4. Benefits

In this chapter:

4.1 Medical Insurance

 Regular employees, .5FTE and above, are eligible to participate in the medical insurance or trust plan offered by the university. Eligibility for coverage begins on the first of the month following or coinciding with the employee’s hire date and continues through the end of the calendar month in which employment terminates. Employees .75FTE and above and their eligible dependents are required to be covered through one of the university’s medical plans unless they have medical coverage provided under another plan. Eligible dependent is defined in each plan’s summary plan document. 

The university pays a portion of the premium cost and employees pay the remaining portion through (pretax) payroll reductions. Premiums paid by the university for regular employees whose FTE is less than .75 FTE are prorated.

There is an annual open-enrollment period, during which employees are allowed to make changes in their insurance coverage without a change in status. Employees may drop coverage, add dependents, change plans, etc. generally only during open enrollment, with coverage becoming effective the following plan year. An exception to this restriction is a “change in status” as defined by the IRS. “Change in status” includes events such as birth or adoption of a child, marriage, a child’s loss of dependent status, divorce, death of the employee or dependent, or a change in the employment status of the employee or spouse that affects benefits eligibility. An employee may change coverage within 31 calendar days of a “change in status” as long as the change is consistent with the “change in status.”

4.1.1 Continuation of Medical Coverage

Through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986 medical coverage, dental coverage, and, in some cases, flexible-spending accounts may be continued for up to 18 months following termination for an employee and covered dependents. Coverage may be continued for up to 36 months for dependents who lose coverage due to the employee’s death, the employee’s eligibility for Medicare, or divorce; or due to loss of dependent child status. This coverage requires the premium to be paid entirely by the terminated employee or dependent. An administrative fee of 2% of premiums is charged to COBRA participants.

Employees or dependents that become ineligible for group coverage are notified of their eligibility for COBRA. An employee or dependent has 60 days from the date of eligibility or the date of notification, whichever occurs later, in which to elect COBRA coverage. If coverage is elected, it must begin retroactively to the first day of eligibility with any back premiums due immediately. Employees who retire may be eligible for coverage through a Medicare supplement plan. See Section 6.3.2 Medicare Supplement HMO Plan.

4.2 Life Insurance

Beginning on the first of the month following or coinciding with one year of employment at .75 FTE or above, the university provides term life insurance for its regular employees, .75 FTE or above, to protect family members from economic hardship in the event of an employee’s death. Employment credit for life insurance eligibility may be earned through previous benefits-eligible, full-time employment at any educational institution immediately prior to employment with George Fox.

At the time an employee becomes eligible for life-insurance coverage, he or she is required to provide beneficiary information, which is then kept in the employee’s personnel file. It is an employee’s responsibility to notify the Office of Human Resources of any changes in beneficiaries by completing new forms with current information.

Upon termination of employment, life-insurance coverage under the university’s group plan ceases. Employees may apply to convert to an individual policy at that time.

The university is required to withhold federal income tax from employees’ pay on the premiums paid by the university for life-insurance coverage valued in excess of $50,000.

4.3 Disability Assistance

4.3.1 Short-Term Disability Insurance

 

The university provides a short-term disability insurance policy (“short term disability”) for eligible employees that will provide additional disability assistance directly to a covered employee during the first six months of a qualifying partial or total disability as defined by the policy and outlined in the summary of benefits.  Short term disability for eligible employees provides for salary continuation benefits to protect their income in the event of disability.

Eligibility

Employees hired into regular permanent positions of .75 FTE or higher are eligible for short term disability beginning on the first of the month following, or coinciding with the first of the month following the date of hire. Employees are required to exhaust their own sick and vacation banks prior to filing a short-term disability claim with the carrier.

Benefit amount

Weekly benefits begin on the 15th calendar day of a disability caused by an accident or illness or when one’s own accrued sick leave or vacation is exhausted, whichever is later.  Upon approval, a weekly benefit in the amount of 60 percent of the employee’s monthly salary up to a maximum of $1500 per week, less any other applicable income may be provided until the “elimination period” for long-term-disability coverage is satisfied (180 days) or until the employee returns to work their full schedule, whichever occurs first.  

Applying for Short Term Disability

Application for short term disability must be made to the insurance company.  The disability must be medically supported and the carrier will need claims documentation and information from you and from your attending physician in order to approve claims.   

Apply For Short Term Disability

Any applicable leave and/or paid leave laws will run concurrently with short term disability. Short term disability will be used to supplement state paid leave up to the maximum payable benefit under the terms and conditions of the short-term disability insurance policy administered by the carrier. 

For additional information about this benefit please review the following resources.

George Fox University Short Term Disability Plan Summary

Unum Short Term Disability Application instructions

Unum Short Term Disability Forms

4.3.2 Long-Term Disability Insurance

Employees hired into regular permanent positions of .75 FTE or higher are eligible for long term disability beginning on the first of the month following, or coinciding with the first of the month following the date of hire.

Following a 180-day “elimination period” during which time an employee is continuously fully or partially disabled, the carrier pays 60 percent of an employee’s monthly base salary (up to a maximum of $6,000 per month less any other applicable income) for the duration of the disability up to age 65. Application for these benefits must be made to the insurance company. The Office of Human Resources has application forms available and can assist with this process.

While an employee is receiving long-term disability benefits, the insurance company pays the employee’s and the university’s portions of the retirement-plan contributions. The amount of the disability benefit may be increased by up to 3 percent per year to allow for cost-of-living increases.

An employee that is totally disabled and applies for long-term disability benefits is also considered for waiver of premium for life insurance. If the waiver of premium is approved, life insurance coverage will continue during disability at no cost.

Eligibility for short or long term disability coverage ceases at the end of the calendar month in which an employee terminates. There is no conversion option available for disability insurance.

For more information please see the following resources.

Long Term Disability Plan Summary

Long Term Disability Claim Form

4.3.2 (a) Termination During Long Term Disability

If the nature of an employee’s disability indicates little likelihood of the employee being able to return to work within one year, his or her employment with the university may be terminated at the onset of long term disability coverage. Otherwise, the employee may be placed on a personal leave of absence for up to six months after which time another assessment will be made regarding the employee’s likelihood of being able to return to work within six months. If so, the personal leave of absence will continue; if not, termination will occur. A physician’s assessment should generally be used to make these determinations.

An employee’s job generally will not be held open during his or her period of long term disability. If/when an employee is able to return to work and long-term disability ends, the employee may apply for open positions and will be considered along with other applicants.

If the employee is not able to obtain a position and return to active status within three months from the end of the long term disability period, employment with the university will be terminated retroactively to the first day of long term disability.

4.4 Optional Insurance

Regular employees are eligible to purchase one or more optional insurance products at their own expense. These offerings generally include life, dental, cancer, accident, intensive care, and long term care insurance.

4.5 Paid Time Off

4.5.1 Vacation

The university provides paid vacation to regular support staff and administrators that are .5FTE and above.

Full-time administrators 1 earn 15 days of vacation their first year of employment and an additional day each successive year up to a maximum of 20 days per year. Senior administrators earn 20 days of vacation per year, beginning with their first year of employment.

Full-time support staff earn 10 days of vacation their first year of employment and an additional day each successive year up to a maximum of 20 days per year.

Regular employees who work fewer than 2,080 hours earn vacation on a prorated basis according to the schedule below.  Employees may carry over vacation accruals according to the schedule below.  Any excess accrued, unused vacation is forfeited. Certain contracted employees earn annual time off that will be forfeited at the end of each contract period if not used during the contract period.  Certain employees who work less than 12 month schedules do not accrue vacation time.

FTE Prorated Vacation Accrual  Maximum Carry Over
.87 - 1.0 100% 160 Hours
.75 - .86 87.5% 140 Hours
.62 - .74 75% 120 Hours
.5 - .61 62.5% 100 Hours

Employees may not use vacation that has not yet been earned. If time off that exceeds an employee’s earned vacation balance is approved, the employee may be required to take the extra time off without pay. Conversely, employees are generally required to use any earned vacation for time off unless the absence is due to illness. Time off without pay may not be used in lieu of using earned vacation unless approved by the supervisor and noted accordingly on the employee’s time sheet or time off report. Time off without pay in lieu of vacation is generally approved when a part-time employee has worked or anticipates working extra hours. Vacation may be used either in full-day or hourly increments 2 and must be approved in advance by the supervisor. Department needs, workload, and other employees’ vacation requests are taken into consideration when approving vacation requests. 

Vacation accrual begins with the first month of employment; however, new employees are required to complete three full months of employment before using vacation. If an employee terminates employment with George Fox within six months of hire, any vacation is forfeited. Thereafter, any accrued but unused vacation is paid to the terminating employee with his or her final pay. A terminating employee must work the full month in which he or she terminates in order to earn vacation for that month. Vacation may not be used to extend an employee’s period of employment.

If an employee becomes ill while on vacation, the time off is generally still charged to vacation. Sick leave should not be used unless the employee’s or a qualified family member’s condition qualifies for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or Oregon Family Leave Act. (See Section 4.6 Other Time Off.)

If a paid holiday falls within an employee’s vacation, that day is paid to the employee as a holiday and is not charged against the employee’s vacation balance.

Vacation hours paid during any work week are paid at the straight time rate, and such hours are not considered in computing overtime hours worked in that work week.

4.5.2 Serve Trips

The university encourages employee participation in the annual winter and spring serve trips with students. These are volunteer opportunities for employees to minister to our students as well as to a community outside of the university. The frequency of participating in a serve trip is generally limited to once every two years.

Administrators and support staff selected by the Office of Student Life staff to participate in serve trips are granted additional vacation for the sole purpose of participating in a serve trip. They must have the approval of their supervisors, up to and including their vice president or provost.

Any time spent preparing for a serve trip is a voluntary activity outside the realm of the employee’s regular work duties, and as such should not be considered work time. The employee’s supervisor may approve flexible hours to attend meetings, etc., but any time spent during the regular workday to work on a serve trip should be recorded as vacation, time taken without pay, or made up within the work week.

4.5.3 Sick Leave

Sick leave is to be used for one’s own illness or for the illness of a covered family member. It may also be used for medical appointments for the employee, spouse, dependent, or another covered family member if the person’s medical condition makes assistance necessary. Employees and/or supervisors of employees absent for more than 3 consecutive days are required to contact People and Culture regarding protected leave options.

Sick leave may be used either in full-day increments or in hourly increments. Sick leave used for routine, scheduled doctor or dentist appointments or foreseeable medical procedures should be arranged in advance with the employee’s supervisor. Employees who have sick leave available and are unable to work due to any covered reasons must use sick leave and may not take unpaid leave. 

Eligibility

Regular faculty, staff and administrators .5 FTE and above earn one day per month of sick leave beginning with their first full month of employment, up to a maximum of 320 hours for full time employees*. Employees who work fewer than 2,080 hours accrue sick leave on a prorated basis, and the maximum accrual is also prorated accordingly. Employees are eligible to use sick leave on the first day of the second full month of employment. 

Reasons for leave

Sick leave is to be used for one’s own illness or medical appointments, the illness or medical appointments of a spouse or dependent child. Sick leave may also be used in the event of approved FMLA, state leave or state paid leave as defined by federal and state and applicable local ordiance laws.

Sick leave may be used either in full-day increments or in hourly increments. Sick leave used for routine, scheduled doctor or dentist appointments or foreseeable medical procedures should be arranged in advance with the employee’s supervisor. Employees who have sick leave available and are unable to work due to any covered reasons must use sick leave and may not take unpaid leave.

Using Sick Leave

An employee is required to notify the supervisor no later than the beginning of the working shift that he or she (or a family member) is ill. If the supervisor is not available, the next level manager should be notified unless the supervisor has designated someone else to be notified. Generally, the supervisor must be contacted each day the employee uses sick leave unless the duration is known in advance.

If an employee is absent without notifying the university for three consecutive days, it may be assumed the employee has resigned, and he or she may be removed from the payroll except when the duration of an absence is known in advance.

Returning to work

If an employee is sick for five consecutive days, is hospitalized, or has surgery, a doctor’s release to return to work may be required.

Pay

Sick hours paid during any work week are paid at the straight-time rate, and such hours are not considered in computing overtime hours worked in that work week.

If a paid holiday falls within an employee’s sick leave, that day is paid to the employee as a holiday and is not charged against the employee’s sick leave balance.

Employees may not use sick leave that is not yet earned.  If time off due to illness or any other qualified reason exceeds an employee’s earned sick leave balance, the employee’s earned vacation will be used. Conversely, employees are required to use any earned sick leave for time off due to a qualifying reason before taking time off without pay. In the event no accrued time off is available, the employee would be short paid. Sick leave may provide paid leave up to 100% pay, at no time will pay be more than 100% of regular pay during the leave. Sick leave combined with other paid benefits should not exceed more than 100% of regular pay.


4.5.4 State Paid Leave

Oregon

Paid Leave Oregon Equivalent Plan Policy

George Fox leave request form 

George Fox University offers paid family and medical leave insurance for Oregon workers through a third-party administrator, Unum Insurance Company (Unum). This is an approved equivalent plan that meets the minimum requirements of Oregon’s paid leave law which means that university employees are not eligible for the state-administered program called Paid Leave Oregon. Employees will file a claim for paid leave benefits directly with Unum. 

Eligibility

Unum will determine your eligibility under the terms of the equivalent plan, but generally, you are eligible for Paid Leave Oregon leave if you made at least $1,000 in Oregon wages in the year before your leave.

Reasons for leave

The Unum equivalent plan entitles eligible employees to take leave for the following reasons:  

Family leave:

Time off to care for and bond with your child during the first year of life (or first year after foster placement or adoption).

Time off for a family member with a serious health condition. Eligible family members include: 

Medical leave:

Time off for your own serious health condition, but not including injuries or illnesses for which you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. 

Safe leave:

Time off to address domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking in order to protect you or your minor child, adult disabled dependent child, or any other adult for whom you are a guardian. This includes leave for the following reasons:

To seek legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure their health and safety.

To seek medical treatment for or to recover from injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

To obtain or assist in obtaining counseling from a licensed mental health professional related to an experience of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Benefit amount

The amount of pay you will receive is determined by Unum and is administered by using a formula in accordance with the approved equivalent plan rules. Some employees may receive 100% pay replacement while other employees may receive partial pay. 

Length of Leave

You can generally take up to 12 weeks of paid time off within a 12-month benefit year under the equivalent plan for any combination of family, medical, or safe leave. In addition, you may take an additional 2 weeks of paid medical leave for limitations related to your own pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions such as lactation. 

Leave increment

You may take paid time off under the equivalent plan in increments as small as one whole workday. Leave doesn’t have to be taken consecutively. 

Benefit year

The 12-month benefit year for the equivalent plan is designated by Unum and starts on the Sunday before leave begins and runs for 52 weeks. After your benefit year ends, you will begin a new benefit year the next time you take leave. 

Combination with other leaves

Because Paid Leave Oregon, the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are different laws, there are different rules for each type of leave. Leaves that qualify under one law may not qualify under another. Eligible employees must apply for and take their equivalent plan benefits while taking OFLA or FMLA, whenever the leave also qualifies under the Unum equivalent plan. . You can combine paid and unpaid leave, but the law limits this to 16 weeks total (or 18 weeks if pregnancy-related) of paid family and medical leave under the equivalent plan and unpaid leave under OFLA.

Paid family and medical leave insurance may be used in combination with accrued paid time off (sick, vacation, parental leave). Benefits received from paid leave will be reflected on the employee’s timesheet and pay stub.  

Job protection and reinstatement

If you have been employed by us for at least 90 days when your leave begins, we will reinstate you to the position you held before leave began as long as your position still exists. If your position no longer exists we will reinstate you to an available equivalent position.  

Notice of the need for leave

If your leave is foreseeable, you must provide written notice at least 30 days prior to beginning leave. For unforeseeable leave, you must notify us that you are taking leave within 24 hours of starting leave. If your initial notice was not in writing, you must follow up with written notice within 3 days after starting leave. Your written notice must include your first and last name, an explanation of the need for leave, and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. You may provide a handwritten note, email the office of People and Culture and submit your application directly to the third- party administrator.  

You must also comply with our usual call-in requirements per our attendance policy. 

Communication during leave

You must notify us as soon as possible if the dates or schedule of your leave changes. You must also notify us as soon as possible before your return if you will have any medical restrictions that will affect your ability to perform your duties upon returning to work. 

Continuation of health care benefits

If you have been employed with us for at least 90 days prior to taking leave, we will continue your group health insurance on the same basis as if you had continued to work. 

If you do not pay your share of your health insurance premium while on leave, we will make payroll deductions after you return from leave to cover the cost of your share of premiums that we paid on your behalf during leave. 

No retaliation

We will not retaliate against an employee for requesting leave or inquiring about their rights under Oregon’s paid family and medical leave insurance law.

 

4.5.5 University Paid Parental Leave

The purpose of paid parental leave is to enable the employee to care for and bond with a newborn or a newly adopted or newly placed foster child. Paid parental leave under this policy will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave and state leave and paid leave laws as applicable. Paid parental leave under this policy is intended to supplement paid family and medical leave benefits paid under the university’s approved equivalent plan for Oregon workers or any other state paid leave plan.

Eligibility

Eligible employees must meet the following criteria:

Reasons for leave
Benefit amount

Primary caregiver

An eligible new mother or designated primary caregiver may receive up to eight weeks of paid parental leave within 12 weeks after birth, adoption or placement of a child/children. Only one parent may be designated as a primary caregiver. University paid parental leave will provide supplemental  wage replacement up to 30% of the employee’s regular base pay while an employee is on parental leave and state paid leave. Employees on approved state paid leave can supplement the university paid parental leave with their own sick leave and vacation. At no time will the employee receive more than 100% of wages using own sick leave or vacation and university paid parental leave benefits.  

Secondary Caregiver

An eligible father or secondary caregiver may receive up to two weeks of paid parental leave within 12 weeks after birth, adoption or placement of a child/children. University paid parental leave will provide supplemental wage replacement up to 30% of the employee’s regular base pay while an employee is on parental leave and state paid leave. Employees on approved state paid leave can supplement the university paid parental leave with their own sick leave or vacation. At no time will the employee receive more than 100% of wages using their own sick leave or vacation and university paid parental leave benefits.  

Phase Back

The phase back period intended to aid in transitioning the employee back to their regular work schedule.  Immediately upon returning from parental leave the phase back period is arranged with and approved by the supervisor. Employees will receive full pay while transitioning back to work slowly over the course of the phase back.  

Primary caregiver phase back is four weeks using the following schedule.

Week % of regularly scheduled hours % of regular pay
1 50% 100%
2 50% 100%
3 75% 100%
4 75% 100%

Secondary caregiver phase back is two weeks using the following schedule.

Week % of regularly scheduled hours % of regular pay
1 75% 100%
2 75% 100%
Applying for and using parental leave:
Eligibility limitations:

4.5.6 Bereavement Leave

 

The Bereavement Leave Policy establishes uniform guidelines for providing paid time off to employees for absences related to the death of immediate and near family members and fellow employees or retirees of George Fox University.

All regular active employees are eligible for benefits under this policy. Bereavement leave must be completed within 60 days of the date on which the eligible employee receives notice of the death of a family member. 

Procedures

An employee who wishes to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member should notify his or her supervisor immediately.

Bereavement leave will normally be granted unless there are unusual business needs or staffing requirements. An employee may, with his or her supervisor’s approval, use any available sick and/or vacation for additional time off as necessary.

Paid bereavement leave will be granted according to the following schedule:

Employees should note bereavement leave in George Fox Timekeeping

4.5.7 Holidays

The university provides at least 12 paid holidays to eligible employees each year. The 12 paid holidays generally include:

Eligibility

Regular employees .5FTE and above.  For part-time employees this is calculated on a prorated basis (by hours worked in the work week)

Procedures

Generally, if a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Friday preceding or Monday following the holiday is observed as a paid holiday for university employees. Employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week receive holiday pay on a prorated basis.

To be eligible for holiday pay, an employee must be at work the day preceding the holiday and the day after the holiday or be on approved vacation or sick leave. Employees who are on unpaid leaves or whose regular annual work schedules do not include the week in which a holiday falls are not eligible for holiday pay.

If an employee’s weekly work schedule is such that he or she is not scheduled to work on a holiday, the employee is given a different day off with holiday pay. Generally, this should be scheduled adjacent to the actual holiday or weekend for the employee’s benefit.

4.5.8 Jury Duty

Regular employees are granted paid time off for jury duty leave if they turn in any jury pay received from the court excluding mileage pay. Any time during a day when an employee is not required to actively serve, even if within the designated jury duty time frame, the employee is expected to be present at work. Support staff and administrators should designate days served on jury duty on their time sheets or time off reports.

 

4.6 Other Time Off

4.6.1 Family and Medical Leave Act

Request FMLA

This policy summarizes your rights and responsibilities under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please help us process your leave request by complying with our leave procedures. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of People and Culture. Be aware that state law or other company policies may also apply. FMLA may run concurrently with other leave types.

Eligibility

To be eligible for FMLA;

Reasons for FMLA Leave

The FMLA covers leave for the following reasons:

**Serious health condition definitions:

Length of FMLA Leave

For most types of leave, an eligible employee may take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid FMLA leave in a 12-month period. If you need military caregiver leave, the maximum period of total FMLA leave is 26 weeks in a single 12-month period beginning on the first day the employee takes leave for this reason. Unlike other types of FMLA leave, you are eligible for military caregiver leave only once per servicemember, per-injury, except that military caregiver leave for a veteran can be for the same person you previously cared for when he/she was a current military member. You cannot take more than 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period. 

For all types of FMLA leave other than military caregiver leave, the 12-month period is measured by looking forward from the date the employee first uses FMLA leave. If you are also entitled to leave under state law and/or company policy, your FMLA leave will run at the same time as these other leaves. 

In general, if you and your spouse both work for the company, you are eligible for a combined total of 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition. Your maximum combined total is 26 weeks of leave in situations where you and your spouse are caring for a military service member with a serious injury or illness.

Notice of Leave Required

If you know in advance that you will need leave, you must request your leave at least 30 days before leave begins with the office of People and Culture. The request must be submitted in writing.

If 30 days’ notice is not possible, you must tell us why you need a leave as soon as you can. For emergency leave, you must comply with our call-in policy. If you are unable to give us notice yourself, a responsible person, such as your spouse or a family member, must submit your leave request here and if you need assistance please call the Office of People and Culture. It is essential that you explain where you can be reached. As soon as possible, you must complete forms the university sends to you so we can process your leave request.

If you need to extend your leave, you must request an extension in writing before your FMLA leave is scheduled to end. Please submit your request to extend leave to the Office of People and Culture.

Leave Certification

If you need FMLA leave because of your own or a family member’s serious health condition, or because of a military service member’s serious injury or illness, we may require medical certification from a health care provider. We may also require a nonmedical certification if you are taking leave because of an urgent need due to a family member’s call to covered active duty in the Armed Forces. After you request leave, we will inform you whether a certification will be required. 

We will give you a certification form for the health care provider or other necessary party to complete. If you don’t have a form, you may obtain a copy from the Office of People and Culture. 

Please return the completed certification form as soon as possible but no later than 15 calendar days after we ask you for it. If you need more time, you must contact the Office of People and Culture. Extensions will be given only when circumstances prevent you from providing the certification within 15 days. 

If you fail to return the certification on time, you may lose your protections under the FMLA and could be subject to discipline, up to and including termination, for any unexcused absences. Before you can return from FMLA leave taken for your own serious health condition and which required an absence of five or more consecutive work days, you may be required to bring a fitness-for-duty report from your healthcare provider. If reasonable safety concerns exist regarding your return from intermittent or reduced-schedule leave, we may require a fitness-for-duty report up to once every 30 days. If you fail to provide a required fitness-for-duty report at the end of your FMLA leave, this will either delay your return to work or cause you to lose your right to reinstatement after FMLA leave.

Intermittent or Reduced-Schedule Leave

We will grant intermittent or reduced-schedule FMLA leave if a health care provider certifies that it is medically necessary, or if you have an urgent need for leave due to a family member’s call to covered active duty in the Armed Forces.

Use of Paid Leave or Accrued Vacation

If you are eligible for paid sick leave or paid vacation under the university policy, you must use it at the same time as your unpaid FMLA leave, unless otherwise provided by law. If you are already receiving workers’ compensation time-loss payments or payments under a temporary disability plan, you cannot use paid vacation or other company-paid leave to supplement payments being received.  The university will designate the order in which you use different types of paid leave and process that accordingly in payroll.

Continuation of Group Health Plan Coverage

We will continue to provide group health plan coverage during FMLA leave on the same basis as if you were working, if you and your dependents are enrolled in the company’s group health plan on the day before your FMLA leave starts. 

During a family or medical leave, the university continues to pay its portion of the health insurance premium, and the employee must continue to pay his or her share of the premium.  If during any unpaid portion of the FMLA leave the university pays the premiums on the employee's behalf, the premiums will be collected upon the employees' return to work. 

If you do not promptly return to work at the end of your FMLA leave, you and your dependents may be eligible for extended coverage by self-paying the full COBRA premium as explained in the Summary Plan Description for your medical plan. 

If you do not return from FMLA leave, you may have to reimburse us for the payments we made to continue your group health plan coverage during your FMLA leave, unless your reason for not returning was due to circumstances beyond your control.

Status of Other Employee Benefits

The status of your other benefits (other than group health plan benefits) depends on whether your FMLA leave is paid or unpaid. Our normal benefit policies for the type of leave you are taking (i.e., paid or unpaid) will apply.

Call-In Policy

Our call-in policy applies to FMLA leave. If you need unforeseeable leave, you must follow the call-in policy. While you are on leave, you must periodically contact your supervisor about your status, including your intent to return to work. A call-in schedule will be arranged after you tell us you need a leave. Failure to call in under company policy will result in discipline, up to and including termination.

Reinstatement

When you return from FMLA leave, in most cases you will be reinstated to your same job or to a job with equivalent pay, benefits and working conditions. Please note, however, that you have no greater right to a job when you return than if you had continued to work during the leave period. We may deny you reinstatement if you are considered a key employee; you will be notified at the time you request leave whether you are considered a key employee.

Other Policies

You may not work for another employer or be self-employed during your FMLA leave. We will cancel your leave and take disciplinary action if you violate this policy.

You should not engage in activities during your leave that are inconsistent with your need for leave as stated in the leave certification. If your activities are inconsistent with the leave certification, we will take appropriate steps to reevaluate your need for FMLA leave. If we determine that you have abused your FMLA leave, you will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including loss of job reinstatement and termination of employment.

We will continue to apply our usual company policies and procedures to your FMLA leave, except where they conflict with the FMLA. If you have any questions about your leave of absence, please contact the Office of People and Culture.

4.6.2 Oregon Family Leave 

Request OFLA

We will grant an unpaid leave of absence for leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) to eligible and qualified employees. OFLA may run concurrently with other leave types.

Eligibility

To be eligible for OFLA leave; 

Reasons for leave

We will grant OFLA leave for any of these qualifying reasons:

We will grant OFLA leave when, during a period of military conflict, your spouse or Oregon is notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the U.S. military or is on leave from active duty deployment. You may take up to 14 days of leave per deployment, and this time counts against your regular 12-week leave entitlement under OFLA.

Amount of leave

Eligible employees may take up to 12 work weeks of OFLA leave in a 52-week period looking forward from the Sunday immediately before the date on which OFLA leave begins. 

All OFLA leave counts toward this 12-work week maximum, with two exceptions: (1) A pregnant employee may take up to an additional 12 workweeks of leave for disability related to pregnancy or childbirth, including prenatal care, and (2) If you use all 12 work weeks of OFLA leave for parental leave, you will have up to an additional 12 work weeks of “sick child leave” available. When medically necessary, you may take leave in blocks of as little as one hour or on a reduced  schedule basis. 

Leave requests and approval

Applications for foreseeable family or medical leaves must be submitted in writing to the Office of People and Culture at least 30 days before the leave is to start, or as soon as possible thereafter if 30 days’ notice is not possible. Appropriate forms must be submitted both to initiate leave and if the return-to-work date changes. Employees requesting family or medical leave due to a serious health condition (either their own or a family member’s) must provide the university with the appropriate medical certification within 15 days of the start of the leave. 

Employees who need leave for medical reasons may be required to provide medical certification; however, this requirement doesn’t apply to the first three days/occurrences in the leave year when you need leave to care for a child with a non-serious health condition (“sick child leave”). Upon returning to work after leave for your own serious health condition, you may be required to provide a fitness-for-duty report from your healthcare provider. If there are any out-of-pocket costs for the medical certification that are not covered by insurance, the company will pay the difference.

Employees who need leave because their child’s school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable due to a statewide public health emergency (“sick child leave”), may be asked to provide a statement that includes the following: (1) the name of the child; (2) the name of the school or childcare provider; (3) a statement that no other family member is able and willing to care for the child; and (4) with regard to a child that is age 15 or older, an explanation of the special circumstances requiring you to care for the child during daylight hours.

If you take OFLA leave to care for an individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with you is the equivalent of a family relationship, we may ask you to verify this relationship in writing. (Leave for this reason is available beginning September 3, 2023.)

Pay and benefits during leave

Although OFLA leave is unpaid, you have the right to use any accrued paid leave (such as vacation, sick leave, or paid time off (PTO)) for any OFLA-covered reason.

If you have accrued paid leave available at the time you take OFLA leave, we will automatically apply the accrued paid leave.

During a OFLA  the university continues to pay its portion of the health insurance premium, and the employee must continue to pay his or her share of the premium.  If during any unpaid portion of the FMLA leave the university pays the premiums on the employee's behalf, the premiums will be collected upon the employees' return to work. 

If you do not promptly return to work at the end of your OFLA  leave, you and your dependents may be eligible for extended coverage by self-paying the full COBRA premium as explained in the Summary Plan Description for your medical plan. 

If you do not return from OFLA leave, you may have to reimburse us for the payments we made to continue your group health plan coverage during your FMLA leave, unless your reason for not returning was due to circumstances beyond your control.

Returning to work

When you return to work, you will be returned to your same job or an available equivalent job if your job has been eliminated. If your job has been eliminated and there is no available equivalent job, then we will look to see what job, if any, you would have been entitled to if you had continued to work. Please note, however, that you have no greater rights to a job following OFLA leave than if you had continued to work. 

If you are OFLA-eligible at the time of separation from employment or temporary layoff, but return to work within 180 calendar days, you will be eligible for OFLA when you return. 

Please see The Office of People and Culture if you have any questions about OFLA leave. 

4.6.3 Personal Leave

Effective Date

6/15/2021

Date of Scheduled Review

6/2023

Objective

On occasion, an employee may not be eligible for OFLA or FMLA, or may desire or need time off beyond earned vacation or sick leave for a reason that does not fall under the FMLA or OFLA categories. If more than one week of unpaid time off is requested, an employee must request a personal leave through this policy. Personal leave is for concurrent, ongoing leave and may not be used intermittantly or to reduce an employees regularly scheduled hours.

Procedures

Only full-time employees who have completed at least one year of service are eligible to apply for a personal leave. To apply for a personal leave, the employee must make a request in writing to his or her supervisor(s), up to and including the vice president or provost, and the director of Human Resources. All personal leave requests are considered and either granted or denied by the university at its sole discretion and may be modified by the university at any time. The employee’s supervisor(s), up to and including the vice president or provost, and the director of Human Resources jointly make the decision whether to grant a personal leave of absence. A personal leave must be approved in advance under the same considerations as vacation. 

An employee must use all of his or her vacation (and sick leave if for a medical condition) before beginning a personal leave. During a personal leave, an employee does not accrue or receive employment benefits including vacation, sick leave, retirement plan contributions, service credit, etc. Benefits accrued by the employee before the beginning of a leave of absence are not lost. Health and welfare benefit premiums will be paid on behalf of the employee for up to 90 days and premium arrears are due from the employee upon return from personal leave and will be deducted from future paychecks. 

 

4.6.4 Military Leave

Except as required by law, military leave is unpaid and is granted to employees who have obligations to the National Guard or who are in the Reserves. The university requires those employees to supply the university with documentation of their duties and commitments as early as possible in advance of the service obligation.

During a military leave, an employee does not accrue or receive employment benefits including vacation, sick leave, retirement-plan contributions, service credit, etc. Employment benefits accrued before the military leave begins are not lost. Assuming the military provides medical coverage for the employee and any spouse or dependents during active duty, the university suspends coverage of the employee’s medical insurance until he or she returns from leave.

Upon return from military leave, an employee may be entitled to re-employment according to the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

 

4.7 Retirement Plan

The university offers a 403(b) tax-deferred retirement plan, also referred to as a Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCRP), to all regular employees, .5 FTE and above, after one year of employment. The one-year employment requirement may also be satisfied by one year of fulltime, benefits-eligible employment at any post secondary educational institution immediately prior to employment with George Fox. Once an employee begins participation, it is irrevocable and therefore becomes required. Participation is required of all employees after one year of employment. George Fox contributes 6 percent of employees’ base salaries, and employees contribute an additional 3 percent of their base salaries (pretax). This program is administered through retirement contracts with TIAA, providing a variety of accounts from which employees may choose to invest their contributions.

Also available to regular and temporary employees excluding student employees is the option of participating in the George Fox Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan.  Eligible employee may elect to make pre-tax payroll or after-tax Roth contributions to this plan. There is no age or length of service requirement to participate in the TDA Plan. The amount a participant defers into the TDA may be changed as often as an employee chooses.

Total contributions to the DCRP and TDA plans are subject to IRS limits.

Upon retirement, an employee may choose from a variety of annuity and cash options to receive a retirement income. Information about these options is available from TIAA.

 

Other applicable resources

GFU TIAA Website

4.8 Tuition Remission

Purpose

The primary purpose of the university’s tuition remission benefit is to assist regular, eligible employees in meeting the educational costs of college for themselves or their immediate family members.  Primary consideration is given to obtaining a bachelor’s degree, although a more limited benefit is available for graduate programs as well. The tuition remission benefit is also intended to provide the opportunity for employees to take occasional classes for professional development on a space-available basis. Please note that any classes taken during work hours must be approved by the employee’s direct supervisor. Educational costs covered by tuition remission include only regular tuition and audit fees. Housing and food, books, and other fees are not included as part of the benefit.

Undergraduate Program Tuition Remission (including Adult Degree and Accelerated Programs)


Eligibility: 

All criteria must be met prior to the start of the enrolled term. In the event that qualifying criteria is no longer met, tuition remission will cease at the end of the current enrolled term. Multiple family members can use the benefit simultaneously without a reduction in benefits.

Current Eligible Employee:

*Waiting Period Waiver: Employment credit for tuition remission may be earned through benefit-eligible, full-time employment at any educational institution immediately prior to employment at George Fox.

Spouse of Current Employee

Dependent of Current Employee

Dependent of Retired Employee

 Maintaining Eligibility: 

Coverage:

Undergraduate tuition remission will cover 100% of the published tuition rate (block or per-credit). This does not include fees, housing and food, books, insurance, private lessons, etc. Payment for all charges not covered by tuition remission are due prior to the start of the term and are subject to the terms of the University Financial Agreement. 

Students receiving tuition remission are not eligible to receive institutionally funded scholarships or grants and are subject to all financial aid rules and policies. Scholarships and grants received from outside George Fox University (i.e. federal, state, donor funded, etc.) may be applied toward costs not covered by tuition remission, but the total amount of all aid, including tuition remission, may not exceed the student’s total cost of attendance.

Undergraduate tuition remission may only be applied to one undergraduate degree obtained while using tuition remission at George Fox University or tuition exchange. Undergraduate tuition remission is a non-taxable benefit per the IRS but is subject to change if IRS regulations are modified in the future. George Fox will maintain compliance with IRS regulations and this policy is subject to change if regulatory changes occur.

Exclusions:

Tuition remission will not cover charges for dependents or spouses who are not formally admitted to and enrolled in a degree program. This means those taking classes as a high school student before graduation and/or those seeking a certificate and not a formal degree will need to pay the published per-credit cost associated with their student type. 

Employees who wish to take a single course or a certificate program may be eligible for tuition remission if the course or certificate is applicable to their current or future work at the university. This is determined by their supervisor and requires approval from the Vice President of their department. 

Applying for the Benefit:

Requests for full time undergraduate tuition remission for degree seeking students should be submitted by following instructions provided on the People and Culture webpage during the open enrollment window each year.

New hires and employees with qualifying life events such as marriage may apply during a special 30 day enrollment window after their hire date or qualifying event.    

Graduate Program Tuition Remission: 

Eligibility and Vesting for Tier I (covers from 12.5% - 50% of a graduate program): 

All criteria must be met prior to the start of the enrolled term. In the event that qualifying criteria is no longer met, tuition remission will cease at the end of the current enrolled term. Multiple family members can use the benefit simultaneously without a reduction in benefits.

Tier I Current Eligible Employee:

Spouse of Current Employee

Vesting for Tier I:

Applying for the Benefit:

Requests for Tier 1 tuition remission for part-time, degree seeking students should be submitted by following instructions provided on the People and Culture webpage 120 days prior to the start of the term they wish to enroll.   

Eligibility for Tier II (covers 90% of a graduate program):

Tier II Current Employee Eligibility:

If the employee voluntarily leaves the university or is terminated before completion of the program, or before the end of the additional two years of employment following completion of the program, he or she may be required to repay part or all of the difference in tuition benefit between the Tier One and Tier Two levels. (up to 40 percent, prorated based on length of extended service)

Applying for the Benefit:

Employees should discuss their interest in the Tier II Tuition Remission program with their direct supervisor and seek approval from their Vice President. The supervisor and VP should write a letter of recommendation that will be presented to the Vice President team for consideration. Letters of recommendation for the Tier II Tuition Remission should be presented to the VP team for consideration at least 6 months before the start of the semester they wish to begin the program. 

Maintaining Eligibility: 

Coverage and Tax Liability:

Graduate tuition remission covers the approved amount (12.5% - 90% as described above) of the regular, published tuition on a per-credit basis. This does not include fees, housing and food, books, insurance, advances, etc. Payment for all charges not covered by tuition remission are due prior to the start of the term and are subject to the terms of the University Financial Agreement. 

Students receiving tuition remission are not eligible to receive institutionally funded scholarships or grants and are subject to all financial aid rules and policies. Scholarships and grants received from outside George Fox University (i.e. federal, state, donor funded, etc.) may be applied toward costs not covered by tuition remission, but the total amount of all aid, including tuition remission, may not exceed the student’s total cost of attendance.

Graduate Tier I tuition remission is a taxable benefit per the section 127 of IRS code.  Tuition remission awarded to employees in excess of $5,250 constitutes taxable income to the employee for federal, state and social security tax purposes.  The entire tuition remission amount awarded for a spouse is taxable to the employee. Graduate Tier II tuition remission represents a working fringe benefit and is therefore not taxable to the employee. George Fox will maintain compliance with IRS regulations and this policy is subject to change if regulatory changes occur.

Exclusions: 

Only two tuition remission recipients enrolled on a half time or greater basis are allowed per year in each graduate cohort.

High demand programs are excluded from graduate tuition remission benefits. These programs are Physician Assistant (MMSc), Occupational Therapy (OTD), Physical Therapy (DPT) and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), and any other graduate program with a wait list.  


Employee Development Undergraduate Tuition Remission Program:

Regardless of time in service, employees may, together with their supervisor, request that the cost of tuition for an undergraduate George Fox course or undergraduate certificate program be covered by the university.  

4.9 Tuition Exchange Program

Eligible dependent children may also receive tuition benefits by enrolling at any of the colleges and universities that maintain an inter-institutional faculty/staff educational scholarship exchange program with the university. Only a very limited number of scholarships are available at participating colleges each year. These may be affected by the balance of exchanges between George Fox and a particular institution. Exchange scholarships must be applied for and are awarded by the granting institution on a competitive basis using such criteria as GPA, SAT scores, and co curricular activities.

To be eligible to apply for a tuition-exchange scholarship at another institution, a student must be eligible for 100 percent tuition remission as an undergraduate student at George Fox. The value of exchange scholarships with other institutions is established by the policy of the granting institution. The subsidy generally applies only to students enrolled at the undergraduate level and is limited to no more than 15 quarters or 10 semesters of attendance for any one individual.

The tuition exchange program is administered by the Academic Affairs Office.

4.10 Flexible Spending Accounts

The university maintains a Flexible Benefit Plan within the meaning of Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, designed to result in tax savings for employees. Regular employees, .5 FTE or above, are eligible to participate in this program. 

Upon employment or during open enrollment, an eligible employee may choose to participate in a medical flexible-spending account, a dependent care flexible-spending account, or both. A medical flexible-spending account allows an employee to set aside pretax dollars for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses. A dependent care flexible spending account allows an employee to pay for child care (age 12 or under), care of incapacitated dependents age 13 or over, including parents, or both, with pretax dollars.

The employee elects a monthly dollar amount for pretax payroll reduction for each account, and this amount is deposited into a flexible-spending account. After the employee incurs and pays out of- pocket expenses, the employee submits a copy of the appropriate receipts and a claim form to the plan administrator for reimbursement from the account. Reimbursement checks are issued at least monthly. Expenses must be incurred during the plan year or the 2 ½ month grace period extension and submitted as claims no later than 90 days after the end of the grace period or 90 days after the end of employment, whichever comes first. In keeping with IRS regulations, any unclaimed funds are forfeited after that time.

In addition to flexible-spending accounts, the university makes it possible to pay all eligible benefit premiums with pretax dollars through the “premium-only plan.” Participation is automatic unless the employee completes a waiver form. During open enrollment employees are automatically re-enrolled in the premium-only plan, unless the employee completes a waiver at that time.

4.11 Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The university carries workers’ compensation insurance on all employees to provide reimbursement for certain medical expenses and partial continuation of salary in the event of job-related illnesses or injuries as required by law. The cost of this insurance is fully paid by the university.

Workers’ compensation insurance provides an injured employee that cannot work due to a work-related injury or illness approximately 67 percent of his or her pay. In some situations, a three-day waiting period is applied in the calculation of time-loss payments. When a regular employee is subject to the three-day waiting period, George Fox supplements the time-loss payments by providing the employee full pay during the threeday waiting period. Time-loss payments are not subject to taxes and, as a result, usually approximate an employee’s “take-home” or net pay received before the injury. Employees are not allowed to subsidize worker compensation time loss payments with the use of sick leave or vacation.

An employee should report any work-related injury or illness immediately to his or her supervisor and the Office of Human Resources. The employee may be asked to complete a workers’ compensation claim form as soon as possible. (More information about this claims procedure is located in Section 7 Safety, Security, and Health.)

4.12 Benefits Eligibility for Rehires

Employees rehired by the university into regular positions receive credit for prior employment service with the university if prior employment was in a regular position of at least .5FTE. Eligibility is determined for various benefits as follows:

Medical insurance: Not affected by previous employment.

Life and long-term-disability insurance: Employee is immediately eligible upon rehire if prior service was at .75FTE or above for at least one year and if current employment is also at .75FTE or above.

Vacation: Previous service applies toward the vacation accrual schedule immediately upon rehire.

Sick leave: Any sick leave that was forfeited upon termination is reinstated upon rehire, not to exceed the maximum of the employee's sick plan.

Retirement plan: Prior regular employment of at least .5FTE applies toward satisfying the one year waiting period. If an employee is rehired as a regular employee at .5FTE or above with at least three years of prior service, participation in the retirement plan will be mandatory beginning the first full month of employment following or coinciding with the rehire date.

Tuition remission: Prior service at the university applies toward determining tuition remission eligibility and level.

Service Awards: Prior service at the university applies toward determining service award eligibility and level.

1Certain administrator positions on less than 12-month contracts do not accrue vacation. Positions such as area coordinator, dean of student services, nurse practitioner, nurse, and dean of learning support services have responsibilities tied directly to the academic year (and students’ presence on campus) and generally do not work during Christmas or spring break.

2An administrator’s salary is not reduced for absences of less than a full day if the administrator has no available accrued vacation or sick leave unless the administrator is on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.  

3A dependent child is the employee’s legal child by birth, adoption or marriage that is eligible as a U.S. income-tax exemption for the year(s) in which tuition remission is being requested. In the case of a child by birth or adoption of a divorced employee, the child is considered a dependent if eligible and claimed as an income-tax exemption by either parent.

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