolling 12-month period.
• For those employees who are not eligible to accrue paid time off, 160 hours (4 weeks) of Life Event Leave is available for qualifying events in any rolling 12-month period.
Qualifying Conditions: Employee issues and family member issues may be eligible for usage of life event leave if they meet the definitions of serious health conditions as outlined in the college’s Family Medical Leave policy. Family Medical Leave eligibility is determined by an outside vendor, Symetra based on a review of medical documentation.
Usage: Life Event Pay can be used to satisfy the waiting period for the short-term disability benefit as well as other approved purposes in as little as 1-day increments. Less than one-day increment usage is available when Life Event Pay is used to supplement partial short-term disability pay. The rolling 12-month period will be measured as 12 months from the first day of usage, regardless of work schedule. Faculty employees may substitute an equivalent credit load reduction instead of weeks of time off with the approval of the Provost.
Parental/Bonding Leave: This leave is available to both males and females for bonding with a newborn or placement of a foster child within 12 months of the birth or adoption. If both parents are employees at Augustana, a maximum of six weeks of life event pay or corresponding course reduction will apply. Employees who desire additional bonding time can take unpaid leave (under the terms of Family Medical Leave) or use paid time off if available. 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).
Application process: Employees who are experiencing a life event that may qualify for Life Event pay should start the process by calling Symetra at 1-877-377-6773 or visiting www.symetra.com/mygo to complete an application for Family Medical Leave.
Family Medical Leave
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
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 unpaid 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 Life Event Pay 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 process with the college’s designated vendor Symetra. Requests can be made by visiting www.symetra.com/mygo or by phone at 1-877-377-6773 .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.
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. 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 will be coordinated and provided to the college’s vendor, Symetra. The certification requires information from the employee and the relevant health care provider and must be completed to determine eligibility within provided timelines. Failure to provide requested certification within designated timelines may result in denial of the request.
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 follow the reporting requirements set out by the college’s designated vendor Symetra.
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, paid time off 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. Employees must return to work upon the expiration of any approved leave, and failure to do so may 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.
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 faculty and 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 or for a non-family member should be discussed with the employee’s department chair or 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 paid time off.
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 paid time off 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 called for service should alert their department chair or 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 department chair or 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 department chair or 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.
This handbook provides 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.
Eligibility varies by benefit and the link below provides a summary may be helpful in confirming what benefits and time off programs are available to you based your employment status. https://www.augustana.edu/about-us/offices/hr/benefits/overview
Visit www.augustana.edu/about-us/offices/hr/benefits for more information.
For most of the benefits described in this section, 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 period each year in November. 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.
Employees who work on a .75 FTE or 30 hours per week basis are eligible to participate in the college’s health care plan. This hours requirement applies to those working an academic year schedule as well as a 12-month schedule. For faculty members, those teaching 18 credits or more are considered eligible for health insurance.
Employees wishing coverage can elect to participate in the traditional plan or a high deductible health plan. The college pays a large part of the premium for this benefit with employee contributions covering the remaining portion. 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.
The college has a benefits committee, composed of faculty and non-faculty employees who make recommendations each year about changes to the health insurance and other benefits. If you would like to serve on this committee or reach out to a member of the benefits committee, the Office of Human Resources can provide you an updated list of committee members as well as meeting dates.
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.
Augustana Convenient Care Clinic
All employees at the college may visit the Augustana Convenient Care Clinic, powered by Genesis for care. Most services are free of charge. Some lab work and/or additional services may be subject to insurance coverage and/or a co-pay. Hours of operation, the types of conditions that can be treated, and other information about the clinic is available from the Office of Human Resources.
Vision Care (Voluntary)
Full-time and part-time employees (75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) or faculty members who teach 18 credits who are interested may elect to participate in our vision care plan. This plan is voluntary and the participating employees pay all premiums. 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 (Voluntary)
Full and part-time employees (75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) or faculty members who teach 18 credits may elect to participate in the Augustana dental plan. This plan is voluntary, and participating employees pay all premiums. 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.
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) or faculty members who teach 18 credits 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.
Health Savings Account
Employees who select to participate in the High Deductible Health Plan can also choose to create a Health Savings Account (HSA). These funds are portable and do not have to be used within a given time period. Details on this option are available through the Office of Human Resources.
Life insurance is provided to full and part-time employees (75 percent equivalent or 30 hours per week) or faculty members who teach 18 credits 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) or faculty members who teach 14 credits 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) or faculty members who teach 18 credits at no cost to the employee. 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
Long Term Disability
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) or faculty members who teach 18 credits 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. Seasonal employees, coaching assistants and temporary catering or other employees are not eligible for this benefit.
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. For faculty, the eligibility requirement to receive the matching contributions and college contributions is that they must teach at least 14 credit hours. The amount of the match available is communicated by the college and may vary.
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, 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 can be made at any time. 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.
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. For faculty, the eligibility requirement to receive college contributions is that they must teach at least 14 credit hours. Employees who have been fully vested within a qualified employer plan within the last 12 months will not be subject to the waiting period. The amount of the college contribution available is communicated by the college and may vary depending on college finances.
Employees will work with the college’s record keeper, TIAA, 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 record keeper.
All funds 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.tiaa.org/Augustana. The college periodically will have in-person advice sessions and group education sessions with a representative from TIAA.
Employee Assistance Program
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.
Tuition Remission and Tuition Exchange
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. The Office of Financial Aid coordinates coordination for tuition exchange with other institutions, as well as tuition remission, once eligibility has been confirmed.
Eligibility & Definitions
For the purposes of this policy only, eligibility for benefits is defined below:
Refers to full-time or part-time (working more than 20 hours per week) regular employees with a calendar year or academic year schedule. 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.
• Augustana Tuition Remission. Full-time and part-time employees are eligible for this benefit if they have two years of service at the institution. Part-time employees will receive pro-rated benefit.
• ELCA and Tuition Exchange Benefit. The exchange benefit is only available to eligible dependent children of full-time employees. Two years of service is required for the ELCA Exchange and four-years of service is required for the Tuition Exchange Benefit.
• Part-time employees who move to full time service will have part-time years of service counted on a pro-rated basis.
Deceased or disabled employee:
Children of a deceased or totally disabled person are entitled to tuition remission at Augustana as well as participation in the exchange programs if the parent died or became disabled while serving as an eligible 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.
For employees who retire while a dependent is actively enrolled in a tuition benefit program, the benefit will continue as long as the dependent is actively enrolled and/or they exhaust the terms of the benefit.
Employees who leave employment while the employee, eligible spouse or eligible dependent is using a tuition benefit program, the benefit will cease at the end of the term or semester in which the employee, spouse or dependent is enrolled.
Refers to the legal spouse or equivalent as recognized by a state, court or religious sect recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Employees may 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 may 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.
Years of service and waiting periods:
Each benefit has defined waiting periods for eligibility. The waiting period must be met before the student can utilize the benefit. Employees can apply for the benefit before the waiting period has been exhausted. Similarly, employees must be actively employed at the time the benefit is awarded. Part-time employment will be considered on a pro-rated basis for waiting period calculations. Years of service at another institution with a similar benefit immediately prior to joining Augustana will be considered at a 50% pro-ration to satisfy the waiting period.
A. Tuition remission at Augustana College
The tuition remission benefit is available for full-time employees who work an academic year schedule or greater. 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 prorated 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. Potential students must meet Augustana College admission requirements.
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 undergraduate 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.
While this benefit covers tuition costs, each year the college designates a participation fee for this benefit that is the responsibility of employees who are using this benefit or having a family member using this benefit. The Office of Human Resources can provide information about the participation fee for the current academic year, which generally ranges from 3-4% of full tuition. 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 federal or state 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 including study away and many off-campus internships. Students receiving the tuition remission benefit are still eligible for the Augie Choice program under the same rules and restrictions as other students.
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 Aid 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 is permitted. All Augustana College coursework assessed on the student's billing statement will be considered attempted credits. This includes courses dropped after the published drop/add period of the term or semester, even if the credits 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 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 and some institutions require additional fees or payments.
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 an exchange 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 Aid 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 Aid 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 1) previous use of the program and 2) the employee's seniority. Once a dependent child uses the tuition exchange benefit for any period, 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 an exchange 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.
Rivermont Tuition reduction
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 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. Because the primary purpose of these facilities is for our students, there may be periods when these recreation facilities are not available to employees.
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 library’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 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.
Many local businesses offer discounts to members of the Augustana campus. Often these discounts require presentation of an Augustana ID and are limited to certain locations. An updated listing of these discounts is available at: https://www.augustana.edu/about-us/offices/hr/benefits.