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Staff Handbook

II. Compensation and benefits

A. Compensation

Calvin College seeks "to gather diverse people and gifts around a common pledge and purpose" (Calvin College mission statement). To ensure that staff members are rewarded fairly and appropriately for their contributions, Calvin College uses the guiding principles below.

The primary objective of the Calvin College compensation program is to attract, retain, motivate and reward qualified staff members who demonstrate a commitment to "keen and lively work in their chosen fields and to sharing its fruits with others" (Calvin College mission statement). At Calvin College, staff members are expected to be faithful stewards of the responsibilities and resources entrusted to them.

In return, Calvin College is committed to paying fair compensation based on job responsibilities and accountabilities consistent with the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment. Calvin College strives, in conjunction with approved budgets, to compensate all staff members consistently and in a fair and equitable manner as they meet performance objectives.

In the process of salary determination, identified compensatable factors for all Calvin College positions provide a base for establishing internal equity. Job market and budget realities provide the context for salary determination.

Payroll information Top

Non-exempt staff members are paid an hourly wage on a bi-weekly basis, one week after the end of each two-week reporting period. The payroll office must receive a properly submitted time record by 12:00 noon on the Monday following the end of the two-week time period. During holiday weeks submissions may be requested earlier. The payroll office provides direct-deposit options.

Exempt staff members are paid an annual salary distributed over twenty-four equal semi-monthly pay periods. Pay dates are on the 1st and 15th of each month. If the pay date falls on either a Saturday or a Sunday, the pay date will be the Friday prior, except for January 1, which will be paid the following working day.

Recording work time Top

Non-exempt staff members

Wage and hour laws require all non-exempt staff members to file timely and accurate work records. Non-exempt (hourly) staff members are paid on a biweekly schedule (every other Friday).  Hours worked, sick and leave time are submitted electronically online. Additional information about web time card entry is available on the payroll website.

Exempt staff members

Supervisors and staff members are responsible for maintaining and monitoring a written record of sick leave, vacation time and all other time away from work (e.g., conferences) for all exempt staff members.

Performance development programTop

The Performance Development Program (PDP) is designed to promote communication between supervisors and staff members, facilitate effective job performance and identify opportunities to develop skills, set goals and gain learning experiences. Staff members are entitled to fair and honest comments about job performance and appreciation and support for a job well done. For administrators with faculty status, the reappointment process serves as the PDP in a reappointment year.

New staff members will receive a performance appraisal at the completion of their period of orientation. Thereafter, the performance of each staff member will be reviewed at least once per year by the supervisor.

Discretionary wage increases Top

At the discretion of each divisional vice president—with a recommendation from a staff member's supervisor, an excellent performance review and available funds—discretionary wage increases and/or salary bonuses may be awarded.

Compensation for completion of advanced degrees Top

Calvin College encourages personal and professional development of staff and administrators, including the investment in obtaining advanced degrees from Calvin College and/or other institutions of higher education. Upon a staff member's successful completion of a relevant advanced degree (Masters or Doctorate), Calvin College increases his or her salary by 2 percent.

Overtime (non-exempt staff members only)

Policy Top

Calvin College strives to staff all operations at a level that prevents regular overtime by non-exempt staff. The use of part-time staff members to fill the gaps is usually a more economical approach. However, when exceptions arise, in compliance with Department of Labor standards, Calvin College compensates staff members at a rate of 150 percent of the staff member's standard hourly rate for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. All overtime must be pre-approved in writing by the staff member's supervisor in consultation with the divisional vice president.

Computation

Time worked beyond forty hours in any given week is compensated at 150 percent of the standard hourly rate. For a week during which a staff member has been absent, a portion of the time because of illness, vacation, funeral leave, jury duty, or a holiday, any extra hours worked are paid at the regular hourly rate until total hours worked for that week exceed 40.

Work on holidays

If a staff member is required to work during a Calvin College-designated holiday, holiday pay of 150 percent of the normally hourly rate will be paid in addition to the regular pay for the holiday. This holiday pay rate is applicable even if the staff member does not work over 40 hours that week. When this exception takes place, the supervising director must verify the staff member's time.

Retirement planTop

Eligible staff members are enrolled in the college's 403(b) defined contribution retirement plan. The retirement plan is designed to provide eligible staff members with a source of income in planning for their retirement needs. Once eligible, the college contributes an amount equal to either 5 percent or 10 percent of the annualized salary (based on classification and years of service) to the enrolled employee's contract at TIAA-CREF. This contribution is reported on the staff member's salary information sheet. Details about the plan are made available at the time of employment and periodically thereafter. The employee has opportunities to contribute additional funds into a variety of supplemental retirement annuities (403(b) plans).

Eligible staff members may also make tax-deferred contributions to a supplemental retirement plan (SRA) subject to IRS limitations.

B. Insurance benefits

Health and dental insuranceTop

Eligible staff members may enroll in the single coverage option of health (including prescription) and/or dental insurance programs. Coverage begins on the first day of employment. Both the college and the staff member contribute to the cost of health and dental insurance. The premium share contribution for eligible part-time staff members is pro-rated based on the percentage of time worked. At the time of initial employment, and annually thereafter, detailed information about each health plan is made available to enrolled staff members. Calvin College operates on a fiscal year for all health plans.

Dependent coverage Top

An eligible staff member may enroll his or her dependents in the family coverage, or a spouse or child in the double coverage option of the health insurance program. Both the college and the staff member contribute to the cost of insurance for double or family coverage. The premium share contribution for eligible part-time staff members who are less than 0.75 FTE is pro-rated based on the percentage of time worked. See the human resources office for premium shares amounts.

Change in statusTop

If a staff member's marital status changes, it is the responsibility of the staff member to notify the human resources office within thirty days of the “qualifying event” to initiate the necessary procedures to implement a change in coverage. The same is true if a staff member becomes a parent, or if a staff member's dependent is no longer eligible because of age and/or full-time student status. Calvin College is not responsible for loss of insurance if the staff member does not initiate coverage changes within thirty days of the qualifying event.

Benefits enrollmentTop

July 1 has been established as the beginning of the health plan year. At the time of initial employment, and annually thereafter in May or June, an opportunity is provided for eligible staff members to make plan changes. In addition, certain life events (such as change in marital status, becoming a parent, etc.) also trigger the ability to make plan changes.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Flexible spending accountTop

Calvin College offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program to provide a means for staff members to pay unreimbursed medical and child day-care expenses with pre-tax dollars. These unreimbursed medical expenses typically include deductibles, co-pays, unreimbursed health/dental care costs, orthodontia and vision care. These FSA elections are taken as payroll deductions on a fiscal-year basis per federal guidelines.

All regular part-time and full-time staff members are eligible to participate in this program.

Termination of benefitsTop

For employees enrolled in health/prescription insurance or dental insurance, these benefits are terminated at the end of the month of the employee's last working day. Coverage for life insurance, disability insurance and workers compensation insurance are terminated as of the employee's last day worked for those enrolled. Accrued vacation days do not qualify as “days worked” for benefit coverage. Employees enrolled in the flexible spending program who have remaining balances must request reimbursement within 30 days after ending employment.

COBRATop

Under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), any staff member who loses medical and/or dental insurance coverage as a result of a reduction of hours of employment or termination of employment is eligible for group health and/or dental insurance continuation coverage at his or her expense. In addition, spouses or dependents of staff members who become ineligible for benefits may choose to participate, at their own expense, in a continuation of group health insurance coverage. According to the guidelines set by COBRA, the continuation can extend for a period of time not greater than eighteen months for the staff member and not greater than thirty-six months for dependents. Full information about the details of COBRA coverage is available from the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Life insuranceTop

Beginning on the first day of employment, eligible staff members are insured under Calvin College's group plan for an amount equal to two times their base annual compensation, taken up to a maximum of $100,000. Each staff member is required to name a beneficiary for this policy. This group plan also includes a $4,000 benefit paid in the event of the death of a spouse and a $2,000 benefit paid in the event of the death of a dependent child. If a staff member terminates employment at Calvin College, he or she may elect to convert the group life insurance policy to an individual policy with no medical examination required.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Disability insuranceTop

Eligible staff members are automatically enrolled in the college's long-term disability insurance program. This insurance is effective on the first day of the month following thirty days of employment. If a staff member becomes disabled, the long-term disability plan provides benefits of up to 60 percent of his or her annualized salary; he or she continues to receive health insurance and retirement benefits. Further information about this plan is available from the human resources office.

Workers' compensation insurance Top

The Michigan Workers' Compensation Act has provisions that govern the treatment of persons who suffer injury and/or disability while at work. If a staff member is involved in an accident or suffers personal injury arising out of and in the course of college business, he or she should seek immediate medical treatment and fill out an Injury Report Form within twenty-four hours of the injury, if possible.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

C. Time away from work benefits

Working hours and holidaysTop

Staff members of Calvin College are expected to be in their offices or on college business during their scheduled working hours. The college reserves the right to modify its hours to meet college needs. Certain campus offices, because of the nature of their specific functions, are open in the evenings and on weekends, so there may be times when administrative staff members are requested to work other than normal office hours.

Calvin College designates the following holidays as paid holidays for eligible staff members:

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and day after
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • Normally defined work days between Christmas Day and New Year's Day

The specific holiday dates are posted prior to the academic year. When a scheduled holiday falls on Saturday, the college generally observes the holiday on the preceding Friday. When a holiday falls on Sunday, the college generally observes the holiday on the following Monday.

When the college is forced to close for emergency reasons, hours may be considered paid as circumstances dictate.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

VacationTop

Vacation time allowance is calculated on a calendar year basis from January 1 through December 31. If eligible employment with the college begins on a date other than January 1, the vacation allowance is pro-rated from the date of hire until December 31 for the first year of employment.

Exempt (salaried) employees receive 20 days of vacation per year (prorated if less than 1.0 FTE)

Full-time (0.80 and above) non-exempt (hourly) employees receive vacation hours based on years of service (prorated if less than 1.0 FTE):
0-3 years = 80 hours (10 days) of vacation per year
3-15 years = 120 hours (15 days) of vacation per year
15+ years = 160 hours (20 days) of vacation per year

Part-time (between 0.50 and 0.79) non-exempt employees receive a bank of paid time off hours based on FTE and years of service. These hours are to be used at the employee’s discretion with supervisor approval for any paid time off, including time for vacation, illness, or family care. Contact the benefits manager for specific PTO calculations.

A Time away from work request form must be completed and signed by the staff member, approved by his or her supervisor and filed with the appropriate vice president prior to any time away from work for vacation, work-related travel or off-campus meetings. Supervisors are expected to maintain records of staff member vacation time.

The minimum amount of vacation that can be taken at one time is one half-day of vacation. Designated holidays falling within a staff member's requested vacation period will be paid as holiday time.

There is no carry-over of vacation time from one calendar year to the next. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the supervisor, in consultation with the divisional vice president and the director of human resources.

When a staff member resigns or retires (provided proper notice is given), payment for unused vacation time is pro-rated to the time of termination. Staff members who resign and fail to give two weeks' notice will forfeit payment of accumulated vacation time. If, at termination, the number of vacation days taken exceeds the pro-rated number of vacation days allowed, the final paycheck will be reduced by the appropriate amount. Unused vacation days cannot count towards “days worked” for health benefit coverage.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Sick leave and family care timeTop

Sick leave is to be used only for the personal illness of a staff member. Sick leave cannot be used as extra vacation, holidays or for any other paid time-off purpose. Regularly scheduled doctor/dentist office visits that are routine in nature should be scheduled at the beginning or end of the day, or over a lunch break when possible.

Sick leave is provided as a type of insurance protection in time of illness. To be paid for sick leave, staff members must notify their supervisor of illness as early as possible in advance of their scheduled time off duty. Except during hospitalization or lengthy convalescence, staff members should inform their supervisor daily of progress and expected date of return to work. Calvin College may request a physician's note for any illness. Calvin College requires completion of the Family Medical Leave Act Form with certification by a health care provider for any staff member who is sick in excess of five consecutive working days.

Extended absences beyond ten days per academic year due to illness and exclusive of vacation are reviewed by the supervisor and the director of human resources in order to consider appropriate action. Such absences are coordinated with available vacation and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Calvin College also offers paid time off (two days total) for the care of an eligible staff member's sick child, spouse and/or parent. This time is also to include routine doctor and dentist appointments for family members. Such absences beyond two days per calendar year are considered unpaid.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Family and medical leave act Top

Calvin College will provide eligible staff members with job-protected unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Staff members who have worked for the college for at least twelve months and for at least 1,250 hours (60 percent) during the previous twelve months of employment are eligible. Leaves of absence under this policy shall be administered and provided for in a manner consistent with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and its published regulations.

Leave for up to twelve weeks may be granted for the following reasons:

  • To take medical leave when a staff member is unable to work because of a serious health condition;
  • To care for the staff member's child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care; or
  • To care for the staff member's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.

The FMLA application form (for staff members and care of their family members) are available in the human resources office.

Maternity leave Top

A staff member is entitled to twelve weeks of maternity leave, as outlined in the Family Medical and Leave Act. Calvin College designates up to six weeks of FMLA maternity leave as paid medical leave (eight weeks are available for C-section deliveries). In order to receive compensation, staff members must provide a physician’s statement regarding the probable duration and necessity of the leave. This statement must be submitted at least 30 days prior to due date. The Family Medical Leave Act Form is available online.

If a staff member plans to return to work in an eligible reduced load position, she will receive paid maternity leave based on the new FTE when she returns to work. If the staff member reverts to her original FTE within six months of returning to work, she will receive compensation based on her FTE prior to maternity leave.

If a staff member receives paid maternity leave based on her original FTE but, upon return, decides to work in a reduced load position, a prorated portion of the maternity leave must be repaid to the college. No payment is necessary if she returns to her original FTE within six months of her return.

If a staff member receives paid maternity leave and chooses not to return to work or, upon return, assumes a non-eligible position within six months, the maternity leave must be repaid to the college. In the case of extenuating circumstances that might prevent the staff member from returning to work for the full six months, she should contact her supervisor and the Human Resources office to discuss possible accommodations.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart to see if you are eligible for this benefit.

Funeral leave Top

Staff members are allowed up to three days of paid funeral leave, if necessary, to arrange for and/or attend the funeral of an immediate family member. A staff member must notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible upon learning of the death of an immediate family member. Additional days may be granted using paid (vacation) or unpaid (leave) time. The duration and starting date of a leave depends on such factors as distance to be traveled and the responsibility of the staff member and should be determined in consultation with the supervisor and department head. Any questions regarding the leave should be directed to the human resources office.

Immediate family members and the corresponding amount of paid time allowed are as follows:

  • One to three days: spouse, child, parent, sibling, parent-in-law, son/daughter-in-law
  • One to two days: step-child, step-parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother/sister-in-law
  • One day: aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, grandparent-in-law

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Jury duty leaveTop

Eligible staff members called to serve on jury duty during their normal work schedule will be compensated at their regular rate of pay. The college will issue regular pay for the time absent, and staff members will be responsible for assigning payment received for jury duty to the college (Payroll Office) for time already compensated. A staff member is expected to report for regular college work when he or she is temporarily excused from attendance at court. The staff member's supervisor must be advised of any absences due to jury duty.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Military reserve training leaveTop

A staff member who is required to attend a military reserve summer encampment is granted short-term military leave of absence. The staff member's regular pay is continued during such a leave for a period not to exceed two weeks in any calendar year, but is reduced by the amount of taxable earnings paid by the government for such services. A staff member who elects to take vacation time for military leave for services is eligible to receive government pay in addition to vacation pay.

Uniformed service leave of absence Top

In compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994, a military leave of absence must be granted to a staff member (regular full-time or regular part-time) who is a member of, or has an obligation to perform services, voluntarily or involuntarily, in a uniformed service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Public Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services) that necessitates an absence from his or her position of employment. Further information is available upon request from the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

D. Other benefits

Adoption reimbursement benefitTop

An adoption reimbursement benefit is available to all eligible staff members. Eligible staff members who are regularly scheduled to work less than full-time are eligible for reimbursement on a pro-rated basis. The amount of reimbursement is set annually. To apply for this benefit, please see the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Education benefits for staff members

Calvin College tuition waiverTop

Full-time staff members may enroll in two free college and/or Calvin Theological Seminary courses per academic year—typically one per semester. If pursuing a degree, a staff member may take more than two classes in an academic year. Approval by the staff member’s supervisor, divisional vice president and the director of human resources is required. If the class falls during normal work hours, arrangements must be made with the staff member’s supervisor to make up the time outside of the regular work schedule. These free courses do not transfer from one academic year to the next and the courses cannot be redeemed after termination of employment from Calvin College.

Part-time staff members can accumulate free courses at the rate of one course for every 1,000 hours worked. These classes may only be used at a rate of one per semester. Classes cannot be redeemed after termination of employment.

A tuition waiver request from college employees for the waiving of college or seminary tuition costs must be approved before the course begins.

Employees must complete the admissions process either as a regular or guest student. Please check with the admissions office for more information.

Staff member tuition waiver forms are available in the human resources office or can be found on the HR website.

Tuition reimbursement for off-campus coursesTop

To promote continuing professional development, Calvin College offers reimbursement for eligible staff members for a portion of the cost of an off-campus course that is taken to improve certain job-related skills, provided it is done with the recommendation of the staff member's supervisor and with prior authorization from the director of human resources. The course should relate directly to the staff member's current or potential future work at Calvin College . The vice president of the appropriate division should judge, prior to the applicant's enrollment in the course, if the course relates to the staff member's work. Reimbursement is made upon successful completion of the course, when documentation of the grade received and receipt of paid tuition is presented to the human resources office. If a staff member receives reimbursement and does not continue employment with the college for a six-month period following the conclusion of the course, the tuition reimbursement must be repaid to the college. Tuition reimbursement applications are available in the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart to confirm eligibility for these benefits.

As per Internal Revenue Service regulations, an employee may exclude up to $5,250 of education assistance benefits per year. However, if Calvin pays more than $5,250 towards your educational benefits in one year, you are required to pay tax on any amount exceeding $5,250. For more information on employer-provided education assistance benefits, visit the IRS website.

Educational benefits for spouses

Calvin College tuition waiverTop

The spouse of a full-time college staff member can audit, without charge, college courses (excluding laboratory courses, workshop courses, Calvin Theological Seminary courses and courses in the applied arts). A waiver of one-half tuition is granted to the spouse of a full-time staff member who takes a college course for credit, provided the spouse registers for the course during the late registration period. This partial waiver is limited to one course per semester.

Staff member spouse tuition waiver forms are available in the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit

Educational benefits for dependents

Calvin College dependent tuition waiver Top

The Calvin College dependent tuition waiver is available to all eligible staff members whose dependent children (until age twenty-four) enroll at and attend Calvin College . The program provides a waiver of up to 80 percent of tuition and is available to staff members only during the years of employment. Tuition waiver applications and specific procedures for participating in this program are available in the human resources office. All questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the director of human resources. Questions regarding calculation of the waiver and coordination of scholarships and grants should be directed to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

K-12 Christian school tuition grant Top

K-12 tuition grants are offered to eligible children of all eligible staff. A staff member becomes eligible for the K-12 tuition grant at the beginning of the semester following one year of eligible employment.

This program is administered by the Grand Rapids Christian Schools (GRCS) Foundation and covers eligible children in both non-GRCS and GRCS Christian schools. Generally, this grant is equal to 20 percent of the child's tuition (not to exceed 20 percent of GRCS tuition). Christian school tuition grant applications are made available through the human resources office. All questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the director of human resources.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Library

All staff members have full library privileges. Books may be checked out with a staff ID card.

Athletic events and cultural activitiesTop

Many concerts, athletic events and art gallery shows sponsored by Calvin College are open to the public. For programs requiring a public admission fee, full-time and part-time (greater than 50 percent FTE) staff members are frequently given reduced-rate tickets. Information about any given event is available at the Office of Conferences and Campus Events, which handles tickets for all campus events.

Use of recreational facilitiesTop

All indoor and outdoor recreational facilities are available to all staff members free of charge. the department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sport regularly publishes the open hours for various facilities, such as the pool, racquetball court, and weight room. Locker and laundry privileges are also available. A refundable deposit is required to obtain a locker.

Mail room and printing servicesTop

Staff members may use Mail Services to send personal mail and packages. United Parcel Service is also available. Staff members are required to pay the postage for all personal mail and must do their own packaging.

Staff members may use on-campus Printing Services for personal copy needs, including color copies. Staff members are required to pay for all personal copying.

Rental of facilities for personal or family useTop

Staff members are encouraged to use campus facilities for anniversary dinners, wedding receptions and other events. For personal or immediate family use, the facility-use fee is discounted 50 percent. If staff members wish to use Creative Dining Services on campus, please consult with them as to current prices, as no discount is offered on food charges.

Discounted rental rates for rooms and facilities in the Prince Conference Center are available by calling its hotel or sales manager.

Childcare resources

Calvin College makes available two rooms for short-term childcare and one room for nursing mothers. Both rooms are located in the Chapel Undercroft. For more information, room rules and hours of use, visit the Childcare resources page on the human resources website. 

Childcare roomsTop

In partnership with Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church, the college has set aside two childcare areas on campus. The first is a nursery/toddler room and the second is a Sunday school area with child-sized furniture. The childcare rooms are available for children of faculty, staff members and students of the college. The parent must provide a caregiver (over the age of 14) to accompany his or her child(ren). Responsibility for selecting and employing a childcare provider rests solely with each parent. Room reservations can be made by printing off the Calvin childcare room use form and sending it to the human resources office.

Nursing mothers room

Calvin also makes a room available for mothers who are nursing. The room is located in the basement of the Chapel and contains a lockable cabinet and refrigerator. Keys for the cabinet can be obtained by contacting the human resources office at 616-526-6495. Additionally, lactating employees may use paid breaks and a reasonable amount of time beyond normal break periods as needed to express breast milk. Employees unable to locate a private place, in close proximity to their work area, to express breast milk should contact human resources for assistance.

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