ADMA-HR-000-001 Employee Handbook

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No: 0001

Subject:  The University Mission and Goals

Date: January 1, 1994

Supersedes: None

 

Purpose

 

The University of Southern Mississippi recognizes the interdependence of teaching, research, and service.  It is therefore dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in each of these areas, as well as in its support operations, with the goal of achieving and maintaining the highest possible quality throughout the university.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to quality education.  In its undergraduate programs, and in graduate and professional programs that aim for national distinction, it seeks to educate students who will be well-trained in their chosen profession, whose critical thinking skills and respect for learning will foster life-long learning, and who recognize their obligation to contribute to their society – whether locally, nationally, or internationally.

 

This education will be provided by a community of scholars who are dedicated to high standards of original inquiry and creative expression and to the principles of intellectual freedom.  The university affirms its support for sound research, scholarship, and creative activity which will expand the boundaries of human knowledge, inspire superior teaching, and in their applications improve the quality of life of the citizens of Mississippi and the world.

 

With the understanding that teaching and research must complement service to society, The University of Southern Mississippi pledges to pursue its goals in an educational atmosphere that affirms a commitment to the preservation of our planet's environment and recognition of the increasing importance of international understanding.  It teaches respect for diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures, as well as for its constituents' own cultural heritage.  It seeks to attract and nurture a faculty, staff, and student body that reflects this diversity, while working always to enhance life locally and regionally.  In short, The University of Southern Mississippi strives for excellence.

 

Goals

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to quality teaching and intellectual achievement.  As a result our goals are to:

  •  Encourage learning based in rational inquiry, problem solving, challenge, creativity, and intellectual initiative.
  •  Develop an appreciation of culture and the liberal arts.
  •  Attract and retain a highly qualified and diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
  •  Create an appreciation for diversity.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to research and creative expression.  To accomplish this means, our goals are to:

  •  Preserve and refine existing bodies of knowledge.
  •  Expand and communicate new knowledge.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to personal development.  The goals to accomplish this are to:

  •  Create a supportive environment characterized by opportunities for leadership development.
  •  Enhance communication skills.
  •  Develop cooperative attitudes in problem-solving through team-work methods.
  •  Create an awareness of the responsibility of a citizen in a democratic society.
  •  Promote healthy lifestyles within the university community.
  •  Encourage students to become supporting alumni.
  •  Provide opportunities for developing career goals.
  •  Demonstrate competence and integrity.
  •  Develop an understanding of the complexities of differing cultural values in a global environment.
  •  Create an understanding of international problems.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to quality programs and services.  The goals to accomplish this are to:

  •  Give attention to our alumni and other constituents.
  •  Increase financial support for the university.
  •  Maintain efficient student services.
  •  Provide a safe, well-maintained environment.
  •  Maintain an athletic program that instills pride and generates positive recognition.
  •  Develop practices that protect and preserve our environment.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to maximizing resources through technology utilization.  The goals are to:

  •  Continue to improve the equipment, physical facilities, and the library resources of the university.
  •  Utilize appropriate technologies to deliver programs more effectively.
  •  Advocate the use of modern technology.

 

Values

The University of Southern Mississippi has adopted the following values:

  •  Quality Teaching and Intellectual Achievement
  •  Research and Creative Expression
  •  Personal Development          
  •  Quality Programs and Services
  •  Maximum Use of Resources

 

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0002

Subject:  Office of the President

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2004

 

Functions

 

The President of the university serves as an executive officer of the Board of Trustees and is answerable to the board on all matters pertaining to this university.  The President can delegate his or her responsibilities but cannot abdicate them.  These responsibilities include:

  •  Serving as the chief administrative officer and the principal educational officer of the institution. 
  •  Planning, developing, and administering a program of instruction, research, and service suited in the broadest sense to the needs of the institution's sponsors, supporters, and students.
  •  Developing a sound administrative structure for the institution, ensuring that all employees will be suitably assigned and supervised.
  •  Recruiting and maintaining a qualified instructional, research, and administrative staff through recommendations of the Board of Trustees.
  •  Planning and developing proper budgets for financing the institution, both in capital investments and in operations.
  •  Developing and maintaining efficient procedures for plant maintenance, purchasing, accounting, auditing, and financial reporting.
  •  Securing and supervising an educable student body in accordance with admission and retention regulations of the Board.
  •  Evaluating and improving the instructional and other curricular and co-curricular services provided to this student body.
  •  Developing communication channels among all staff and student groups in the institution.
  •  Disseminating appropriate information about the institution to the supporting constituency; to cultural, civic, and business organizations; to the alumni; and to the institution's various publics.
  •  Developing and maintaining beneficial relations with the people of Mississippi that supports their confidence in the institution and their respect for higher education.

 

Structure

The following offices report directly to the President of the university:

 

  • Provost
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President for Research
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Vice President for Advancement
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Assistant to the President for Articulation and Planning
  • University Counsel
  • Internal Auditing
  • Executive Assistant to the President for External Affairs
  • Alumni Affairs
  • University Foundation
  • Research Foundation

 

 

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0003

Subject:  Provost

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2003

 

Functions

 

The Provost answers to the President for the development of well-conceived and organized curricula administered and taught by a faculty of the highest qualifications.  The Provost’s general duties include:

  •  Recommending employment, retention, placement, promotion, and transfer of academic personnel.
  •  Planning and programming development.
  •  Reviewing and interpreting rules and policies concerning academic procedures.

 

Structure

 

The following areas report to the Provost:

 

  • Academic Colleges
    • College of Arts and Letters
    • College of Business Administration
    • College of Education and Psychology
    • College of Health
    • College of Nursing
    • College of Science and Technology
    • Graduate School
    • Honors College
  • University Libraries
  • USM Gulf Coast

 

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0004

Subject:  Advancement

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2003

 

Functions

The Offices of the University Foundation and Alumni Affairs are directly responsible to the President for the coordination of the administration of the offices dealing with the external policies and university fund raising.

 

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0005

Subject:  Vice President for Finance and Administration

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2004

 

Functions

 

The Chief Financial Officer is responsible to the President for the financial operations and business activities of the university.  The Chief Financial Officer serves on many university committees as well as assisting the President in:

  •  Preparing the university budget; 
  •  Controlling the budget;
  •  Establishing and operating an adequate system of accounting and financial reporting;
  •  Supervising the operation of the university’s physical plant;
  •  Operating a human resource program for non-academic employees;
  •  Procuring services, supplies, and equipment;
  •  Controlling property inventories;
  •  Managing the finances of auxiliary enterprises;
  •  Managing the receipt, custody, and disbursement of funds belonging to the university.

 

Structure

 

The offices reporting to the Vice President for Finance and Administration are as follows:

  • Controller’s Office
    • Accounting
    • Payroll
    • Property Accounting
    • Business Services
    • Human Resources
    • Purchasing
      • Stores, Warehousing, and Receiving
      • Procurement Services
        • Travel
        • Accounts Payable
        • Physical Plant
        • Physical Plant Accounting
        • Budget Office
        • Grants and Contracts
        • Auxiliary Enterprises
          • Post Office
          • Photo Services
          • Vending Services

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0006

Subject:  Vice President for Research

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2003

 

Functions

 

The function of the Vice President for Research is to coordinate the organized research activities and planning functions for the university.

 

Structure

 

The Vice President for Research is directly responsible to the President for the coordination of the following units and functional activities:

  •  Sponsored Programs Administration
  •  Coordination with the Mississippi Research Consortium, the Mississippi university Research Authority, and the Mississippi Science and Technology Commission.
  •  Coordination with federal, state, and private sources of support for research and scholarly activities.
  •  Center for Research Support
  •  Director of Centers and Institutes

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0007

Subject:  Vice President for Student Affairs

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: January 1, 1994

 

Functions

 

The Division of Student Affairs at The University of Southern Mississippi is a group of caring professionals committed to providing opportunities for students and others to reach their full potential.  This is achieved by creating an environment of respect, trust, acceptance, and sensitivity, which facilitates growth, development, health, and safety.  They complement the academic component by providing activities, experiences, services, and programs that enhance the quality of life on campus and in the extended community.

 

Structure

 

Within the division are:

 

  • Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Dean of Students
  • Department of Residence Life
  • Associated Student Body
  • University Police
  • Department of Recreational Sports
  • The university Drug Education and Prevention Program
  • Greek Life
  • Career Services
  • Student Health Services
  • University Activities Council
  • University Counseling Center
  • University Union and Student Activities
  • Financial Aid
  • Registrar

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0008

Subject: Intercollegiate Athletics

Date: January 1, 1994

Supersedes: None

 

Functions

 

The Director of Intercollegiate Athletics reports directly to the President and is responsible for:

  • Budget preparation and financial and property management relating to the athletic program.
  • Coaching, training, and management staffs.
  • Student athlete recruitment, eligibility, housing, and medical care.           
  • Alumni and public relations in connection with the athletic program.
  • Scheduling and game organization within the athletic program.

 

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Section:  Administrative Organization

Retrieval No.: 0009

Subject:  Board of Trustees of State Institution of Higher Learning

Date: January 1, 1997

Supersedes: January 1, 1994

 

Organization

 

The University of Southern Mississippi is one of eight institutions operating under the authority and control of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, a body created by constitutional amendment in 1944 to separate state-operated universities and colleges from direct political influence.  The board consists of twelve members appointed by the governor with the approval of the Senate for terms of twelve years, but with the terms staggered so that no one governor can gain appointive control of the board.  One member is named from each of the seven congressional districts as constituted in 1914, one from each of the three State Supreme Court districts, and two from the state at large.  Administrative offices of the board are in the Research and Development Center, Jackson.

 

Function of the Board

 

The board has complete responsibility for all functions of the institutions under its governance except for the power over building and construction, which is exercised by the Bureau of Building.  The pertinent section of the Mississippi Code reads as follows:

 

The board shall have general supervision of the affairs of all the institutions of higher learning; the departments and schools; the power in their discretion to determine who shall be privileged to enter, to remain in, or to graduate therefrom; the conduct of libraries and laboratories; the care of dormitories, buildings, and grounds; the business methods and arrangement of accounts and records; the organization of the administrative plan of each institution; and all matters incident to the proper functioning of the institutions.  The board shall have the authority to establish minimum standards of achievement as a prerequisite for entrance into any of the institutions under its jurisdiction, which standards need not be uniform between the various institutions and may be based upon such criteria as the board may establish.

 

Institutional Funding

 

State funds for higher education are appropriated not to the separate institutions but to the Board of Trustees; and the board divides the available funds among several institutions by equitable formulas providing for levels of instruction, research, administration, maintenance, libraries, etc., according to the board's approved budget practices which guide institutional requests.

 

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1001

Subject:  Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Policy

The University of Southern Mississippi and Gulf Coast Research Laboratory provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, age, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, or disability status.  The university also is pledged to develop and support an environment of affirmative action toward this policy.  The university recognizes its obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities, and any requests should be made to the Department of Human Resources or the Personnel Officer at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  The policy applies to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of position or source of funds. 

 

 It is the responsibility of all persons making employment decisions to support this policy as established in the university's Affirmative Action Compliance Program.  Any questions regarding Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity can be directed to the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action.

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1002

Subject:  Pre-Employment

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Recruitment

 

The university is committed to a program of recruitment and retention of excellent staff employees.  Recruiting the best candidate for the position vacancy is accomplished by:

 

  1. On‑campus posting: The position vacancy must be posted on campus for a period of five (5) working days for non-exempt positions and ten (10) working days for exempt positions.  Faculty positions will also be listed on the web page.  If a holiday falls within the posting period, it will not be considered in the minimum required period.  A department head may extend an on‑campus posting past the minimum period by simply requesting the extension from the Department of Human Resources.
  2. Off‑campus advertisements (e.g., newspaper and professional publications): If the on‑campus posting has not yielded a candidate suitable for the vacancy or the department wants to do a broader search, an off‑campus advertisement will be approved by the Department of Human Resources.  The recruiting department should follow these steps:
    • Write the employment advertisement utilizing the information listed in the on‑campus posting.  More specific information may be required for the off‑campus advertisement.
    • Submit the advertisement to the Department of Human Resources so that EEOC language can be approved.
    • Submit the advertisement to the Public Relations Office according to university policy regarding "Outside Publications."
    • Submit to the university Proofreader so that grammar and structure can be approved.
    • Follow university Purchasing Procedures for "Paid" advertisements.
  3. All university staff vacancies will also be advertised through the Mississippi State Employment Service.

 

Selection

 All staff position selections are the final responsibility of the recruiting budget authority.

 

Employment Eligibility Verification

 

An Immigration and Naturalization Service form, INS Form I‑9, entitled "Employment Eligibility Verification," must be completed on each employee before he or she is placed on the payroll. Used in the verification process may be such documents as:

  • United States passport
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Alien Registration Card
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • State‑issued drivers' license or student ID card
  • U.S. military card
  • Original Social Security card
  • Certified birth certificate

 

At least two forms of identification will be required before employment. Therefore, new employees must bring with them original or certified copies of documentation in order to meet the INS I‑9 certification requirements.

 

The INS I‑9 must be completed within three (3) days of hire.  It is the department’s responsibility to ensure this form is completed timely.

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1003

Subject:  Terms and Conditions of Employment

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Terms of Employment

The University of Southern Mississippi is an equal opportunity employer and makes a diligent effort to select the best matched individual for the position based upon job‑related qualifications, regardless of race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, physical and/or mental disability, or political affiliation. 

 

Employees will understand and agree that:

1.         Any material misrepresentation or deliberate omission of a fact in the employment application may be justification for refusal of, or if employed, termination from employment.

2.         USM may make a thorough investigation of the entire work history and may verify all data given in the application for employment, related papers, or oral interviews. Employees will authorize such investigation and the giving and receiving of any information requested by USM and shall release from liability any person giving or receiving any such information.  Falsification of data so given or other derogatory information discovered as a result of this investigation may prevent employment, or if employed, may subject the employee to immediate dismissal.

3.         Employment may be terminated by USM for any reason or no reason at any time without liability for wages or salary except such as may have been earned at the date of such termination.

4.         Although management makes every effort to accommodate individual preferences, business needs may at times make the following conditions mandatory: overtime, shift work, a rotating work schedule, or a work schedule other than Monday through Friday. Employees must understand and accept these as conditions of their employment.

5.         It is the employee's responsibility to read the Policies and Procedures Handbook to familiarize him/herself with all policies and procedures of the university.

6.         Institutions of Higher Learning Board policy Section 401.01 states that the Board contracts with all Deans, Professors, and other members of the teaching staff and all administrative employees.  Administrative employees are defined as those administrators with budgetary authority.  This group of employees must be submitted to the Board for approval, and upon approval contracts may be issued.  Only these Board approved employees are to be given contracts.  These contracts are for a maximum length of 12 months, unless specifically approved by the Board.  Employment of all others is for no definite period of time and USM can change wages, benefits, and conditions at any time.

 

State of Mississippi Employment Conditions

 

The following conditions of employment apply to all staff employees:

  • The employee must participate in the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi, unless classified as a "temporary" employee or is employed less than 80 hours per month.  An exception to this policy is when an individual who works part time for the university (regardless of the number of hours or length of service) and are members of PERS at their regular place of employment must participate in PERS as a condition of employment with the university.  Administrators of recognized departments, teaching faculty, coaches, librarians with academic rank, post doctoral fellows, or research assistants with or without academic rank have the option of joining the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).

 

  • All benefit-eligible employees receive (employee only) group health insurance free of cost. This state contribution may also be applied to a two‑party or family coverage. An employee must sign a waiver if this benefit is not desired. The Department of Finance and Administration must approve the waiver before coverage can be revoked.

 

Hiring Process

 

All department heads recruiting for staff positions should follow these procedures:

1.         The department notifies the Department of Human Resources that an employee will terminate by submitting a Termination/Leave Form.

 

2.         All positions will be posted on the Human Resources home page.  The Director of Human Resources is authorized to waive or shorten the posting period requirement in extenuating circumstances when the operation of the institution would be adversely affected.

 

3.         All candidates must formally apply for employment through the Department of Human Resources.  ONLY applicants referred by the Department of Human Resources may be selected.  Off-Campus branches may go through their approved Human Resource representative at their location.  For those positions requiring typing, the Department of Human Resources will test all applicants prior to their applying for the vacancy.  A minimum score of 40 words per minute (WPM) is generally required for all clerical staff openings.

 

4.         Once the budget authority has made a selection, the official offer of employment to all staff personnel will be made by the Department of Human Resources. 

           

5.         A completed Employment Form on the selected applicant and a completed Interview/Selection Report will be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources. Certain selections may require a Vice President or the university President's approval. The Employment Form must be accompanied by Interview/Selection Report indicating reasons for selection and non‑selection.  All appointments to faculty and administrative positions with budgetary responsibilities must have the approval of the Board of Trustees before official appointment letters and/or contracts can be issued.

 

6.         Salary commitment will depend upon experience of the applicant and amount of money budgeted for the position.  New employees with little or no experience will begin employment at the entry rate of their level, regardless of the amount of money in the budget.

 

7.         All offers of employment for staff positions classified levels 10‑20 will be made contingent upon receipt of official college or university transcript from selected applicant, all necessary administrative approvals, and signatures have been obtained.  The Department of Human Resources will make the official offer of employment in all cases.

 

8.         If the individual hired to fill a vacancy decides not to accept the job or works in the position for a period not to exceed one month, then the department does not have to re‑advertise the job and may select another qualified applicant from the previous applicant pool.

 

These affirmative action employment procedures will be followed for all administrative and staff positions, whether funded by the State of Mississippi, federal agencies, auxiliary enterprise, or any other source of funding.

 

Briefing a New Employee

 

The Department of Human Resources: All new employees are required to attend an in-processing/orientation session conducted by the Department of Human Resources.  These sessions are usually held each Wednesday at 8:30 am.  The Department of Human Resources will notify the employee to ensure their attendance. At this time, employees will be assisted in completing the necessary payroll and benefit forms.  The university policies and procedures and fringe benefits will be explained. 

 

The Department: The supervisor is responsible for introducing a new employee to his/her co-workers. This orientation is important and cannot be accomplished in one or two days. A good introduction requires an extended period of gradual orientation and should answer questions on matters such as the following:

 

  • Specific duties and responsibilities of the job
  • The work standards and progress expected in the job
  • Hours of work
  • Operation of equipment required to do the job
  • Reporting absences to the supervisor
  • Permission to leave the work area
  • Immediate safety precautions
  • Security measures
  • Attendance rules
  • Supplies and requisition procedures
  • The policy for overtime and/or compensatory time
  • Leave time policy and proceedings for completing the monthly Attendance and Leave Record
  • Coffee breaks, or any time considered "break" time

 

This listing is not meant to be a comprehensive "orientation" check list. Each area supervisor should use this listing to create a more comprehensive listing, tailored to the area's specific needs and circumstances.

 

The supervisor should make every effort to explain clearly the job responsibilities and their relationship to the department and to the university.

 

Probationary Period

The probationary period shall be utilized by the department head for observing closely the employee's work and for securing the most effective adjustment of the new employee to the position, to the persons with whom the employee comes in contact, and to unfamiliar surroundings. It serves as a means of rejecting an employee whose performance does not meet required standards. All staff employees are required to serve on a probationary basis that consists of ninety (90) days of employment.  Supervisors are responsible for initiating termination if a staff member's performance is not acceptable. The employee will be given a written notice from the supervisor if probationary termination is necessary.  

The university may terminate probationary employees without the usual two weeks notice and without cause. All university policies and conditions of employment, except the grievance procedure, shall be applicable during the probationary period.

A probationary period of ninety (90) days will be resumed for an employee who transfers on a lateral move from one position to another or who is promoted to a higher classified level position or who is placed in a lower classification level.

The Director of Human Resources is authorized to extend the ninety- (90) day probationary period up to one hundred eighty (180) days upon the recommendation of a department manager. The employee should be made aware by the department head that the probationary period is being extended.

An employee successfully completing the probationary 90-day period remains employed at will, but is entitled to two weeks notification prior to termination of employment if a wage employee and 30-day notice if salaried.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, and USM- Gulf Coast

In general, responsibilities of the USM Director of Human Resources fall to the Manager of Human Resources- Gulf Coast.

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1004

Subject: Types of Employment Statuses

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2000

 

Regular Employment:

1.         Full‑time employee:

Employed in a regular, full‑time (40 hours per week) position. This full‑time status entitles the employee to all university benefits programs (40 hours = maximum benefit).

2.         Part‑time employee:

With Benefits - An employee in a part‑time (at least 20 hours, but less than 40 hours per week) position is entitled to all university benefit programs on a pro‑rated basis.  This part‑time status entitles the employee to holiday, sick, and annual leave pro‑rated proportionately according to the number of hours worked

Without Benefits - Part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week are not entitled to any benefits.

 

Temporary Employment:

1.         Temporary Employee: Defined as one whose employment agreement is:

 

  • For an established basic work schedule for a period not to exceed four and one-half (4 1/2) months of a given calendar year.
  • For services on an hourly basis with no established basic work schedule as to hours each day, or days each week, for a period not to exceed four and one-half (4 1/2) months.
  • Employees are not eligible to participate in any university benefit programs.

 

Contracts and Grant Employment:

  1. Employees are hired for positions provided for by a contract with a funding source other than the university.
  2. Contracts and Grant employees are entitled to all university benefits according to their employment status of full-time, part-time, or temporary status.
  3. The university will adhere to the provision of O.M.B. Circular A‑21.J.6.a., when hiring Contracts and Grant employees.
  4. All unused personal and major medical leave for Contracts and Grant staff, in excess of 240 hours, at termination from state service, will be forwarded to the State Public Employees' Retirement System to be applied toward creditable state retirement service.  All Contracts and Grant staff employees will be paid for up to 240‑hours of accrued personal leave upon termination from state service.

 

Exempt and Non‑Exempt

University staff subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act are referred to as "non‑exempt" and employees not subject to provisions of the Act are referred to as "exempt" employees.

 

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that non‑exempt employees be paid time and one‑half (150%) of their "regular rate" for "hours worked" in excess of 40 hours per work week.

 

  • Volunteer Employees

Volunteer employees must sign a statement prior to commencement of work stating that they are volunteers and that they do not expect to be compensated for their efforts on behalf of the university.  The Department of Human Resources must be notified of any volunteer workers for workers' compensation purposes.

 

  • Foreign Nationals

Effective January 1, 1999, no international student, employee, visitor or independent contractor will be permitted to receive any university funds without first obtaining a U.S. Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  Implementation of this policy will allow the university to properly report wage information to the IRS.  Questions may be addressed to the Internal Auditing Department, Human Resources, or International Student Affairs.

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1005

Subject:  Responsibilities of all Employees

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

General Policy

University employees are expected to serve the university in an efficient and responsible manner.  Extensive use of time for matters not pertaining directly to employment is not the university policy and is strongly discouraged. Being on time for work and notifying the supervisor in instances of tardiness or absences is also expected.   Vacation and personal leave should also be arranged in advance with the supervisor.

 

The image of the university is presented by the employees who communicate with an individual, whether student, colleague, or guest.  Employees are expected to uphold standards with the public and co‑workers in a courteous, tactful, and cooperative manner.

 

The university does not maintain a formal policy on dress code. However, each staff member is expected to set a professional image regarding dress in the workplace.  Each Budget Authority is responsible to ensure that all employees observe acceptable dress standards.  Employees who are usually expected to wear professional clothing are allowed to dress a bit more casually in the summer months. 

 

It is the responsibility of the employee to make arrangements for the care of their children during working hours. Under no circumstances will the employee be allowed to care for their children in the workplace.

 

Animals in the Workplace

Animals are not allowed in the workplace unless the animal is for the visually impaired or is work related (i.e. academic research).

 

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1006

Subject:  Work Schedules and Rest Periods

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Work Schedules:

The established regular hours of work comprising full‑time employment for staff employees of the university shall be forty (40) hours per week. All offices shall be open during the hours 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on official university holidays or administrative closings. 

 

Certain university departments may be required to remain open during the noon hour. When this work schedule is necessary, the department managers will arrange for alternate lunch periods for staff.

 

Rest Periods:

Rest periods or coffee breaks may be offered at mid‑morning and mid‑afternoon and will not exceed fifteen (15) minutes per break. Such periods are a privilege and not a requirement and may be withdrawn by the supervisor or the budget authority and should be withdrawn if abused.

 

Time not used for rest periods cannot be substituted for time off at the end of the work period, extension of the lunch period, nor at the beginning or end of a vacation or sick leave period.

 

Flex‑Time Work Schedule:

The normal operating hours at The University of Southern Mississippi are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  All administrative offices must be open during those hours.  However, some departments may want to use a flexible work schedule to ensure that their work is conducted during the noon hour or before and after normal operating hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..  When such an adjustment is desired, the total number of hours worked by the employee will be eight (8) hours per day.  In no case should a salaried employee work less than eight hours and be compensated for eight hours work.

 

 

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1007

Subject:  Outside Employment or Consulting

Date: July 1, 2001

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Outside Employment

Staff members interested in pursuing approval to engage in outside employment should notify the Department of Human Resources and request an "Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment or Practice of Profession."  This form requires approval through the Office of the President.  A copy of the completed form will be kept on file in the Department of Human Resources.

 

In addition, employees will not engage in an outside business or profession that would in any manner compete with a similar business or profession over which he or she would have direct supervision, inspection, or purchasing authority within the university, such being a conflict of interest.  Under no circumstances can university property be used for the outside employment.

 

The "Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment or Practice of Profession" must be completed or updated at the end of each fiscal year or each time the outside employment changes.  Applications must be completed even if no payment is being received.

 

Outside Consulting

Staff members who engage in consulting activities and who are paid a fee from an outside agency will be required to file an "Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment or Practice of Profession," prior to participating in this activity.  All absences from work, during normal working hours, as a result of consulting, will be charged to the 12-month employee's personal (vacation) leave.  If the employee does not have sufficient accrued personal leave to cover the absence, the employee will be required to report as leave‑of‑absence without pay for the period of time used in consulting.

 

Staff Employees Teaching Classes

Staff employees who teach classes during their normal working hours, and who receive additional compensation above their normal salary, will charge this time to personal (vacation) leave.  It is the responsibility of the director to ensure the employee complies with these policies.  If the employee does not have sufficient accrued personal leave to cover this time, the employee will be required to report the time taken as leave without pay.

 

Political Participation as a Candidate

Participation by employees in various community and public affairs is expected; however, it is expected that time given such activities will not interfere with the regular duties of the employees.  Political activities by an employee will not be prohibited at such times as the employee would not be ordinarily required to render services to the institution or if the employee elects to take and the university grants a leave of absence without pay.

 

University employees MAY do the following:

  • Vote on candidates and political issues without interference of any kind
  • Make campaign contributions to candidates or parties, provided they are made voluntarily; but they may not advise fellow employees to make such contributions
  • Express their personal opinions privately, openly, or in public meeting on political issues and candidates

 

 

University employees MAY NOT do the following:

  • Use the influence of their official positions
  • Put pressure upon anyone to persuade him or her to make a contribution to a campaign
  • Advise anyone where to trade or not to trade as a political maneuver

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Outside employment forms may be obtained from the GCRL Personnel Office.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1008

Subject:  Changes in Employment Status

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Promotions

Opportunities for promotion at Southern Miss occur when a higher level position becomes vacant. Employees are encouraged to prepare for possible promotion by taking advantage of growth and educational opportunities available to them on campus and by performing current duties with excellence. When a vacancy occurs and is posted, employees are encouraged to investigate it, and if they are qualified, to apply for it, if interested.

 

Classification levels are based on the "Level of Difficulty" of the position, not on the merit, education, longevity, experience, efficiency, or personality of the incumbent. Pay rates initially are based on the minimum for the established level. After initial employment, increases are based on the merit of the incumbent and usually on imposed budget constraints.

 

Promotions are not automatic. When a vacancy occurs, it must be posted for the minimum required time. During that period anyone qualified for the vacancy can apply.  The hiring authority is mandated to select the best candidate available. If the best candidate has applied from an on‑campus position at a lower level, then a promotion can occur. If, however, a better candidate applies, the manager must, in good conscience, select that person. No job or promotion is "guaranteed" at USM; each vacancy is considered an opening and is available to applicants who are interested and who qualify. Southern Miss does encourage supervisors and hiring authorities to consider university employees first for promotional opportunities.

 

Applications for a promotional opportunity are managed the same way as any opening or vacancy is handled. Interested employees must complete an application and submit it to the Department of Human Resources.  This serves as "official" notification of interest in the vacancy. No candidate will be considered for any staff position unless an application has been filed in the Human Resources Department.

 

Normally an employee can be considered for a transfer or a promotion only after he or she has been employed for at least six (6) continuous months.  However, the Director of Human Resources may authorize a transfer for an employee before the six (6) month waiting period when the needs of the university warrant such action.

 

Employees will be provided an opportunity for promotional consideration without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, physical and/or mental disability, and/or political affiliation.

 

If a current Southern Miss employee cannot be found who will qualify for the position, either in the immediate department or elsewhere on campus, then the manager can consider "off‑campus" applicants.

 

Transfers

A staff employee is eligible for consideration for a lateral transfer or reassignment to another university position after serving in a staff position for a period of six (6) months, provided the request can be justified. However, it is possible to be reassigned earlier than six (6) months if the transfer is made for the business necessity of the university. Early transfers must have approval from the Director of the Department of Human Resources.

 

Every effort will be made to assign an employee to an activity that will be commensurate with his/her background, training, and experience. Employees interested in transferring to another area should first inform their supervisor and then the Department of Human Resources.

 

Transfers within departments or between departments must proceed according to Affirmative Action hiring guidelines. A vacancy cannot be filled "automatically" within a department or between departments.

 

Dates of transfer shall be arranged for a time mutually agreeable to both the receiving and releasing department, but shall not be less than two (2) weeks nor more than four (4) weeks from the date of acceptance by the staff member.

 

Lateral transfers (moving from one position to another with the same level) may not carry a pay increase.

 

Transfers to positions at a lower classification level may carry a lower rate of pay. However, the employee shall not be paid less than the minimum of the new level.  

 

Transfers From Other State Agencies

Prospective USM employees who are currently employed by another state agency may transfer leave balances (both personal and major medical leave). A letter will be requested by the employee indicating the balances at the time of termination. This letter shall be signed by a Human Resource Authority at the state agency and mailed directly to the USM Human Resources Department.  The employee's leave records will be adjusted to incorporate the balances transferred and the employee will accrue leave based on years of service with the state.

 

Employee cannot receive payment for personal leave when transferring to another state agency except for the following situation.  If the employee is transferring from a state agency where he/she earned personal and major medical leave but is eligible only for major medical leave at USM, the transferring agency should transfer to USM only the major medical leave balance.  The employee should be paid up to 240 hours of personal leave by the transferring agency and the balance sent to the retirement system for credit by that agency.

 

Retirement records will transfer from state agency to state agency and will require only that the employee complete a new application when employed so that the current employer is noted on the employee's record.

 

Breaks in service exceeding thirty (30) days and/or withdrawal of retirement funds from the retirement system, would constitute a "termination" from state employment and transfer procedures would not be available.

 

The state community colleges are considered state agencies according to the Mississippi Code § 25-9-107 for transfer of leave balances and are members of the Public Employees' Retirement System.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No: 1009

Subject:  Personnel Records

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2002

 

General Policy

The Department of Human Resources keeps an individual record of personal and payroll data for each employee including personnel at Southern Miss, Gulf Coast, and Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Pertinent information is also maintained in a relational database for reports and statistical analysis. Since this information is frequently utilized for various reports, it is important that it be accurate. 

 

Individual employees and their supervisors should keep the Department of Human Resources informed of any changes in personal status. Changes such as births or deaths in an employee's family or a change in marital status may affect such things as income tax withholding, retirement, or the type of hospital insurance coverage. In emergency situations it is important that current information relating to the name, address, or telephone number of the employee be available. All changes should be reported immediately to the Department of Human Resources.

 

The Department of Human Resources will not disclose an employee's personal information to any unauthorized person or agency.  Authorized agencies, such as the State Tax Commission, a court of law, or the Institute of Higher Learning Board of Trustees, are supplied required information upon presentation of a proper request. Supervisors are obligated to abide strictly to this policy, and it is generally advisable to refer such requests to the Department of Human Resources.  An employee may have access to his or her personnel file by sending a written request, in advance, to the Human Resources Department and receiving approval from the Director of Human Resources.  There is a charge to copy a file.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Personnel records are maintained in the Personnel Office of GCRL and the Department of Human Resources at Hattiesburg.  Payroll data is maintained in the Finance Office at GCRL and the Hattiesburg campus.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1010

Subject:  Identification Cards

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

The Department of Human Resources will issue an application for a photo-identification card to regular faculty and staff during the in-processing proceedings.  The identification card serves to identify employees of the university, admission to or the purchase of tickets to certain university functions, and for other purposes. 

 

Lost identification cards should be reported to the Department of Human Resources, and arrangements will be made for a replacement card. Identification cards remain the property of the university.  Upon termination, identification cards must be surrendered to the Department of Human Resources. 

 

Upon retirement identification cards are issued to all retirees of the university. 

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

GGRL employee's identification cards are issued at GCRL.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No: 1011

Subject:  Termination Policy and Requirements

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 1996

 

Termination

All discharges of staff employees must have prior clearance through the Department of Human Resources by completing the Termination/Clearance Form. The university is not required to give advanced notice when termination is the result of a discharge for cause.  All other discharges, other than during the probationary period, should follow the same notice requirements required of employees.

 

Arrests

University employees charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense may be placed on a leave‑of‑absence.  If the employee's actions or nature of the crime is determined to affect the image or operation of the university, then additional steps may be taken to prevent the employee from returning to the workplace. The Budgetary Authority will determine the employment status of each person arrested and not convicted of a crime.

 

Notice Requirements

Notice of ten (10) working days is requested from all non‑exempt staff employees who wish to terminate. The resignation notice should be addressed to the employee's supervisor. 

 

Notice of twenty (20) working days is requested from all exempt staff employees prior to termination.

 

The same notices are required to the employee by the department except as noted above.

 

Clearance Requirements

Staff employees must complete and file with the Department of Human Resources a Termination Clearance form before the last payroll check will be released. This form is available in the Department of Human Resources, and must accompany or be preceded by the Personnel Action Form.  It is the responsibility of the department to assure that the terminating employee reports to the Department of Human Resources for out-processing on or prior to his/her last day of work.  The paperwork should be submitted to the Department of Human Resources prior to the payroll cut-off for that month so outstanding debts to the university may be recovered.  The Department of Human Resources will discuss any questions the employee has concerning his/her termination, including retirement refunds, continuation of insurance coverage, forwarding address, etc.  The termination process will not be considered complete until the individual has completed the out-processing form including payment or payment arrangements of any and all outstanding debts to the university. 

 

Final paychecks will be processed on the next following scheduled payroll date for the employee. Payroll schedules prevent the payment of the employee's final paycheck on the day of departure unless that day coincides with the scheduled payroll date.

 

Maximum Leave Allowances

In order to avoid major disruptions in the work environment, employees may be granted a maximum of thirty (30) days/240 hours personal leave within the six (6) month period immediately preceding termination. This leave can be taken only with approval of the employee's supervisor and may be denied if such leave causes a major problem in the workload distribution within the unit. Any exceptions to this policy must have approval by the President. 

 

Upon termination of employment, each employee shall be paid for unused personal leave not to exceed thirty (30) days/240 hours. Upon termination of employment, unused personal leave in excess of thirty (30) days/240 hours shall be counted as creditable service for purposes of the retirement system. Major medical leave is not available for payment upon termination unless termination is due to the employee's medical inability to proceed in employment at the university.  However, major medical leave shall be counted as creditable service for purposes of the retirement system. Also, major medical leave up to 240 hours may be paid to faculty only upon retirement from active employment under the rules established by PERS.  (See Leave Section for more information.)

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1012

Subject:  Reduction in Force Policy

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

A reduction in force may be required in the event of reorganization of a department or unit; changes in departmental organization or services; or elimination or reduction in funding. When a reduction in force is necessary, the following policy is to be used.  However, this policy is not applicable to employees who are members of the faculty or employees on grants and contracts when termination is a result of loss of external funding.  A reduction in force of members of the faculty, if necessary, will be in accordance with the policies contained in Policies and Bylaws, Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning, as amended through March 21, 1991, or thereafter, and the applicable The University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Handbook.

 

Step One: The President shall determine those units of the university whose budgets must be reduced.  This determination shall be based upon a systematic allocation of budget reductions and shall be rationally related to the missions of the university.

 

Step Two:  If a reduction in personnel is necessary to meet the budget reductions for the unit, each budgetary authority will analyze and evaluate the necessity of each position within the unit in consideration of the mission of the unit, the mandated budget reduction of the unit, and the other positions within the unit. Each budgetary authority will determine which positions will be recommended for elimination.

 

Step Three: The budgetary authority will consider the employees holding those positions within the unit and shall determine which employees will be recommended for layoff.  The following criteria will be considered by the budgetary authority when making recommendations to layoff:

  • The overall personnel needs of the unit;
  • Possible combination of job responsibilities;
  • Employees’ skills;
  • Previous performance;
  • Protected employment status due to active military service by National Guard and armed services reservists; and
  • University affirmative action policies.

 

If, after considering all of the above‑listed criteria, two or more employees are rated the same or nearly so, the unit director will consider retaining the employee with the longest continuing period of service at the university.

 

Each budget director shall make recommendations for layoff accompanied by a written justification through the appropriate supervisory levels to the responsible Vice‑President who shall review the recommendations.

 

Step Four: The Vice‑Presidents shall forward their recommendations to the university Affirmative Action Officer for review as to compliance with university affirmative action policies.

 

Step Five: Written notification of layoff, including the reason for such layoff, shall be given to the employee.  Such notification shall include a copy of this policy and shall be delivered by the budgetary authority making the original recommendation for layoff.

 

APPEAL

 

This appeal process is available only to those employees laid off under this policy.  Any employee laid off under this reduction in force policy may, within five (5) working days of receipt of notification of layoff, appeal the decision.  Notice of appeal must be in writing and directed to the Director of Human Resources.  The Appeal Committee will be the Director of Human Resources, the chair or chair‑elect of the Staff Council, and a vice president to be chosen by the employee.  If the laid‑off employee was employed in a unit of which any of the above‑named Appeal Committee members are employed, the President of the university shall designate a substitute Appeal Committee member.

 

The appeal will be either verbal or in writing, or both, at the election of the laid‑off employee, and shall be conducted as quickly as is reasonable.  The appeal shall be limited to a review for compliance with the procedures set forth in this policy and a determination of whether the layoff decision is arbitrary or capricious.

 

The Appeal Committee shall make its recommendation to the President, who shall make the final decision and notify the appropriate parties.

 

Rights of Laid‑Off Employees

 

1.         Each unit director shall prepare a skills inventory for each laid‑off employee.  These descriptions shall be referred to the Director of Human Resources for possible reassignment to other units within the university. Any employee laid off under this reduction-in-force policy will be considered for re-employment for any position for which the employee is qualified that becomes available during the one‑year period following the final decision of layoff.  To qualify for such consideration, said laid‑off employee shall:

 

  • maintain with the Department of Human Resources a current address and telephone number at which such laid‑off employee may be located;

 

  • shall indicate in writing to the Director of Human Resources within five (5) calendar days of receipt of notification of a job opening of his or her intent to accept an offer of reemployment; and

 

  • shall report to work no later than fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of an offer of employment.

 

Failure to comply with these requirements shall constitute a waiver of consideration for re-employment.

 

2.         Employees laid off under this reduction in force policy shall have the right to enroll, free of charge, on a space‑available basis in academic courses offered by the university.  This right shall be limited to two semesters and one summer term beginning with the semester following receipt of the final notice of layoff, and shall exceed no more than a full academic load per semester.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Appeals regarding Reduction-in-Force at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory are handled by the Director of GCRL or his/her designate.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1013

Subject:  Re-Employment

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 
Policy

Former employees with a good work history are eligible for rehire. Every consideration will be given the application of a former employee who may wish to return to the university. A rehired former employee is rehired as a new employee with no vested seniority or benefit status.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1014

Subject:  Employment of Minors, Students, and Foreign Nationals

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Employment of Minors

Minors, other than USM students, who have reached their sixteenth (16) birthday may be employed during the summer by the university upon recommendation of the Department of Human Resources and approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

 

Employment of minors in the following occupations is prohibited by law:  occupations involving explosive components; occupations requiring the operation of a motor vehicle as driver; occupations involved in the operation of power driven circular saws, band saws, wooding machines, metal forming, punching, or shearing machines; occupations involving exposure to radioactive substances; occupations involved in wrecking and demolition; occupations involved in the operation of bakery machines, or any occupation found to be particularly hazardous or detrimental to the health or well‑being of a minor.

 

Employment of Students

Students or prospective students seeking on‑campus, part‑time employment should contact Career Services.  Part‑time employment is available in many areas on campus.  The student is selected on the basis of qualifications for the job and is paid in accordance with the established university student wage rates.  A student is paid on an hourly basis, and is required to keep an accurate record of the hours worked each week on an Attendance and Leave Record Form.

 

The university policy regarding student employment states that a student must carry a full academic load and may not work more than twenty (20) hours per week.  A student receiving a fellowship, scholarship, or grant who is paid on a salaried monthly basis shall not be eligible to work in a wage payroll position at the same time.

 

Other university policies regarding student employment are as follows:

  • Federal guidelines set the pay rate for undergraduate students (including restricted fund accounts) at the minimum wage rate. If minimum wage increases, the hourly rate will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Students will be employed for a maximum of twenty (20) hours per week.
  • The pay rate for graduate work‑study assistantship is set by the university for master's students and for doctoral students.  In order for a student to receive the current graduate rate for work‑study assistantships, work responsibility must be approved by the Graduate Dean's Office.
  • Students will be limited to work on only one university account.
  • Students must be currently enrolled and attending classes to be eligible for student employment.  This will include employment during summer months.
  • High school students or college students who do not attend The University of Southern Mississippi must be paid at least at the current minimum wage rate. Employment must be obtained through the Department of Human Resources.  Priority for employment on campus shall be given first to university-enrolled students.
  • Students receiving a fellowship, scholarship, assistantship, or grant who are paid on a monthly basis shall not be eligible to work in a wage position at the same time.
  • When school is not in session, a full‑time university student may not work for more than eight (8) hours a day or more than forty (40) hours a week. Students will be paid at the current student rate. Students are not eligible for overtime pay.
  • All student employment will be handled through the Career Services under established guidelines and rates as stated in this policy.
  • All non‑university student employment shall be cleared through the Department of Human Resources before any commitment is made.

 

Employment of Foreign Nationals

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) imposes a dual obligation on employers: to hire only those non‑American authorized to work and to keep records evidencing the right to work of all new hires, both American and non‑American, after November 6, 1986.

 

Verification of employment authorization is often difficult and confusing, as some aliens are automatically entitled to work according to the terms of their visa status, while others must request permission to work.  All potential non‑American hires, including faculty, must first receive clearance from the Department of Human Resources before an offer of employment may be executed.

 

Within 72 hours of hire, all new employees, and re‑hires within a year of termination, must execute an Immigration and Naturalization Service Form I‑9, certifying that he or she has permission to work.  The university representative also must sign the form, certifying that he or she has checked the potential employee's documents and that they appear to be genuine evidence of identity and authority to work.

 

Additional information and guidance in hiring non‑Americans can be obtained from the Department of Human Resources.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1015

Subject:  Nepotism

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

Section 25‑l‑53 of the Mississippi Code, 1972, specifically prohibits nepotism in state agencies and institutions of higher learning.

 

A department or unit of the university may not employ any person in any capacity if such a person is related by blood or marriage within the third degree to any other employee in the same department or unit if either one of the two related employees in the same or different units will have direction or supervision of the other. A relation within the third degree is defined as a person related by blood or marriage which would include parents, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, grandparents, great‑grandparents, and step relatives.

 

The nepotism policy applies to employees paid through contracts and grants.

 

Student employees are also covered under this policy.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1016

Subject:  Creating and Staffing New Positions

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

A "new position" is defined as a position that is not currently listed in either the wage or salary budget. The following procedures shall be used if a new position is needed in a department or area: 

  • Budget revision procedures will be cleared through the Budget Office.
  • A Position Audit Request Form will be completed and submitted to the Department of Human Resources for grading of the position.
  • The position will be assigned a level and a title by the Department of Human Resources.
  • An Employment Form will be completed by the department adding the position to the budget, assigning the next sequential budget number to the position, indicating the minimum salary for the level, and requesting approval from the Administration by way of a justification for the addition of the position.
  • The position will be posted and selection procedures will be followed as set out under "Affirmative Action Guidelines" immediately after the Employment Form has been approved through the Administration.
  • After the "training period" has been completed (3 ‑ 6 months), a formal desk audit may be requested by the department and conducted by the Department of Human Resources. The level and title will be considered official after the audit has been completed.

 

__________________________________________________________________________


Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1017

Subject:  Discipline Policy

Date: March 1, 1994

Supersedes: None

 

Disciplinary Procedure

The purpose of the disciplinary action policy is to correct improper employee behavior.  In instances where the employee exhibits no interest in improving his or her behavior, the employee may be terminated at will.  Regardless of the existence of a disciplinary policy there is no intent to negate the employment at will policy.

 

If disciplinary measures are imposed, it is essential that:

  • each problem be investigated to determine the facts of the situation,
  • any action taken must be primarily corrective rather than punitive and must be appropriate for the offense, and
  • the dignity of the employee is respected.

 

The following acts may result in dismissal or disciplinary suspension pending investigation.  The list is not meant to be all-inclusive and in no way compromises the at will employment.  Some common examples are:

 

  • fraud in securing employment
  • incompetency
  • neglect of duty
  • insubordination
  • dishonesty
  • drunkenness on duty
  • use of narcotics or habit forming drugs while on duty
  • noncompliance with university safety rules
  • absence without leave
  • convictions of felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • poor work performance
  • gambling of any form on university property
  • discourteous treatment of the public or other employees
  • willful disobedience
  • misuse of state property
  • unprofessional conduct
  • failure of good behavior either during or outside duty hours which is of such a nature that it causes discredit to the university
  • sleeping on duty
  • willful property damage
  • physical fights
  • tardiness
  • unauthorized possession of firearms or explosive materials on campus
  • unauthorized use of university identification cards
  • refusal to obey security officers or other proper authority in emergencies
  • threats or pressure or physical action against another employee
  • dishonesty, theft, or commission of any crime on university property or removal of university property without proper authorization
  • falsifying time records or any other university records
  • refusal to accept instructions, including failure to perform work assigned
  • careless performance of duties, including continued failure to maintain established standards or productivity
  • failure of employees to report to their place of work at the beginning of the work period and leaving work prior to the end of their work period
  • failure of absent employees to notify their supervisor on the first day of absence
  • using university telephones excessively for personal calls or charging personal calls to the university
  • falsifying application for employment

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No. 1018

Subject:  Performance Review and Evaluation

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The formal written evaluation program of The University of Southern Mississippi is established to provide annually, a planned, scheduled, opportunity for the employee and supervisor to meet and mutually identify, discuss, and document the demonstrated job performance and accomplishments of the employee during a specified rating period.  The review helps to answer several basic questions that are of concern to all of us as employees:  "How am I doing?" "Where do I go from here?" and "How will my supervisor support me in getting there?"  

 

For the employee, the evaluation: 

  • Indicates where he/she stands in relation to the expectations of the university, the department, and the immediate supervisor.
  • Assures mutual understanding of responsibilities and work assignments.
  • Serves as a source of assistance and guidance in improving and preparing for advancement.

 

For the supervisor, the evaluation:

  • Helps identify an employee's performance level, growth potential, and developmental needs as measured by the standards of performance for the job.
  • Assures that the employee is fully aware of assigned duties and responsibilities.
  • Provides an opportunity to recognize effective performance and to let employees know that their contributions have a direct impact on the overall goals of the university.
  • Serves as a foundation to formulate with the employee a specific plan of action for achieving goals and improving job performance.
  • Establishes the basis for better two‑way communications.
  • Serves as a major consideration in matters concerning employee development, promotion, transfer, retention, salary, and job performance improvement.

 

All staff employees should be evaluated annually.  It is not mandatory that temporary employees be evaluated, but is advisable, especially in instances of unsatisfactory work performance of individual employees. Unscheduled performance evaluations may be conducted as often as necessary and are advisable when an employee's performance is less than satisfactory.  The university may initiate unscheduled evaluations

.

The employee's supervisor or manager is responsible for conducting the review and evaluation with the employee.  Standard evaluation forms and additional instructions related to conducting a performance evaluation may be obtained from the Department of Human Resources.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1019

Subject:  Performance Appraisal Review Process

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: September 1, 1994

 

As stated in the IHL Board policy numbered 407.01, Performance Appraisals shall be done for all staff members of the university and copies must be placed in the personnel file in Human Resources. The appraisal will be done by the immediate supervisor (the rater) and will be reviewed at the next level of supervision (the reviewer). It is the policy of The University of Southern Mississippi to provide an immediate and fair method by which to settle disputes that may arise between a supervisor and an employee when an employee thinks a performance appraisal has been unfairly rated.  "Days" in the policy statement shall refer to working days.  The parties of the review, by mutual agreement, may extend any or all of the time periods established in this policy.  Failure to process a request for a review within the time limits, or agreed upon extensions, shall constitute termination of the review.  Review forms are available from the Department of Human Resources.  Assistance in the completion and filing of the form is also available from the Human Resources Department.  The following are the steps to be followed when filing a review.

 

Step 1

An employee who wishes to have his/her performance appraisal rating reviewed must submit in writing the reasons for disagreement with the rating to the rater within five (5) working days of the performance appraisal review meeting.  The rater must then respond in writing to the employee within five (5) working days of receiving the review request stating the reasons for upholding or changing the rating.  If the rater's decision does not satisfy the employee, the employee has the option of proceeding to Step 2.  Copies of the employee's written request and the rater's response must be submitted to Human Resources.

 

Step 2

The employee must submit, in writing, the reasons for disagreement with the rating.  These reasons must be submitted to the reviewer within five (5) working days of receipt of the rater's letter.  The reviewer must then respond in writing to the employee within five (5) working days of receipt of the employee's review stating the reasons for upholding or changing the rating.  If the reviewer's decision does not satisfy the employee, the employee has the option of proceeding to Step 3.  Copies must be submitted to Human Resources.

 

Step 3

If the dispute cannot be successfully settled in Step l or Step 2, the employee may file a grievance according to the university policy stated in Retrieval No. 5001.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1020

Subject:  Drug Testing Policy

July 1, 2012

Supersedes: January 1, 1996

 

Introduction

In compliance with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, (OTETA), The University of Southern Mississippi shall conduct alcohol and controlled substances testing of all applicants for employment in positions requiring a commercial driver's license and current employees whose university employment requires them to possess a commercial driver's license.  Testing will be conducted pre-employment, randomly, when there is reasonable suspicion, and post accident, if driving a USM vehicle.

 

Employees whose test results confirm prohibited alcohol concentration levels or the presence of a controlled substance as defined by OTETA will be terminated.  The university will provide affected employees and their supervisors with alcohol and controlled substances information, and, train supervisors with alcohol and controlled substance information.  It will also train supervisors to determine reasonable suspicion of alcohol misuse/controlled substance use.  The university will refer affected employees to substance abuse professionals, counseling centers, and/or treatment programs. Any costs for treatment, other than those covered by the State Employees' Health Insurance Plan, must be borne by the employee.

 

Records of required test results and annual reports to the U. S. Department of Transportation will be submitted by and maintained in the Department of Human Resources.  All records will be retained in a secure location with controlled access, as required by federal regulations.

 

Procedure

 

Initial Employment and Offer of Employment

Prior to beginning work in positions requiring a commercial driver's license, potential employees will be tested for controlled substances use and alcohol misuse.  Offers of employment to affected new employees shall indicate that the offer is contingent upon completion of drug/alcohol tests that indicate an absence of drug use/alcohol misuse.  New employees will be referred to the Department of Human Resources by the hiring authority to schedule the required tests.  Any potential employee who tests positive for alcohol/drugs will not be allowed to begin work and the offer of employment will be withdrawn.  If documentation of justification of the presence of the alcohol/drug can be provided to the university's Medical Review Officer the offer will be reconsidered. The individual will be informed by the Director of Human Resources of the positive alcohol/drug screen and will be informed about the risks involved in substance use/abuse and available counseling/treatment programs.  Individuals may re-apply for employment at the university at a later time but additional alcohol/drug screening will be administered at the individual's expense.

 

Continued Employment

After employment, employees required as a condition of university employment to have a commercial driver's license will be tested randomly; when there is reasonable suspicion; and post accident.  The Department of Human Resources will coordinate testing of employees.

 

Circumstances Requiring Drug/Alcohol Testing for All Employees

  • Random Testing

Random tests for alcohol misuse/controlled substance use will be conducted utilizing a scientifically valid method to select employees for testing.  A minimum of 50% of the drivers will be tested each calendar year for alcohol misuse and 50% of the drivers will be tested each calendar year for controlled substances use.

 

  • Reasonable Suspicion

Employees will be tested for alcohol/drug use when there is a reasonable suspicion of their alcohol misuse/controlled substance use.  When an individual has a reasonable suspicion of alcohol/drug abuse by an employee, he or she must submit a written record to the Associate Director of Human Resources.  Supervisors of employees subject to alcohol/drug testing are required to participate in at least one hour of training on alcohol misuse symptoms and indicators used in making determinations for reasonable suspicion testing and one hour of training on the signs and symptoms of drug use.  Training efforts are the responsibility of the department head.

 

  • Post Accident

Post-accident alcohol tests will be conducted within two hours following an automobile accident involving loss of human life or following an accident resulting in a citation due to a moving traffic violation.  Drug tests will be conducted within 32 hours following an accident.  It is the supervisor's responsibility to let Human Resources know of any accidents within the required time limits.

 

Positive Test Results

The Director of Human Resources will review the positive test results with the employee's unit head and notify the appropriate administrator(s) of the termination of the employee.

 

Result of Test Refusal

Employees who refuse to submit to testing procedures when required will be forbidden to drive a university vehicle and will be terminated.  The employee's unit head and the Director of Human Resources will notify the appropriate administrator(s) of the termination of the employee.

 

Information

Employees subject to testing required by this policy will be provided detailed information about alcohol misuse/drug use, the university's testing policy, and how and where they can get help for alcohol misuse/drug use.

 

 

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1021

Subject:  On-Campus Consulting Policy

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

Engaging University of Southern Mississippi employees to address specific needs often necessitates the redistribution of an employee’s responsibilities.  The following guidelines are provided to ensure that deans and other appropriate administrators have the opportunity to ensure that an employee’s responsibilities to the university are met and that the additional compensation is earned in accordance with university policies.

 

Employees with Faculty Rank

The University of Southern Mississippi’s faculty are often requested to provide expertise based upon their specific scholarly disciplines.  However, the faculty have a primary responsibility to the university to fulfill their commitments to the education of students and to their research, scholarly, and service roles.  Prior to engaging in consulting activities within the university, each faculty member must complete and have approved the On-Campus Consulting Request.  The completion of this form is specific to each on-campus consulting request, and a completed copy must accompany the Single Payment Approval Form.  For multiple payments under one On-Campus Consulting Request, a copy of the request must accompany each payment form.  The timely completion of this form provides the necessary documentation that a faculty member’s primary responsibilities in education and research will be met and will not be compromised by providing consulting services. 

 

Individuals with Executive or Administrative Rank

Individuals who hold executive/administrative positions such as president, provost, vice president, associate vice president, assistant vice president, dean, director, department chair, or other executive/administrative titles, receive, as part of their compensation package, an administrative supplement.  This supplement may be specifically stated in their contracts or may be incorporated into their base salaries.  A part of this supplement is to compensate the employee for providing scholarship, research, and public service expertise to the greater university community.  No additional compensation should be expected for providing such expertise to the university community.

 

Professional Staff

Employees who hold professional staff positions, such as programmer, accountant, auditor, or other highly technical positions, are often asked by units within the university to provide specific, short-term consulting services.  These individuals are encouraged to provide such expertise to university units outside of their home departments.  As in the case of faculty, the On-Campus Consulting Request must be completed prior to commencement of the service for extra compensation, and a copy must accompany the Single Payment Approval Form.  Under no circumstances will a professional staff employee receive additional compensation for work performed within his/her home department; all work assignments within the home department are assumed to be compensated for within the employee’s established base salary.

 

Compensation for Consulting Work

All payments for consulting work will be analyzed for reasonableness.  Any additional payment for $2,500.00 or greater must have the employee’s respective vice president and the President’s approval.  Once an employee has earned 10% of his/her annual salary in additional pay in a fiscal year, all future payments must have the employee’s respective vice president and the President’s approval.

 

Non-Exempt Employees

 

Non-exempt employees at The University of Southern Mississippi are subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal and state regulations.  To fully comply with the provisions of these laws and regulations, all work performed by a non-exempt employee for a unit or department outside of his/her home department will be compensated at the rate of one and one-half (1½) times the base hourly rate in his/her home department.  There will be NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS GUIDELINE.  Positions that fall under this category include all clerical, support, custodial, and skilled trades positions, as well as numerous others.  If there is a question concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act exempt status of an employee, please contact the Human Resources Department.  As with faculty, the On-Campus Consulting Request must be completed prior to commencement of the service, and a copy must accompany the Single Payment Approval Form.

 

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No. 1022

Subject:  Employment Contracts

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The president of the university has the authority to approve and execute contracts only with deans, professors, other members of the teaching staff and such categories of administrative employees as designated by the Commissioner of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) in accordance with state law and IHL Board policy.  Administrative employees are defined as those administrators with budgetary authority.  These contracts are for a maximum length of 12 months, unless specifically approved by the board.  The maximum board approved contract length is for four years.  The board may consider Institutional Executive Officers and selected athletic personnel for multiyear contracts.

 

The employee contracts are maintained on campus in the Department of Human Resources.  The contracts for the athletic department will also be maintained at the board office.

 

Contracts are issued at the beginning of the fiscal year.  All contracts should be returned to the Department of Human Resources within thirty days or prior to the first pay date in the new fiscal year, whichever occurs first.  The failure of an academic staff member to return a duly signed contract prior to the first regularly scheduled class meeting of an academic term constitutes an abandonment of employment and of the privileges inherent in a status of continuing employment.

 

Employment for all other employees not receiving contracts is for no definite period of time and The University of Southern Mississippi can change wages, benefits, and conditions at any time.

 

Source of Policy: IHL Board of Trustees Board Policy 401.01, Faculty Handbook V. 10.2

 

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Section:  Employment Policies

Retrieval No.: 1023

Subject:  Selective Services

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

 

Beginning July 1, 1999, every male between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty six (26), who is required to register under the federal Military Selective Service Act, 50, USCS App.453, and is seeking employment, or is seeking a promotion to a higher position with the university, shall submit to the university satisfactory documentation of his compliance with the draft registration requirements of the Military Selective Service Act. 

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2001

Subject:  Salaried Staff Employees

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

Salaried Staff Employees

The Department of Human Resources must receive all pertinent payroll information (additions, deletions, or other changes) before the payroll cut‑off date for each pay period. The payroll cut‑off date is recorded on the payroll calendars.  Information completed, approved, and in the Human Resources' office prior to cut‑off will be processed in the up-coming payroll period.  Information received after this cut-off date will be processed in the next payroll period.

 

Salaried employees are paid by check on the last working day of each pay period. The check may be mailed to a home or office address of the employee. Effective January 1, 2006, all new employees must sign up for direct deposit.

 

Salaried employees paid out of the Education and General fund of the university are included in the university budget as a line item. The budget contains the employee's name, classification level, title, rate of pay for the last fiscal year, and increases approved for this fiscal year. The information is listed in budget number order by departments. Copies of the university wage and salary budgets are available as a reference item in the Cook Memorial Library.

 

When changes, additions, or deletions are made on a salaried position, all pertinent budget information must be listed. Budget authorities in each department are encouraged to check each form submitted for approval to assure that the information is correct and changes requested are in order.

 

Salaried employees paid on a designated or a restricted fund account (10-digit budget number) are not listed in the university budget. Grants and Contracts Accounting must approve changes to these positions prior to processing through the Department of Human Resources.  A new Personnel Action Form must be issued each anniversary date (the date the grant was funded) so that personnel will continue to be paid. The anniversary date marks the end of the grant period and the beginning of a new funded year.

 

All salaried employees must complete the Monthly Leave Record in SOAR. The supervisor will then approve the leave in SOAR.  FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE TIME AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS COULD RESULT IN NO LEAVE PAYMENT OR PERS LEAVE CERTIFICATION.

 

New employees who are hired above the minimum starting salary for his/her level and have been employed less than one (1) year at the beginning of the next fiscal year will receive no more than the average raise of the university for the next fiscal year.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Payroll responsibilities for the Lab’s employees are handled by the Finance Office at the lab.

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2002

Subject:  Wage Employees

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2000

 

Time and attendance forms must be submitted to Controller’s Office no later than noon Monday after the Friday payroll cutoff.  In hiring a new employee or making any changes to a current employee, Personnel Action forms must be submitted to the Department of Human Resources.  Cut-offs vary from month to month.  Please refer to the payroll calendar.

 

Wage employees are paid by check on a biweekly basis with checks being issued on Friday. Direct deposit is mandatory.

 

Wage employees who are paid from the Educational and General Fund of the university are included in the wage budget for their department as a line item. The wage budget contains the employee's name, classification level, title, rate of pay for the last fiscal year, and pay‑rates approved for this fiscal year. The budget director for each wage account should have a current copy of the department's detailed wage budget.

 

When changes, additions, or deletions are made on a wage position, all pertinent budget information must be included on the Personnel Action Form. Budget directors in each department are encouraged to check each form submitted for approval to assure that the information is correct and changes requested are in order.

 

Wage employees paid from a grant or restricted fund account (10-digit budget number) are subject to the same approvals, anniversary date requirements, etc., as salaried employees. (See Salaried Employees section.)

 

Department budget authorities must complete and submit a biweekly Time and Attendance Report listing for each wage employee. A schedule for submittals is in the Controller’s Office or in the Department of Human Resources.  This schedule can also be found online on the Controller’s website.

 

Any wage employee who is placed on payroll in the middle of the month will have health insurance coverage from the date of employment.

 

Employees hired on a temporary basis:

  • cannot be moved to a vacant regular budget position unless the position has been posted and the employee has met all the application requirements;
  • cannot be offered university fringe benefits;
  • cannot be paid for periods exceeding four and one-half (4 1/2) months; and
  • will not appear on a department's budget printout.

It is the department director’s responsibility to ensure that no person hired in a temporary position works more than 4 and ½ months.

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2102

Subject:  Deductions

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

New employees of the university, whether salaried or wage, are required to report to the Department of Human Resources for in-processing. The employee will be notified the time and the location of in-processing by the Department of Human Resources.  The employee will complete and sign personnel and payroll forms necessary to begin the pay schedule and will be advised regarding fringe benefit and insurance packages available through the university. Federal and State laws require the following payroll deductions by the employer: 

  • Federal Withholding Tax
  • State Withholding Tax
  • Social Security Tax
  • Retirement Contributions (Public Employees' Retirement System Mississippi)

 

Some of the other deductions that may be made at the election of the employee include:

  • Group Medical Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • USM Credit Union
  • Short Term Disability
  • United Way Contributions
  • Tax‑sheltered Annuities
  • USM Foundation
  • Cancer Insurance

 

Premiums will be deducted from the payroll check. Insurance premiums for the state’s group health and life insurance coverage are deducted in advance, so that premiums paid in the current month pay for coverage in the next month.  

 

All deductions are shown on the payroll check stub. Employees who have questions or who need assistance in understanding the deductions that are shown on the check stub should bring the check stub to the Department of Human Resources and request assistance.  

 

Employees desiring to change deductions or premium payments should come to the Department of Human Resources. All tax changes and insurance benefit changes require completion of new forms and the employee's signature.  The benefits or deductions that are part of the Cafeteria Plan (IRS Code Section 125) can only be made during open enrollment each year (October) except for changes in status as defined by the IRS Code Section 125.

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2201

Subject:  Fair Labor Standards Act

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law created in 1938 that sets a limit on the number of hours in a standard work week.  It also addresses minimum standards such as minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, and child labor standards for employment.  Recordkeeping requirements are established within the law.  The University of Southern Mississippi is subject to the law and complies with the provisions of the FLSA.  For more information concerning the law, please contact the Department of Human Resources.

 

Exemptions

The Fair Labor Standards Act addresses whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt.  Nonexempt employees are subject to overtime pay, exempt are not.  Both exempt and nonexempt are subject to recordkeeping requirements.  The Department of Human Resources’ Compensation and Classification Manager will assist the supervisor in determining whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt by interpreting and applying the provisions of the Act.

 

Minimum Wage

In compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the university will pay all employees at least the minimum wage.  This policy includes student employees.  The FLSA does not require extra pay for working on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.  Extra pay is only required for nonexempt employees if they work more than 40 hours in a standard workweek.  Mississippi State Legislation requires that the employees required to work on university holidays will earn compensatory time rather than be paid for the holiday.   This code section is as follows: Mississippi Code Ann. § 25-1-98:

 

Employees required to work on legal holidays shall earn compensatory leave under the provisions of Section 25-3-92.  No employee shall receive additional vacation or sick leave benefits for working on a legal holiday, nor shall this section be construed to authorize any additional compensation as an alternative to the accrual of compensatory leave except as specifically provided for in a legislative appropriation.

 

RecordKeeping Requirements

The Fair Labor Standards Act has very specific recordkeeping requirements.  It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that these records are maintained and are accurate and quickly accessible in the event of an audit.  The requirements are listed in the RecordKeeping Policy.

 

Violations

A supervisor who signs a time record must have personal knowledge of the hours worked by the employee.  An employee may not be asked to alter the record to record more or fewer hours than were actually worked.  To do so will subject the supervisor to disciplinary and/or legal action up to and including discharge.

 

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2202

Subject:  Standard Workweek and Pay Periods

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Standard Workweek

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that a standard workweek be defined.  The standard workweek is 12:01 a.m. Saturday through midnight on Friday.  The established regular hours of work comprising full-time employment for staff employees of the university shall be forty (40) hours per week. All offices shall be open during the hours 8 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on official university holidays or administrative closings.  The office hours should be posted near the office entrance.

 

Certain university departments may be required to remain open during the noon hour.  When this work schedule is necessary, the department manager will arrange for alternative lunch periods for staff.

 

Rest Periods:

Rest periods or coffee breaks may be offered at midmorning and midafternoon and will not exceed fifteen (15) minutes per break. Such periods are a privilege and not a requirement and may be withdrawn by the supervisor or the budget authority and should be withdrawn if abused.

 

Time not used for rest periods cannot be substituted for time off at the end of the work period, extension of the lunch period, nor at the beginning or end of a vacation or sick leave period.   It cannot be accumulated to provide for a prolonged time-off period.  Scheduling of rest periods for individuals should not interfere with the department’s normal operations

 

Meal Periods

If an employee works more than four hours which includes the period of 11 a.m. to 2  p.m. or beyond 7  p.m., the employee must be given a meal break of at least 30 minutes.  Meals are an unpaid period and cannot be used to accumulate a prolonged time-off period.  The meal period must be uninterrupted.

 

FlexTime Work Schedule:

The normal operating hours at The University of Southern Mississippi are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.  All administrative offices must be open during those hours.  However, some departments may want to use a flexible work schedule to ensure that their work is conducted during the noon hour or before and after normal operating hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  When such an adjustment is desired, the total number of hours worked by the employee will be eight (8) hours per day.  In no case should an employee work less than eight hours and be compensated for eight hours work.  All flextime arrangements must conform to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 
Pay Periods

All nonexempt employees will be paid on a biweekly basis.  Because of overtime and short-time calculations involved, nonexempt employees will receive their paychecks on a two-week delay after the close of the workweek on Friday.  Because exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay, exempt employees’ paychecks will reflect to-date earnings on a monthly basis. See Payroll calendar on Financial Affairs home page.

 

Paycheck Distribution

Checks and advices are only to be distributed to the employee, not a third party.  A department may ask for identification to release paycheck if necessary.

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2203

Subject:  Exempt and Nonexempt Employees

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cover all employees of The University of Southern Mississippi.  The Act establishes rules for minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, child labor, and record keeping; and it defines exemptions from overtime pay regulations.

 

Classification

Exempt employees generally fall into three major categories: executives, administrative, and professional.  The FLSA regulations on exemption address the actual job duties of the employee and are not concerned with job titles.  For clarification on whether an employee’s job is exempt or nonexempt, the supervisor should contact the Manager of Compensation and Classification in the Department of Human Resources.

 

The chart below shows the determination of the FLSA status.

 

Employee Type

FLSA Status

Executive/Administrative

Exempt

Faculty

Exempt

Professional

Exempt/Nonexempt

Clerical

Nonexempt/Exempt

Technical/Paraprofessional

Nonexempt

Skilled Craft

Nonexempt

Service/Maintenance

Nonexempt

Students

Nonexempt

 

Nonexempt Employees

Nonexempt employees must be paid one and one-half (1½) times for all hours worked more than forty (40) hours in a workweek.  The workweek is defined as Saturday 12:01 a.m. through midnight on the following Friday.  Leave time and holidays do not count as time worked.  In compliance with state law, compensatory leave will be accrued if the employee is required to work on a holiday.

 

The nonexempt employee should seek a supervisor’s advance approval to work overtime.  Under all circumstances, any verifiable hours worked beyond forty (40) hours must be paid at one and one-half (1½) times the hourly rate.

 

Supervisors may adjust an employee’s schedule within a workweek to avoid or minimize overtime payments.  Each workweek stands alone in calculating regular and overtime hours worked.

 

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are not paid overtime, nor do they receive compensatory leave.  Recording leave for partial days does not prohibit employees from being considered exempt.

 

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

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Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2204

Subject:  Equal Pay and Child Labor

Date: July 1, 2000

 

Policy

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was enacted as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender for work requiring equal skills, effort, and responsibility when it is performed under similar working conditions.  The act applies equally whether the employee is classified as an exempt or a nonexempt employee regardless of gender.

 

The act prohibits an employer from complying with the provision by reducing the wage rate of any employee.

 

Child Labor

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates the minimum age and maximum hours of employment of minors.  The FLSA cites different standards for employment of minors who are between the ages of 14 and 16 and between the ages of 16 and 18. 

 

Minors between the ages of 14 and 16 are permitted to work in any nonagricultural occupation not deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor as long as the employment does not interfere with their school, health, or wellbeing.

 

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

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Section: Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No. 2205

Subject:  Overtime

Date: July 1, 2000

 

Policy

The U. S. Supreme Court, in a 1985 ruling, required state and local government agencies to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  This act establishes minimum wages and standards for covered employment relating to maximum hours, overtime hours, overtime pay, equal pay, and child labor. 

 

In order to comply with this act, determination must first be made as to any given employee’s category (exempt or nonexempt).  If an employee is categorized as “nonexempt,” then overtime consideration is due for any hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours within a given workweek.

 

All work performed by a nonexempt employee for a unit or department outside of his or her home department will be compensated at the rate of one and one-half (1½) times the base hourly rate in his or her home department.  It does not matter if the outside appointment is a regular or temporary basis.  The secondary appointment should not conflict with the primary job duties.  There will be NO EXCEPTIONS IN OVERTIME PAYMENT TO THIS GUIDELINE.  Positions that fall under this category include all clerical, support, custodial, and skilled trades positions, as well as numerous others.

 

The act does not limit the number of hours that an employee may work, but simply requires overtime payments for any hours worked over forty (40) hours in a standard workweek.  Overtime pay must be paid at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1½) times the nonexempt employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in a workweek in excess of the maximum hours (40 hours).  SUPERVISORS MUST GIVE PRIOR APPROVAL FOR ALL OVERTIME WORK.    Employees doing work for another department that might result in overtime hours for the employee during a workweek must have the work approved by the supervisor PRIOR to doing the work.

 

Supervisors should be aware that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), work not requested by the supervisor, but that an employer permits to occur, even if performed on a voluntary basis, must be included in hours worked.  If an employee works overtime without permission, the department is still obligated to pay that employee at an overtime rate.  The employee may be subject to disciplinary action including termination for failing to follow policy.

 

Holidays, sick days, vacation days, or other days off do not count as FLSA hours worked.

Advance Notice

Although sometimes not practical, generally supervisors should provide the employee with as much advance notice as possible and should assign and distribute overtime among all eligible employees.  Employees must understand that advance notice is not always practical.

 

Compensatory Time

In some cases, compensatory time may be authorized rather than overtime pay.  See Compensatory Time Policy for details.

 

Record Keeping

Overtime rates are paid at one and one-half (1½) time the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay.  It is the responsibility of the budget authority or director to keep accurate records of time worked including hours in excess of forty (40) hours.  See RecordKeeping Policy for requirements.

 

Workweek

The FLSA requires that both the regular wage and overtime pay due an employee be computed on the basis of the hours worked by an employee in each workweek, and that the compensation earned by an employee in a particular workweek be paid on the regular payday for the pay period in which the workweek ends.  The workweek begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and ends at Friday midnight.

 

The university payroll system does not automatically calculate overtime pay for nonexempt employees; therefore, all hours worked over forty (40) hours must be submitted on a time sheet for nonexempt employees with standard hours.   Nonexempt employees with nonstandard hours, temporary employees, and student employees will also report hours on a positive reporting basis.

 

The Budget Authority or Director needs to observe these additional regulations regarding computation and payment of overtime rates:

 

Employees who work during lunch periods and before or after established work schedules must show the time as time worked.  Such work time should not be allowed without prior authorization for the employee’s supervisor.

 

All time records must be accurately kept.  Falsification of university records constitutes an “immediate dismissal” action.

 

Paid Absences

Paid absences in the form of vacation or sick leave or any form of leave with pay are not considered hours worked for the purpose of calculating overtime.  Work in excess of eight (8) hours per day is not considered overtime.

 

Compensatory Time

The FLSA allows flexibility for public employees regarding compensation for statutory overtime hours.  The law authorizes a public agency to provide compensatory time off in lieu of monetary overtime compensation, at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1½) hours of compensatory time for each hour of overtime worked.  An employee may accrue up to 240 hours of 1½ compensatory time hours, which is 160 hours of actual overtime worked.  Employees of the university Police Department may accrue up to 480 hours of compensatory time.  Overtime hours accrued beyond these limits must be paid in cash.

 

Use of Compensatory Time

An employee who has accrued compensatory time and requests use of the time must be permitted to use the time off within a reasonable period.  The only legitimate reason for denying compensatory time leave is to prevent an undue disruption of operations.  This is usually not interpreted as a staff shortage.  The employer cannot force employees to schedule and use compensatory time that has been accrued, but the employer can choose to substitute a cash payment for the time.

 

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

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Section: Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2206

Subject:  RecordKeeping Policy of Hours Worked

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 2000

 

 

Policy

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers keep certain records for all covered employees, including those who are exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions.  The records must be detailed enough to permit recalculation for each pay period.  It is the employee’s supervisor’s responsibility to maintain these records in accordance with federal law as described below.

 

Retention of Records

The records must be maintained in the department for a period of at least three (3) years.  Grant employee records may be required to be kept for a period of ten (10) years beyond the end of the original grant.  For example, if a grant was issued in 1980 and lasted for ten years until 1990, the payroll records could not be destroyed until 2000.

 

Accessibility of Records

The regulations require that each department keep the required records in a safe place.  The records must be made available within 72 hours of a request by an authorized representative of the university or the Department of Labor.

 

Nonexempt Employees

The following records are required to be kept on nonexempt employees:

  • Name in full as it appears on the social security card
  • Home address including zip code
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Job title
  • Time of day and day of week on which the employee’s workweek begins (Saturday at 12:01 a.m.)
  • Regular hourly rate of pay
  • Hours worked each workday
  • Total of hours per week
  • Straight-time earnings during the workweek
  • Amount of overtime pay
  • Total additions to or deductions from wages paid each pay period
  • Total wages paid each pay period
  • Date of payment
  • Pay period cover by payment

 

Exempt Employees

The regulations also require supervisors to maintain similar records on exempt employees with the exception of payment and hours worked.  Special information is required for employees with special or unusual pay arrangements or those who have board, lodging, or other facilities as part of their compensation package.

 

Records for Compensatory Time

In addition to general record keeping, special recordkeeping requirements are necessary for compensatory time.  The following records must be kept on compensatory time:

  • the number of compensatory hours earned each workweek (at overtime rate if over forty (40) hours per workweek and a nonexempt employee),
  • the number of hours of compensatory hours used each workweek, and
  • the number of hours of compensatory hours paid in cash.

 

According to university policy exempt employees are not eligible for compensatory time.

 

Posting Requirements

Each building housing employees who are subject to the FLSA may want to post the required poster for Federal Minimum Wage information explaining the requirements of the FLSA.  A copy of the poster may be obtained by accessing the following site on the World Wide Web:

 

http://www.dol.gov/esa/public/regs/compliance/posters/flsa/htm

 

NOTE:  The willful falsification of records may subject the supervisor to criminal action.

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2207

Subject:  Compensatory Time

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The FLSA allows flexibility for public employees regarding compensation for statutory overtime hours.  The law authorizes a public agency to provide compensatory time off in lieu of monetary overtime compensation, at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1½) hours of compensatory time for each hour of overtime worked.  An employee may accrue up to 240 hours of 1½ compensatory hours, which is 160 hours of actual overtime worked.  Employees of the university Police Department may accrue up to 480 hours of compensatory time.  Overtime hours accrued beyond these limits must be paid in cash. 

 

Nonexempt Employees

If a nonexempt employee of the university works more than forty (40) hours in a given workweek, that employee may receive compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half (1½) hours for each hour of overtime worked.  There is no provision in the university policy for compensatory time or overtime pay for exempt employees.

 

Use of Compensatory Time

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that any employee of a public agency who has accrued compensatory time off and requested use of this compensatory time shall be permitted to use such time off within a "reasonable period” after making the request, if such use does not “unduly disrupt” the operations of the agency.  Unduly disruptive is usually not interpreted as a staff shortage.

 

The use of compensatory time must be in accordance with an agreement reached between the university and the employee prior to the performance of the work.  Compensatory time received by an employee, in lieu of cash, must be at the rate of not less than one and one-half hours of compensatory time for each hour of overtime work, just as the monetary rate for overtime is calculated at the rate of not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.

 

Holiday Pay

Mississippi State Legislation requires that the employees required to work on university holidays will earn compensatory time rather than be paid for the holiday.  This code section is as follows:

Mississippi Code Ann. § 25-1-98:

 

Employees required to work on legal holidays shall earn compensatory leave under the provisions of Section 25-3-92.  No employee shall receive additional vacation or sick leave benefits for working on a legal holiday, nor shall this section be construed to authorize any additional compensation as an alternative to the accrual of compensatory leave except as specifically provided for in a legislative appropriation.

           

RecordKeeping Requirements

Records must be maintained and preserved for compensatory time.  See the Record Keeping Policy for details.

 

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2208

Subject:  Emergency CallBack Pay

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

An emergency callback occurs when a nonexempt staff member is asked by management to return to work after leaving the university premises following his or her work shift to take care of some work-related emergency that cannot wait until regularly scheduled working hours.  A staff member must be paid for a minimum of three (3) hours for each callback.

 

Only the hours actually worked will be accounted for in the calculation of overtime pay.

 

Source of Policy: Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act;            Department of Human Resources

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2209

Subject:  Shift Differential Pay

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2000

 

Revoked

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2210

Subject: On-Call/Call-Back Status and Pay

July 1, 2008

July 1, 2001

 

Policy

Certain members of the nonexempt staff are required to be available for work after normal working hours.  These employees may be placed on on-call status and be eligible for on-call pay under the terms of this policy.

 

A staff member on on-call status must inform his or her supervisor where he or she can be reached and must report to his or her work assignment within 30 minutes of being notified.  On-call status will end once the staff member reports to his or her workstation or when the on-call status schedule ends, whichever occurs first.

 

FLSA generally does not require compensation for being on on-call status. However, USM policy is that the employee will receive a courtesy payment, not to exceed (6) hours per pay period for on-call status.  On-call pay is not included for overtime calculations.  On-call pay is given if the employee does not have to report back to work. The respective department's vice president, as well as the Chief Financial Officer must approve the practice of on-call pay for each department.

 

When an employee is actually called back to work, call-back status is implemented and on-call status is canceled. Call-back status will begin after the employee arrives on the campus for work and ends at the conclusion of the work. The employee will be paid for actual hours worked with a minimum of (3) hours to be paid.

 

The employee must be paid over-time for any hours worked which exceeds 40 hours per workweek.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Payroll and Budget

Retrieval No.: 2211

Subject:  Holiday Pay

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

Mississippi State Legislation requires that employees required to work on university holidays will earn compensatory time rather than be paid for the holiday.  This code section is Mississippi Code Ann. § 25-1-98.  The code reads as follows:

 

Employees required to work on legal holidays shall earn compensatory leave under the provisions of § 25-3-92.  No employee shall receive additional vacation or sick leave benefits for working on a legal holiday, nor shall this section be construed to authorize any additional compensation as an alternative to the accrual of compensatory leave except as specifically provided for in a legislative appropriation.

 

Source of Policy: Mississippi State Code 25-1-98

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3001

Subject:  Personal Leave

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2001

 

Regular Staff Employees

Regular staff employees are entitled to personal leave benefits beginning on their first effective date of employment with the university. Part‑time employees accrue on a pro‑rata basis depending on the number of hours worked.

 

Accrual Rates for Full-Time Employees are:

                               

       Personal Leave Accrual

 

               Service Time

 

         Hours per Month

 

           Days per Year

 

           1 month to 3 years

 

                    12

 

                    18

 

         37 months to 8 years

 

                    14

 

                    21

 

        97 months to 15 years

 

                    16

 

                    24

 

               over  15 years

 

                    18

 

                    27

 

Personal leave can be taken only with approval of the employee's supervisor and may be denied if such leave causes a major problem in the workload distribution within the unit.   For bi-weekly employees, personal leave taken is recorded on the Time and Attendance Report.  For monthly employees, personal leave taken is recorded in SOAR.

 

Terminal Leave Policies

In order to avoid major disruptions in the work environment, employees may be granted a maximum of thirty (30) days/240 hours personal leave within the six‑month period immediately preceding termination.  This leave can be taken only with approval of the employee's supervisor and may be denied if such leave causes a major problem in the workload distribution within the unit.  Exceptions to this policy must have the President’s approval.

 

Upon termination or retirement from employment with the university a staff employee shall be paid for accrued personal leave time up to a maximum of 240 hours (30 days).   Administrators on a 12‑month contract who revert to a 9‑month teaching faculty position will not be paid thirty (30) days/240 hours terminal leave pay upon return to a 9-month position.  Faculty shall be paid up to 240 hours of major medical leave upon retirement from active employment.

 

Vacations

Vacations shall be scheduled by department heads with attention to the needs of the university but with consideration of an employee's continuous service credit and amount of personal leave accrued and unused. Within the requirement to maintain work schedules, each department of the university will do everything possible to accommodate the employee's personal schedule preferences.

 

Illnesses

The first eight (8) hours (or normally scheduled work day for part‑time employees) of absence due to illness will be charged to personal leave. Absence due to the same illness in excess of 8 hours (or normal work day) will be charged to major medical leave.  This does not have to be consecutive days.  Provided, however, major medical leave may be used, without prior use of personal leave, to cover regularly scheduled visits to a doctor’s office or a hospital for the continuing treatment of a chronic disease, as certified in advance by a medical doctor.  For each absence due to illness of thirty-two (32) consecutive working hours (combined personal leave and major medical leave) major medical leave shall be authorized only when certified by a medical doctor.  Medical certification may be requested by Department Head at any time.

 

Employees with questions or problems related to leave time records should first contact their supervisor. If the problem remains unresolved, the supervisor should contact the Department of Human Resources.  Budget authority or directors are responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of leave records for employees under their supervision. Deficit leave balances should not be approved nor condoned by area directors.

 

Death

The wages or salary for the total unused personal leave time, up to 960 hours, shall be paid to the person designated by the employee, or to the beneficiary of such employee as recorded with the Public Employees' Retirement System, should the employee die having accumulated personal leave credit. Only payment of 240 hours is subject to PERS.

 

Re-employment

When an employee is re‑employed by the university after a break in service of thirty (30) days, personal and major medical leave time will be earned as a new employee.  An employee rehired within 30 days of termination is not entitled to 240 hours of terminal leave pay.  If the individual has received this payment and returns to work within the 30-day period, the payment should be refunded to the university in order to continue earning leave at the prior accrual rates.

 

Payment of Leave

An employee terminating from service, and requesting lump sum payment for unused personal leave, will receive payment for up to a maximum of 240 hours for the leave time at the next scheduled pay period following his or her date of termination. (Please note that terminations submitted and approved prior to cut‑off dates will be processed with the next scheduled pay period. Those terminations not received by cut‑off will be processed and paid in the next subsequent payroll period.)

 

Terminal Leave Pay

Payment of accrued personal leave up to 30 days or 240 hours is permissible by State Statute only upon termination from state service.  Change of status from 12‑month employment to 9‑month employment does not constitute termination nor does transferring to another state agency and payment of accrued leave will not be paid. Any money owed to the university will be taken from the leave payment.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3002

Subject:  Major Medical Leave

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

Regular staff employees are entitled to major medical leave benefits beginning on their first effective date of employment with the university. Part‑time employees accrue on a pro‑rata basis depending on the number of hours worked.

 

Accrual Rates for Full-Time Employees are:

 

Major Medical Accrual

 

               Service Time

 

        Hours per Month

 

12-Month Employees

 

9-Month Employees

 

1 month to 3 years

 

8

 

13.33

 

37 months to 8 years

 

7

 

14.20

97 months to 15 years

 

6

 

15.40

over  15 years

 

5

 

16.00

 

The first eight (8) hours, (or normally scheduled work day for part‑time employees) of absence due to illness will be charged to personal leave. Absence due to the same illness in excess of 8 hours (or normal day) will be charged to major medical leave.  This does not have to be consecutive days.  Major medical leave should be taken at the rate of eight hours per day for faculty.  For bi-weekly employees, major medical leave taken is recorded on the Time and Attendance Report.  For monthly employees, major medical leave taken is recorded in SOAR.

 

When medical leave credits are inadequate to cover absences caused by the employee's illness, the time lost may be charged to personal leave. When the employee has exhausted all accrued leave time available, he or she must be placed on "leave‑without‑pay" status. When an employee returns to work after being placed on leave‑without‑pay status, a Personnel Action Form must be issued indicating the employee is again on "active" employment status.  See Retrieval No. 3003 for required forms.

 

Also major medical leave may be used for absences due to illness of the employee's immediate family after the first eight (8) hours is charged as personal leave.  The immediate family is defined as spouse, parent, step-parent, sibling, child, step-child, grandchild, grandparent, son- or daughter-in-law, mother- or father-in-law, or brother- or sister-in-law.  For each absence due to an illness lasting thirty-two (32) consecutive working hours (combined personal leave and major medical leave) major medical leave shall be authorized ONLY when certified by the employee’s attending physician.   A department head may require medical certification at any time if deemed necessary.

 

An employee may use up to three (3) days of major medical leave in any calendar year because of a death in the immediate family as defined above.  Absences beyond three (3) days for emergency reasons will be charged to personal leave.

 

Retirement Credit

Upon termination or retirement, an employee will be given retirement service credit for unused personal and major medical leave based on the following schedule:

 

               State Retirement Credits

 

Days of Accrued Leave

 

Retirement Credit

 

15 - 77 days

 

1 quarter

 

78 - 140 days

 

1/2 year

 

141 - 203 days

 

3/4 year

 

204 - 266 days

 

1 year

 

267 - 329 days

 

1 1/4 years

 

330 - 392 days

 

1 1/2 years

 

393 - 455 days

 

1 3/4 years

 

456 - 518 days

 

2 years

 

519 - 581 days

 

2 1/4 years

 

582 - 644 days

 

2 1/2 years

 

645 - 707 days

 

2 3/4 years

 

708 - 770 days

 

3 years

 

Please contact the Department of Human Resources for additional years to the above conversion table.

 

Terminal Leave Pay

No terminal leave pay will be considered for accrued major medical leave. However, in accordance with 25‑3‑97 of the Mississippi Code, an employee who presents medical evidence that his physical condition is such that he/she can no longer work in a capacity of state government may be paid for not more than 120 days of earned major medical leave upon termination.

 

Policy on Grant Employees

In accordance with O.M.B. Circular A-21.J.6.a., all full-time faculty and staff employed at The University of Southern Mississippi through Contracts and Grants are afforded all fringe benefits of the university.  Benefits must be consistently applied to individuals who are in the employment of the university regardless of whether they are paid from the Educational and General (E&G) budget or external grants and contracts.  All of our policies relative to personnel and leave time for which payment is received or leave taken by the employee must be consistent throughout the university.

 

All Contract and Grant employees will be afforded the following leave benefits:

 

Staff Employees:

  • All 12-month Contract and Grant staff will accrue Personal and Major Medical leave in accordance with the established university leave accrual rate.
  • All 12-month Contract and Grant staff employees will be paid for up to 240-hours of accrued Personal leave upon termination from state service.
  • All unused Personal and Major Medical leave for Contract and Grant staff, in excess of 240 hours, at termination from state service, will be forwarded to the State Public Employees' Retirement System to be applied toward creditable state retirement service.

Faculty Employees:

  • All 9-month contract and grant faculty will accrue Major Medical leave only in accordance with the established university policy on faculty leave accrual.
  • All 9-month contract and grant faculty will be paid for up to 240-hours of accrued Major Medical leave upon retirement from active employment.
  • All unused Major Medical leave for contract and grant faculty, in excess of 240-hours, at retirement will be forwarded to the State Public Employees' Retirement System to be applied toward creditable state retirement service.

 

Terminal Leave Payments:

Terminal leave payments to contract and grant staff or retiring faculty will be paid from grant fund sources when at all possible.  These funds should be built into the fringe benefit costs at the inception of the grant.  However, if the grant is unable to fund Terminal Leave payments, then the Terminal Leave will be paid from the university's designated account entitled: "Terminal Leave/Grants."

 

Employees hired into a contract and grant will be allowed to transfer accrued Personal and Major Medical leave balances in accordance with university policy regarding leave transfers from state agencies and university departments.

 

Any questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Department of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3003

Subject:  Family and Medical Leave

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Purpose

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was passed by Congress to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity; to minimize the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of sex by ensuring generally that leave is available for eligible medical reasons (including maternity-related disability); for compelling family reasons; for promoting the goal of equal employment opportunity for women and men.

 

Effective date of policy

The effective date of the policy is August 5, 1993.

 

Eligible Employees

An employee that has been employed with the university for at least one year and that has worked at least 1250 hours during the past 12 months is entitled to a total of 12 workweeks, paid or unpaid, leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the reasons listed below.

 

1.         For the birth of an employee’s child and to care for the child after birth, provided the leave is taken within a 12-month period following birth;

 

2.         For the employee to care for a child placed with the employee for adoption, provided the leave is taken within a 12-month period following adoption;

 

3.         For the employee to care for the employee's child (up to age 18), spouse, or parent, where that child, spouse, or parent has a serious health condition; or

 

4.         Because the employee has a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee's position.

 

Leave without pay beyond the 12-week period will be administered under the Other Leave Policies of the university.

 

Temporary Employees – This policy does not cover temporary employees since the maximum length of a temporary appointment is four and one-half (4 1/2) months.

 

Both Spouses Employed by USM – If a husband and wife are employed by the university, the aggregate number of workweeks of leave is limited to 12 workweeks during any 12-month period where such leave is taken pursuant to the provisions in Numbers 1 and 2 above and pursuant to Number 3 if the leave requested is to care of a parent who has a serious health condition.

 

Definitions

Parent – a biological or adoptive parent or an individual who stood in loco parentis (a person who is in the position or place of a parent) to an employee when the employee was a child.

 

Child – is a son or daughter who is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or older if incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability who is:

(a)       a biological child

(b)       an adopted child

(c)       a foster child – a child for whom the employee performs the duties of a parent as if it were the employee's child

(d)       a step-child – a child of the employee's spouse from a former marriage

(e)       a legal ward – a minor child placed by the court under the care of a guardian

(f)        a child of an employee standing in loco parentis

 

Spouse – a husband or wife

 

Serious health condition – an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, or that involves continuing treatment by a health care provider.

 

Personal leave – is defined by state law as leave for vacations and personal business or the first day of illness for an employee or employee's immediate family.       

 

Major medical leave – is defined by state law as leave for the illness or injury of an employee or member of the employee's immediate family, only after the employee has used one (1) day of personal leave for an absence due to illness, or leave without pay if the employee has no accrued personal leave.  Faculty members employed on a nine-month basis may use major medical leave for the first day of absence due to illness.  Major medical leave may be used, without prior use of personal leave, to cover regularly scheduled visits to a doctor's office or a hospital for the continuing treatment of a chronic disease, as certified in advance by a physician.

 

Unpaid leave of absence – is a period of leave during which an employee receives no compensation from the university.  An unpaid leave of absence may not be extended beyond one (1) year.

 

Intermittent leave – is an employee's use of leave on an interrupted basis.

 

12-Month Period – is defined as the period, which is measured backward from the date, an employee uses any FMLA leave.  For example, if an employee has taken eight weeks of leave during the past 12 months, an additional four weeks of leave could be taken.  If an employee used four weeks beginning February 1, 1994, four weeks beginning June 1, 1994, and four weeks beginning December 1, 1994, the employee would not be entitled to any additional leave until February 1, 1995 However, beginning on February 1, 1995, the employee would be entitled to four weeks of leave, on June 1 the employee would be entitled to an additional four weeks, etc.

 

Leave Charges

Birth of child – the parents shall exhaust available personal leave before going on leave without pay, except that sick leave may be used by the employee during the period of disability or for a period of eight (8) weeks, whichever is greater.  Leave will only be honored within twelve (12) months of the birth of the child.  Disability is defined as an illness or condition in which the attending physician judges the suspension of the employee's work-related duties to be in the best interest of the mother's, fetus', or the newborn's health.

 

Adoption of child – the parents shall exhaust available personal leave before going on leave without pay.  Leave will only be honored within twelve (12) months of the placement of the child.

 

Illness of Employee's child, spouse, or parent – the employee shall exhaust available sick and personal leave before going on leave without pay.

 

Employee's illness – the employee shall exhaust available sick and personal leave before going on leave without pay.

 

Periods of paid leave shall account for any part of the 12 work weeks. 

Intermittent Leave or Reduced Work Schedule

Pursuant to this policy, the employee may not take leave intermittently or on a reduced work schedule for child birth and birth related child care or for adoption unless the employee and the university agree otherwise.  The employee may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule to care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition, or because the employee has a serious health condition.

 

If such leave is foreseeable, based on planned medical treatment, the university may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified and that has equivalent pay and benefits and better accommodates recurring periods of leave.

 

Employee Responsibility

The employee shall apply in writing to the supervisor for leave requested under this policy as follows:

1.         Birth or adoption - the employee shall give the agency no less than 30 days' notice, in writing, of the intention to take leave, subject to the actual date of the birth or adoption.  If the date of the birth or adoption requires leave to begin in less than 30 days, the employee shall provide such notice as is practicable.

 

2.         Planned Medical Treatment - when the necessity for leave to care for the employee's child, spouse, or parent or because the employee has a serious health condition, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as to not unduly disrupt operations, subject to the approval of the employee's health care provider or the health care provider of the employee's child, spouse or parent. The employee should also give 30 days’ notice of the intention to take leave, subject to the actual date of the treatment.

 

After the period of leave pursuant to this policy, if the employee will not return to work, the agency should be notified immediately.  Failure to report at the expiration of the leave, unless an extension has been requested, may be considered as a resignation.

 

Certification

For leave pursuant to this policy, the agency may require that a claim for leave because of adoption be supported by reasonable proof of adoption.                                                                                         

The university may require that a claim for leave because of a serious illness of the employee or of the employee's child, spouse, or parent be supported by a doctor's certification.  Any fees charged by the doctor for completing the necessary forms are the responsibility of the employee. The information for the claim must include the following:

 

  • the date on which their serious health condition began
  • the probable duration of the condition
  • the appropriate medical facts regarding the condition
  • a statement that the leave is needed to care for the child, spouse, or parent, and an estimate of the amount of time that is needed; or that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the position, whichever applies
  • where certification is necessary for intermittent leave for planned medical treatment, the dates on which the treatment is expected to be given and the duration of the treatment
  • in case of childbirth or placement of a child through adoption or foster care, certification must include:
    • documentation by the attending physician in the case of childbirth
    • verification by a judge of the placement of a child in the case of adoption or foster care
    • probable duration of the leave requested

 

If the department head questions the validity of the certification provided, he/she may require, at the department's expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second health care provider designated or approved by the department head.  The selected health care provider cannot be an employee of the university.

 

Employment and Benefit Protection

  1. Reinstatement – The employee shall be reinstated to the same position held when the leave began or one of like pay grade, pay, benefits, or other conditions of employment.  The agency may require the employee to report at reasonable intervals to the employer on the employee's status and intention to return to work. The university also shall require that the employee receive certification that the employee is able to return to work.
  2. Benefits – The employee shall be reinstated without loss of benefits accrued when the leave began.  All benefits accrue during any period of paid leave; however, no benefits will be accrued during any period of leave without pay.
  3. Health Benefits - The university shall maintain coverage for the employee only under the state's group health plan for the duration of leave at no cost to the employee.  The agency may recover the premiums if the employee fails to return after the period of leave to which the employee is entitled has expired for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond the employee's control.

 

Interference with Rights

  1. Actions prohibited – It is unlawful to interfere with, restrain, or deny any right provided by the policy or to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee for opposing any practice made unlawful by this policy.
  2. Protected Activity – It is unlawful to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because the employee does any of the follow:

                        a.         Files any civil action, or institutes or causes to be instituted any civil proceeding under or related to this policy.

                        b.         Gives, or is about to give, any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided by this policy

                        c.         Testifies, or is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this policy

 

Enforcement

A violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 can result in any of the following or a combination of any of the following:

a.         U. S. Department of Labor investigation, or

b.         Civil liability with the imposition of court cost and attorney's fees, or

c.         Administrative action by the U. S. Department of Labor    

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3004

Subject:  Leave of Absence without Pay

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Policy

In no instance are leaves of absence granted automatically. All leaves of absence require a written request from the employee, approval and support of the employee's supervisor, and the final approval of the Director of Human Resources.

 

No leave of absence without pay in excess of one year's time will be granted to a staff employee.

 

Leave of absence without pay may be granted to staff employees for the following reasons:

 

  • necessary absences due to illness or for emergency reasons when such absences extend beyond available personal and major medical leave accruals.

 

  • approved professional development in the areas of education, research, and advanced training. This reason must be justified as being "in the best interest of the university" and, therefore, be job and profession related.

 

Reinstatement

Leaves of absence will be granted with the assurance of reinstatement to the same or comparable position within the university unless circumstances make it clearly impractical. Personal and major medical leave time will NOT accrue during leaves of absence without pay; however, earned leave credit may be carried forward.

 

Employee Benefits

When on leave of absence without pay, an employee may continue to participate in certain employee benefit programs, such as the group health insurance plan. The total cost of participation in a benefit program while the employee is on leave without pay must be paid by the employee. The employee is responsible for making arrangements with the Department of Human so that benefits can continue during his or her absence. 

 
Employment Requirements

Leaves of absence without pay will not be granted to any employee with less than one year's previous service with the university.  A  Personnel Action Form will be required on all employees returning from leave of absence without pay status. This form will re‑activate the employee and place him or her back on "active" pay status.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Leaves of absence at GCRL are granted by the Director of GCRL.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3005

Subject:  Holiday Leave

Date: July 1, 2001

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

The objective of this policy is to establish a uniform number of holidays and to define payment of holidays for all university staff employees.

 

The university will recognize the following days as holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
  • Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (Fourth of July)
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day and a Christmas leave period, to include the last seven working days of December as designated by the university President

 

Additional holidays may be designated by the President of the university, not to exceed a total of 15 days per year. All holidays are subject to change if there is a conflict with the academic schedule and those changes will be at the discretion of the university President.

 

Eligibility

All regular full‑time or part‑time employees on the active payroll will be eligible for holiday pay listed above in accordance with the following provisions:

  • Employees must work their normally scheduled work hours on the day immediately preceding and following the holiday. With the approval of the supervisor, the employee may elect to take personal leave days immediately prior to or following a holiday period.  If the employee has an excused absence both such days, holiday pay will be authorized.
  • Holiday pay will be at the employee's current rate of pay.
  • Part‑time employees will be paid holiday pay on a pro‑rata basis according to the number of regularly scheduled work hours in a normal work day.
  • Temporary employees are not eligible for holiday pay.
  • Any official university holiday(s) or declared closing of the university by the President which falls within a period of an employee's approved personal and/or major medical leave shall be considered holiday leave and shall not be deducted from the employee's accrued personal leave.
  • Holidays falling on an employee's first or second regularly scheduled day off within the work week will be observed on a date chosen by the employee, with the supervisor's approval, within a reasonable time following the holiday.
  • Terminating employees must return to work for a minimum of five (5) working days following the Christmas holidays in order to be eligible for holiday pay.
  • Budget authority of areas requiring employees to work on holidays shall schedule such duty as fairly and equitably as possible among the available staff.
  • An employee must work on his or her last official day of employment. Holidays falling within the terminal leave period for a terminating employee are charged to accumulated personal leave. Example: An employee may not give a date prior to the Christmas holidays as the last day of employment and then use accrued personal leave as a basis for collecting Christmas holiday pay.

 

Religious Holiday

Full‑time or part‑time employees who desire to observe an "official" religious holiday, in accordance with their religious preference, may do so with their director's approval.  The time and attendance record should reflect time taken as personal (vacation) leave.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3006

Subject:  Military Leave

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

Employees of the university who are called to active military duty on short notice as the result of national emergencies may be granted military leave of absence without pay beginning on the date of the call to military service.

 

Maximum Leave Time

Each calendar year a leave of absence with pay, not to exceed fifteen (15) working days annually, may be granted to regular employees, who, as members of the National Guard of Mississippi or members of any of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, are ordered to active duty.

 

When a university employee, who is a member of the National Guard or Reserve, is ordered to active duty for a period in excess of fifteen days the employee is entitled to a leave‑of‑absence, continuation of insurance benefits, and use of accrued personal leave.  The employee may not use accrued major medical leave during this absence.

 

Approval for any military leave must be secured in advance from the Department of Human Resources.  A copy of the military orders shall be filed with the Department of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3007

Subject:  Compulsory Leave

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

If, in the opinion of the university, an employee is incapacitated for work due to illness or injury, such an employee may be required to submit to a physical examination by a physician named by the university. If the medical examination indicates the employee is unable to fulfill job duties effectively, the university may require the employee to take such leave without pay as is sufficient, by medical determination, to restore him or her to normal health. This leave without pay will begin after accumulated personal and major medical leave have been exhausted.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3008

Subject:  University Declared Leave

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

In the event that the university must close due to inclement weather or a declared holiday by the university President, employees will be given time off with pay for those hours. Individuals who are on personal or major medical leave during his closing will not be charged for the official absence.

 

Areas that are required to work, such as:  food services, public safety, etc., will pay overtime, or they may compensate their employees with time off at a later date.  If compensatory time is chosen by the employee the exact number of hours the university is closed will be given within a reasonable time period.

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3009

Subject:  Leave Balances and Corrections

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 2001

 

Policy

All faculty and staff employees are required to complete a Monthly Attendance and Leave Record reflecting Personal and Major Medical leave used during the month.  These leave and attendance records are recorded in SOAR.

 

Leave balances are reflected on an employee's paycheck. The employee has 30‑days from the date of most current paycheck to report any errors in account balances. The Department of Human Resources will not correct errors after the 30‑day reporting period.

 

Leave Abuse

Employees who falsify leave records or misrepresent absences due to leave are subject to disciplinary action or termination.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3010

Subject:  Use of Leased Employees

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The Mississippi Legislature amended Section 71-5-11 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, by Senate Bill Number 2522, during the 1998 legislative session.

 

Section 71-5-11 was amended, for purposes of unemployment compensation, to provide that:  “…all entities utilizing the services of any leasing firm shall be considered the employer of the individuals leased from the employee leasing firm…”

 

Source of Policy: Mississippi State Code Section 71-5-11

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3101

Subject:  Scholarships for Children of Faculty and Staff

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 2001

 

Qualifications:  The 100 percent tuition remission policy applies to all children of full‑time faculty and staff employed PRIOR to July l, 1977.   The 100% does not apply to faculty and staff who were employed prior to July 1, 1977 and then terminated and then were subsequently rehired after July 1, 1977.  Parent or legal guardian must be employed by the last day of late registration in order for dependent to be eligible for the tuition remission.

 

The 50 percent tuition remission policy applies to all children of full‑time faculty and staff employed AFTER July l, 1977.  If both parents are employed with USM, the child receives 100% tuition remission.

 

In order to receive the tuition remission, children must gain admission to the university where the parent(s) or legal guardian is employed.  The application for the Scholarship for Children of faculty and staff must be obtained from the Department of Human Resources http://www.usm.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/forms/dependentchildtuitionwaiver.pdfand then returned to the Department of Human Resources for verification and data entry.

 

Consistent with the continued employment or retirement of the parent or guardian a child may receive undergraduate tuition remission.  It will be continued until the degree requirements for the first baccalaureate degree are met or until the child's attainment of his/her 25th birthday.  The scholarship is automatically renewable on a semester‑to‑semester basis, provided the child remains in good academic standing.

 

In order for the child to be eligible and retain the faculty/staff scholarship, he/she must be enrolled at the university at least one‑half time.  Those who drop below the one‑half time status will not be eligible to continue the scholarship at their next term of enrollment. A dually enrolled high school student is eligible for the scholarship, regardless of hours  taken.

 

Children of faculty and staff whose parent(s) or guardian terminate employment with the university prior to mid‑term of a semester, will be required to pay tuition.  It is the employee’s responsibility to provide relationship evidence to the Department of Human Resources.

 

Additional Terms or Conditions:

  1. Because this award is intended to defray the cost of tuition, students who receive full scholarships or awards that grant full tuition will not be eligible for this tuition remission award.
  2. The expenses of special assessed fees, books, food, housing, etc., are to be paid by the recipient.
  3. This program also applies to children of retired faculty and staff of the university and children of faculty and staff who deceased while actively employed at the university.
  4. In order to ensure tuition remission is posted timely to student’s account, application must be returned to the Department of Human Resources five (5) working days prior to the beginning of the semester.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3102

Subject:  Faculty/Staff Academic Policy

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: January 1, 2001

 

In order to participate in the free course benefit, the university employee must first complete admissions requirements (be admitted or re‑admitted to the university) prior to registering for the free course.

 

Eligibility

  • All full‑time university faculty, staff, and Military Science and Aerospace personnel are eligible for the free course benefit.
  • All part‑time university employees on university benefits are eligible for one‑half benefit up to three semester hours. Part‑time employees will not be eligible to take their free course during their normal work schedule.
  • Retired faculty and staff are eligible for the free course benefit up to six semester hours per term.  The Department of Human Resources will be responsible for approving retired participants.
  • If a university employee is seeking a degree, he or she must maintain an overall USM 2.0 GPA to continue the free course benefit. An employee who fails to maintain the required overall GPA will not receive the free course until such time as his or her overall GPA meets the 2.0 minimum.  
  • In accordance with Internal Revenue Service Code, Section 132, all graduate level course work must be job‑related or taken on a space‑available basis.
  • For newly hired employees to receive this benefit they must be employed prior to the last official day of late registration of the semester.  There are no exceptions to this policy. 
  • No application fee is required.

 

Course(s)

  • Employees are expected to enroll in evening classes whenever possible.  A full-time employee may take up to six (6) semester hours per term, but only one course may be taken during normal working hours. Employees taking week-long intensive courses must take annual leave while they are away from the office taking these courses.  Also, only one eight weeks course may qualify for day classes, not both during the same semester.  Normal working hours are defined as 8 AM ‑ 5 PM.  The department chair or manager must approve all courses taken during normal working hours. The nature of the employee's job and the workload of the area will be the determining factors in approving class attendance during working hours.
  • Only six (6) semester hours can be taken per term unless approved by the employee’s department head or director and the Director of Human Resources.
  • An employee will also be permitted to take one of their free courses during the noon hour. The noon hour is from  noon to l p.m.  The following policies and procedures will be used in allowing the additional class to be taken during the lunch hour:
  1. The faculty/staff member must have approval of his or her immediate supervisor.
  1. The faculty/staff member may not take longer than one hour to complete the class and return to work.
  1. The faculty/staff member may not take additional time for a lunch break since he or she forfeits this time to attend a class.
  1. The faculty/staff member may not work through the noon hour and take a class at a later time during the day and charge this absence to the lunch break.
  1. The immediate supervisor is charged with the responsibility of enforcing this policy and will allow NO exceptions.
  • All full‑time faculty and staff employed at Gulf Coast campuses and GCRL are eligible to enroll in a maximum of eighteen semester hours per academic year (maximum of six (6) hours per semester or term) at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, if the classes are not offered at USM.  The courses must be taken toward a degree.  The university will pay the tuition fees.  All part‑time employees are eligible to take nine (9) semester hours per academic year (maximum of three (3) hours per semester or term). The employee must complete a Course Benefit Request Form obtained from the Assistant Dean for Support Services, Gulf Coast campus. The employee may be away from the office for a maximum of three hours per week.  Additional time must be charged to annual leave.
  • There may be a point in time during the final year of study, before attaining a degree, whereby more than one required course is taught during a semester.  When an employee is required to take both courses during working hours, a letter of request will be submitted to the Department of Human Resources.  Attached to this letter of request will be a copy of the employee's Application for Degree.  The employee will be given three (3) hours toward the free course scholarship and will be required to pay the additional tuition fees for the second course.  The employee will also be charged personal leave for all absences during normal working hours to attend the second course.
  • Mini session courses are not covered by faculty/staff scholarships if the employee has already taken six (6) hours that respective semester.
  • Mini session schedule:

May mini session is attached to Summer semester

August mini session is attached to Fall semester

January mini session is attached to Spring semester

  • Employees must use personal leave for the entirety of the course time if enrolled in mini session courses.

 

Fees

  • Employees maintaining out‑of‑state residence must pay out‑of‑state tuition fees.
  • Employees are responsible for paying late fees attached to registration or drop‑add.
  • Employees who are enrolled in a free course and terminate employment with the university prior to mid‑term, but continue the class, will be required to pay tuition.  Reimbursement of tuition fees, paid by the department, will be in accordance with established refund percentage policies.
  • Employees are responsible for paying laboratory fees and buying textbooks.
  • If an employee drops a course, but continues employment at the university, the employing department's budget will be reimbursed at the established refund percentage.
  • All faculty and staff scholarships are audited each semester.  Employees who take more than three (3) semester hours during normal working hours will be identified and proper disciplinary action will be taken. Individuals who violate these policies will also be denied the free course benefit. 

 

Procedures

  • The employee must first complete admission requirements of the university. The employee may then fill out a faculty/staff scholarship form for a free course from the Department of Human Resources.   Human Resources will verify employment status. 
  • The employee must have the permit approved by his or her area budget authority. The budget director must ensure that the absence from the work place does not cause an undue burden on the department.  Once signed by the area budget authority, the permit form is returned back to the Department of Human Resources for processing before registration can begin.
  • The employee then takes his or her Registration Appointment Form to registration or uses SOAR.  (Registration instructions and procedures are contained in the Class Schedule Guide).
  • In order to ensure that tuition remission is timely posted to the employee’s account, the permit form must be returned to the Department of Human Resources five (5) working days prior to the beginning of the semester. 
  • Employees must be employed prior to the start of the semester in order to receive the scholarship.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3103

Subject:  Compensation for Staff Employees who attain Advanced Degrees or Certificates

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

The following schedule of payments will be made to all university staff employees who attain an advanced degree or successfully complete the Professional Standards Program (PSP) Certification.

 

 

Certificate or Diploma

 

Award

 

(PSP) First Certificate

 

$  600.00

 

(PSP) Each succeeding Certificate

 (excluding Bachelor's or Master's

 

 

$  500.00

 

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

 

$1,000.00

 

Professional Engineer or Architect

 

$1,000.00

 

Bachelor's Degree

 

$  800.00

 

Master's Degree

 

$1,000.00

 

Doctoral Degree

 

$1,200.00

 

Diplomas and certificates earned by university faculty and staff prior to the effective date of this policy will not receive retroactive payments except those attained through the Professional Standards Program of the Association of Office Professionals.

 

A Personnel Action Form with copies of the certificates, transcripts, and/or diplomas will be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources for processing. Monetary adjustments to the employee's salary will be made effective the date the certificate or diploma is conferred or in the case of doctoral degrees when the dissertation is successfully defended. The increase in salary will become a part of the staff employee's annual base salary.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3201

Subject:  Insurance

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

State of Mississippi Health Insurance Program

The State of Mississippi offers all full‑time employees coverage in the statewide Comprehensive Health Plan. The university is the liaison to the plan, which is self‑funded by the State of Mississippi. Claims are administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  (NOTE:  Coverage is NOT with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.)  Rules are decided via the Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Insurance, in Jackson, Mississippi, and the ultimate authority lies with the Department of Finance and Administration.  Retired employees who retire under the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi may continue coverage by making appropriate contributions.

  

The State of Mississippi pays a portion of premiums for health insurance coverage for employee only. Dependent coverage is available; premiums will be at the employee's expense. Dependent coverage is offered only to those employees who are covered by the plan.  Application must be made within thirty (30) days of acquiring an eligible dependent.  Pre-existing conditions require a waiting period for that particular condition unless the employee can show evidence of prior coverage.

 

Employees will be covered on the first day of employment when they enroll during the "in‑processing" procedures at the Department of Human Resources. A group insurance booklet can be found at http://www.usm.edu/employment-hr/benefits.

                                                                                                                       

Dependent Coverage

If an employee chooses not to enroll dependents at the initial employment enrollment, then dependents can only be added during open enrollment in October with an effective date of January 1 unless a job status or family change occurs.  A change in family status is defined as: marriage, divorce, death of spouse, or child, birth or adoption of a child, and termination of employment of spouse.

 

Administrator

The State of Mississippi Comprehensive Self‑Insured Group Health Plan is administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  The plan is also monitored by Active Health Management.  In order to obtain maximum benefits under the state medical plan, employees are required to call Active Health Management (1) at least 5 days prior to a non‑emergency hospitalization, (2) within 48 hours following emergency admission to a hospital and (3) within the first trimester of pregnancy. Some outpatient pre-certifications are also required. The toll‑free number for  Active Health Management is 1-866-939-4721.  For more information concerning this requirement for pre-certification of admission, contact the Department of Human Resources at 266‑4050.

 

Open Enrollment

The State Comprehensive Group Health Plan allows for an "open enrollment" to occur one time during the calendar year.  Generally, October is designated as the time in which changes can be made to benefit plans.  Employees may:

  • add or drop dependent coverage
  • add or drop any university offered insurance benefit
  • elect to keep insurance benefits as they presently exist
  • elect to participate in Dependent Care Reimbursement or Medical Reimbursement Plans

 

Employees are cautioned that "open enrollment" occurs once a year and this is the only time that changes can be made to insurance programs, unless a "Change in Family Status" occurs.  A "Change in Family Status" is defined as: marriage, divorce, death of a spouse or dependent child, birth or adoption of a child, and termination of employment of a spouse.

 

NOTE:  All participants in the Dependent Care Reimbursement or Medical Reimbursement Plan MUST sign a new Election Form each year during "open enrollment."

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3202

Subject:  University of Mississippi Medical Center Discount

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2001

 

Revoked

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3203

Subject:  Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Policy

The federal law known as Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) became effective for the State of Mississippi Group Health Plan January 1, 1987. All employees and employee family members who are covered under the group health plan are entitled to "continuation coverage" required by federal law. Continuation coverage under our group health plan will be made available to covered persons in the event of employment termination, divorce, separation, or death and in certain other instances. Detailed information concerning COBRA can be obtained from the Department of Human Resources by calling 266-4050.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3204

Subject:  Tax Exempt Benefit Program (Cafeteria Plan)

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a pre-tax program called a cafeteria plan that is permitted under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is referred to as a cafeteria plan because the employee may select from a variety of benefits available. This program allows certain benefits to be paid with before-tax dollars rather than with after tax dollars, increasing the amount of take home pay and lowering tax liability.

 

This program does not affect the state retirement contributions nor in any way changes benefits available to employees when they retire. However, because social security is deducted after the tax exemptions, it does affect social security contributions. Research shows that the resulting difference in social security benefits at retirement are insignificant especially when compared with the savings available during employment careers. 

 

An employee can only drop or add a benefit during the year for the following changes in family status:

  • marriage
  • divorce
  • death of spouse or child
  • birth or adoption of a child
  • termination or employment of spouse
  • leave of absence without pay

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3205

Subject:  Salary Continuation Insurance Plans

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

Short Term Disability: This program is designed to provide income for an injury or illness sustained while either at work or off the premises of the worksite.  For more information, contact the Department of Human Resources.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No. 3206

Subject:  Additional Group Policies

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

If an employee chooses not to enroll themselves or their dependents in the optional group policies at the initial employment enrollment, with the exception of after tax premiums and group automobile insurance, then they can only be added during open enrollment in October with an effective date of January l.  The effective dates of coverage will be the first day of the month following the deduction of the first premium except for Aetna Life, which is effective on the first day of employment. 

1.  Group Life Insurance: Eligibility is determined by the same criteria as the State Comprehensive Health Plan. The amount of insurance will be an amount equal to the lesser of $100,000 or twice the insured employee's annual earnings rounded to the next highest $1,000 provided, however, that in no case will the amount of insurance on the life of any one insured employee be less than $30,000.

Retired employees may be insured for life insurance in increments of $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000.

Employees interested in obtaining coverage will be enrolled on their first day of employment and provided with a booklet outlining policy coverage and provisions. The university will provide 50 percent of the premium with the employee responsible for the remaining 50 percent.

 

2.   Cancer Insurance: The cancer plan offers coverage for employees and their dependents. Some of the benefits offered are diagnosis of skin cancer, anesthesia, reconstructive surgery, and experimental treatment and more. The employee may select coverage for individual, one parent family or family with dependent children.

 

3.  Medical Reimbursement Plan: This plan is designed to allow an employee to set aside pre‑taxed dollars to cover out‑of‑pocket medical expenses, not paid by group health insurance benefits that occur during the plan year.

The Internal Revenue Service has established strict guidelines for monies not used by the end of the plan year.  If one contributes dollars to a medical reimbursement account and does not use all of the monies contributed, he/she will lose any remaining balance in the account at the end of the plan year.  For more information regarding the Medical Reimbursement Plan, contact the Department of Human Resources.

 

4.  Group Dental Insurance:  Group rates are available for employee and dependent dental care.  Coverage is available for preventive and diagnostic treatment, basic benefits for fillings and extractions, major benefits to include oral surgery and, orthodontic benefits for children under age 19. The employee is responsible for total premium payments to this program.  Waiting periods do apply.

 

5.  Group Vision Insurance:  Group rates are available for employee and dependent vision care. Coverage is available for routine eye exams, frames, lenses, and contact lenses. The employee is responsible for total premium payments to this program. Waiting periods do apply.

 

6.  Dependent Child Care Reimbursement Plan: This plan is designed to allow an employee to set aside pre‑taxed dollars to cover dependent child care expenses that occur during the plan year.

The Internal Revenue Service has established strict guidelines for monies not used by the end of the plan year.  If one contributes dollars to a dependent child care reimbursement account and does not use all of the monies contributed, he/she will lose any remaining balance in the account at the end of the plan year.  For more information regarding the Dependent Child Care Reimbursement Plan, contact the Department of Human Resources.

 

7.  Tax Sheltered Annuities: Under provisions of Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1954, as amended, employees are offered certain tax advantages when they exclude part of their gross income for purchase of an annuity for retirement benefits. Annuity investments are taxed at the time the annuity matures and payment is made to the individual.

Employees interested in the purchase of tax‑sheltered annuities should secure competent advice of an approved underwriter licensed to do business in Mississippi or from a representative of a company approved by the university to market annuities on campus.

Salary deductions may be authorized for the purchase of annuities but the university does not contribute to the purchase. Several companies have been approved to sell annuities on campus. For information on approved companies, please contact the Department of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3207

Subject:  Workers’ Compensation

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Policy

 

The university provides standard workers' compensation coverage under a self-insurance program in accordance with Mississippi State laws that, in general, prescribe the amounts of indemnity payable for the degrees of disability, temporary or regular, and for death if the injury or disability occurs on the job. These laws also provide for medical care, hospitalization, and weekly compensation for the period of disability. All on‑the‑job injuries should be reported immediately to the employee's supervisor and the Department of Human Resources.  A first report of injury must be completed for claim purposes and sent to Human Resources.

 

The university pays the entire cost of the program on behalf of its employees.

 

Employees who have accrued sick or personal leave benefits are entitled to these benefits should they request them, along with payment from Workers' Compensation.  Payment from worker’s compensation and the university cannot exceed 100% of the employee’s regular salary.

 

On-the-Job Injuries

 

All on‑the‑job injuries should be reported to the department supervisor and Human Resources immediately on occurrence. Each injury is treated through the "Healthworks" facilities of the Hattiesburg Clinic, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Emergencies should be sent to the emergency room at Wesley Medical Center or Forrest General Hospital.  The attending physician will determine the extent of the injury and provide the Department of Human Resources with a written prognosis of recovery.  Follow‑up treatment will be prescribed as necessary and a return‑to‑work date will be issued. 

 

Additional information concerning benefits can be obtained from the Department of Human Resources.

 

NOTE:  Workers' Compensation fraud is a felony with a minimum fine of $5,000.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3208

Subject:  Social Security

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The Federal Government requires contributions from both the employee and the employer under the Social Security Act. All university employees are required to pay social security premiums.  For information regarding social security benefits, employees should contact the local Social Security Administration Office. 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3209

Subject:  Public Employees’ Retirement System

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Policy

The Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi enacted by the 1952 Legislature requires participation of all state employees who work twenty (20) hours per week or more for a state employer.  The State of Mississippi mandates participation in the retirement system as a condition of employment.

 

Exemptions

Employees who are classified part‑time, who work less than 15‑days a month or who work less than the equivalent of 1/2 of a normal work load for their position and receive less than 1/2 of the normal wages for the position are exempt from participation. An exception to this policy is if a part-time employee is a member of the Public Employee’s Retirement System at another agency, then the employee must be a member at the university. Also, students of any state educational institution employed by an agency of the state for temporary, part‑time, or intermittent work may not enter membership into the system.

 

Temporary Employees

Persons whose employment is temporary in nature or intermittent and who are not employed for at least four and one‑half months in a fiscal year shall not be covered by the State Retirement System.

 

Contributions and Withdrawals

Contributions are taken in payroll deductions under a pre‑tax arrangement so that funds contributed are taxable only at retirement or termination. Employees who terminate from state service may choose to withdraw contributions they have made to the system in a lump sum amount, or they may leave the contributions in the retirement system until retirement or transfer to another state agency. 

 

Retirement eligibility

Members may retire and receive full retirement allowance:  (1) if they are age 60 and vested in the PERS system (hired June 30, 2007 or earlier –  4 year vesting period and hired July 1, 2008 or later –  8 year vesting period) or, (2) they have appropriate years of service, regardless of age (hired June 30, 2011 or earlier –  25 years of service or hired July 1, 2011 or later –  30 years of service)

 

More detailed information on the retirement system is available in the Department of Human Resources or by contacting the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi, 429 Mississippi Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39201‑1005, telephone (601) 325‑3589 or 1‑800‑444‑7377.

 

Because of laws prohibiting release of private information without the employee's consent, the Retirement System will not release current balances, options on retirement specific to an individual, or current status of an employee's account without a written request from the employee.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section: Fringe Benefits

Retrieval No.: 3209

Subject:  Public Employees’ Retirement System

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2001

 

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

 

An optional retirement program is provided to all faculty, administrative faculty, and administrators heading recognized departments who were employed on or after July 1, 1990; librarians with academic rank and coaches who were employed on or after August 1, 1998; and post doctoral researchers or research scientist without academic rank who were employed on or after July 1, 2001.  These members may direct their retirement contribution to selected investment accounts for management of their retirement funds.  Information on options is available in the Department of Human Resources. 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Classification System Policies

Retrieval No.: 4001

Subject:  Classification System

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

The Classification System is a method of analyzing the relative worth of a position as compared with others in an organization. The Classification System involves listing positions by levels:

 

  • Levels 01‑13 are non‑exempt positions (clerical, technical/paraprofessional, skilled craft, and service maintenance)
  • Levels 10‑20 are exempt positions (professional, executive and administrative)

 

The Rating Factors that are used for the Classification System are:

1.         Complexity of Duties

2.         Educational Requirements

3.         Experience

4.         Latitude

5.         Accuracy

6.         Contacts

7.         Physical Application

8.         Job Conditions

9.         Supervision of Others

 

Position Audits

University positions are established through position audits.  A position audit uses the classification system for the university to place a numeric value on nine compensable factors.  Each factor is weighted in terms of its complexity and/or accountability.  Each factor score is totaled to give an overall position score.  This score is then related to a table of 20 leveling bands, where each band contains a point spread.  The matching of the score to the point spread results in a position level.  Only the tasks associated with the position are evaluated, not the person performing the tasks.  The audit process does not include any achievements or accomplishments of the incumbent.  The position audit looks at the relative worth of the position to the university and not at the worth of the particular person in the position. Employees are evaluated through the performance evaluation system.

 

Classification Appeals Committee

The Classification Appeals Committee considers appeals of decisions rendered by the Department of Human Resources in relation to changes in reclassification of positions by levels and titles that reflect the position in question. The Appeals Committee has a chair and nine members who render decisions on information from the Department of Human Resources and the department that is appealing.  The decision of the Classification Appeals Committee will be final.  All positions must have a two‑year break between requests for reclassification, unless there is a major reorganization within a division. 

 

Determination of Wage or Salary Rates

  • Rate Structure: Once a job level has been determined by evaluating the difficulty of the job by the nine factors in the system, a rate of pay can be decided. The rate structure for the university is published and revised on a periodic basis. The rate structure is divided by classification levels 01 through 20 and provides a minimum starting salary.  Any position that receives an increase in level due to changes in job duties will receive an increase in pay effective July 1 of the following fiscal year in which the rate change occurred unless funds are unavailable.  This raise is normally 5% for one level change, 7 1/2% for two level changes, and 10% for all others.  On occasion technical and professional (non-faculty) personnel are hired based on the regional or national market value for that position without regard to the classification system.  Effective July 1, 1995, any changes in levels for these personnel may not be eligible for an increase in pay due to level changes.

 

Procedures for Existing Position Evaluation

The budget authority who has determined that a position requires an evaluation or re‑evaluation because of changes in duties and responsibilities should contact the Department of Human Resources. A Position Audit Request Form will be forwarded for the employee and the budget authority to complete and send forward for approvals. This form will describe the duties of the job and serve as the basis for evaluation.  The time frame for evaluations of filled positions is November 1 to January 31 of each year.  Vacant positions may be audited outside the open window provided it has not been reviewed within the past two-year period.

 

Once the Position Audit Request Form has been completed and approved, the Human Resources representative will contact the employee to arrange for a desk audit. The information generated in the Audit Form and the desk audit will be considered and a recommendation made regarding change or retention of the current level and title of the position.

 

The Department of Human Resources will determine the appropriate classification level.  Appeal procedures are available for all recommendations made by the Department of Human Resources representative. If a budget authority is dissatisfied with recommendations made and would like to appeal, he or she must contact within the stated time frame, in writing, the Human Resources representative.

 

Procedures for Area Reorganization

When an area or unit in the university has undergone considerable changes and the budget authority has determined that reorganization is necessary, the following procedures are recommended:

  1. Examine organizational charts: Look at both the current chart and sketch one that would show the changes needed in the reorganization. These charts should show current levels, current reporting relationships, and current titles. The chart for the reorganization should show any changes that will be needed in those areas.
  2. Bring both organizational charts to the Human Resources Department.   Consultation with Human Resources at this point will save time, effort, and misunderstandings as the reorganization progresses.
  3. Incorporate suggestions agreed upon into the new organizational chart and prepare it for presentation to the appropriate Vice President.
  4. Submit the reorganization chart to the Vice President for review and approval. Please note that approval means that the "concept" has been approved, it does not constitute blanket approval for all changes.
  5. Proceed with re‑evaluation requests as outlined previously in this section.

 

Procedures for New Position Evaluation

Newly created jobs are to be reviewed by the Department of Human Resources prior to recruitment and hiring. The department head should request a Job Analysis Questionnaire, which should be completed by the newly created position’s supervisor, reviewed by the department head, signed and dated by each, and returned with a cover letter to the Department of Human Resources.  The Manager of Compensation and Classification will analyze the position to determine the proper level and title.  If it becomes necessary to employ an individual prior to the classification of the position, a temporary title and salary may be used with the approval of the Director of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Grievance Policies

Retrieval No.: 5001

Subject:  Grievance General Policy

Date: July 1, 2001

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

General Policy

It is the policy of The University of Southern Mississippi to provide an immediate and fair method by which to settle disputes that may arise between the university and its employees.

 

Definitions

General Grievance: a work-related problem or a condition that an employee believes to be unfair or a hindrance to his or her effective conduct of employment.

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint: a complaint based on illegal discrimination against a person due to his/her membership in a legally protected group.  Protected groups are based on the following: race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, or physical and/or mental disability, and/or political affiliation.

 

Employees may file a grievance or complaint without penalty or fear of reprisal.  The employee may, prior to, or instead of, filing a grievance or complaint, seek the assistance of:

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer
  • The Human Resources Director
  • The Employee's Immediate Supervisor

 

Time Frame

“Days” in the policy statement shall refer to working days of the grievant or complainant except where noted.  The parties of the grievance, by mutual agreement, may extend any or all of the time periods established in this policy.

 

Failure to process a grievance within the time limits, or agreed upon extensions, shall constitute termination of the grievance.

 

At each level, the grievant assumes responsibility for advancing the complaint to the next higher level within five (5) working days of an answer that is unsatisfactory to him/her.  Similarly, the budgetary authority to whom the grievance is addressed assumes the responsibility for answering the grievance, in writing, within five (5) working days of receipt of the unresolved grievance.

 

General Procedures

Grievance forms are available from the Department of Human Resources.  Assistance in the completion and filing of the form is also available from the Human Resources Department. 

 

The number of required steps in this procedure may vary depending on the department involved and/or the number of supervisors above the employee.

 

Employees may use the following procedures to seek the redress of grievances.  These procedures consist of:

1.         An informal attempt to resolve the grievance through a meeting with the grievant's immediate supervisor.

2.         A formal written statement of the grievance submitted through administrative channels stating the nature of the complaint and the desired adjustment.

3.         Chain of Command should be used to resolve the complaint.

4.         The convening of a Grievance Committee to hear the case and make recommendations to the President.

5.         A final review and decision by the President.

 

At the outset of this process, the grievant is invited to the Human Resources Director's office for procedural guidance.  Every effort should be made to settle the grievance by mutual consent at the lowest administrative level possible.

 

Procedures

Step 1

If a grievance arises from the application of a policy, procedure, or practice of the university, the grievant should first seek to resolve the difficulty informally through his/her immediate supervisor.  This First Step must be made within ten (10) working days of the incident, and the grievant must state to his/her immediate supervisor that a grievance is being initiated.  The written grievance should state the nature of the complaint and the action requested to resolve the grievance.  The immediate supervisor must render a response to the written grievance within five (5) working days of the initial complaint.

 

Step 2

If resolution cannot be accomplished informally in Step 1, the grievance will be forwarded to the next budgetary level of supervision until resolution is reached.  This level is generally the director or academic dean.  At each level the grievant assumes responsibility for advancing the complaint to the next higher level within one week of an answer that is unsatisfactory to him or her.  Similarly, the supervisor to whom the grievance is addressed assumes the responsibility for answering the grievance in writing within one week of receipt of the unresolved grievance.  A copy of the written grievance and a copy of each answer should be sent to the Director of Human Resources.

 

Step 3

If an answer from the director or academic dean is unsatisfactory to resolve the complaint, the grievant may, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the answer, submit to the appropriate vice president of his/her area a written request to review all materials related to the complaint.  The vice president will evaluate all facts presented and conduct a meeting with the grievant to attempt to resolve the grievance.  The vice president will, within five (5) working days of the meeting, render a decision regarding the complaint.

 

Step 4

If the answer from the vice president (or the level directly below the President) is unsatisfactory, the grievant may, within two weeks of receipt of the answer, submit to the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer a written request to conduct a hearing.  The university Grievance Committee will be convened to hear the grievance. 

 

Step 5

The decision and recommendations of this committee will be forwarded to the President within five working days after the hearing.  Upon evaluation of all facts presented, the President will render a final decision in the case.  Copies of the final decision will be transmitted to the grievant, the department director, the dean, the vice president of the area in which the grievant is employed, the university Affirmative Action Officer, and the Director of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Grievance Policy

Retrieval No.: 5002

Subject:  Grievance Committee

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

The university Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer or an appropriate designee shall serve as chair of the Grievance Committee. The committee will be comprised of a minimum of five voting members, appointed by the chair, one non‑voting recorder, and one voting member named by the grievant.  The Director of Human Resources shall serve as a non‑voting adviser to the committee.  The Grievance Committee shall not be a standing committee, but will be named as grievances arise.  Members will be selected who will be representative of each major university area, including each vice presidential area, the Athletic Department, and the President's Office. Selection criteria will also be given to members who exhibit a fair and impartial attitude and who are peers of the grievant.

 

Committee hearings will be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order; a non‑voting parliamentarian may be appointed to assist the chair in conducting the hearing.

 

Grievance Committee Meeting Agenda

 The chair shall set the time of the Grievance Committee meeting, which shall be as soon as possible, but not more than ten (10) working days after the request is received.  The meeting shall follow Robert's Rules of Order to assure orderly conduct of the proceedings.  The parliamentarian appointed by the chair shall rule on all matters of procedure deemed essential by the chair.

 

The agenda for the meeting shall be agreed upon by the grievant, the university representative, and the chair prior to the meeting. The following procedures are recommended for consideration of agenda planning.

 

Briefing the Committee Members

A.  The chair shall brief committee members on their duties and responsibilities as voting members.

 

B.  The chair will distribute copies of the agreed‑upon agenda to each voting member of the committee.  A copy of the agenda will also be made available to the secretary/recorder.

 

C.  The chair will entertain questions from the committee regarding rules, policies, and/or procedures to be followed in the conduct of the meeting.

 

Presentation of the Grievance

A.  The grievant shall present the issues and actions precipitating the grievance along with the history of Steps 1 through 5 in the grievance procedure.

B.   The university representative shall present the university's reply to the grievance.

C.   The chair shall request exhibits and/or evidence to be presented to substantiate the grievance and the reply.  However, no evidence, statements, or witnesses may be presented at this meeting which have not been either previously submitted in Steps 1 through 3, or specifically requested by the chair.

D.   The grievant shall present exhibits, call forth witnesses, and present proper evidence supporting the grievance.

E.     The university representative shall respond to evidence presented, present and/or question witnesses, and answer the grievance.

F.     The grievant may have the opportunity to clarify issues brought forth.

G.    The university representative may have the opportunity to clarify issues brought forth.

H.    The voting committee members may have the opportunity to clarify issues brought forth.

I.     The chair shall call for questions from the voting members.

J.     The chair shall dismiss all non‑voting members of the committee except the parliamentarian and the secretary/recorder. The committee shall then go into deliberation.

 

Recommendations

A.    The committee shall forward their recommendations to the university President, in writing, within five (5) working days following the meeting.

B.    The recommendations may be held and the meeting reopened by the chair on his or her own motion or upon application of a party for good cause shown and approved by the chair at any time before the final decision is made.

 

Final Decision

A.    The university President shall review the proceedings of Steps 1 through 4 and consider the testimonies and documentation related to the grievance.  Subsequent to this evaluation, the President will render a final decision.

B.    Copies of the final decision will be provided to the grievant, the department chair or director, the committee chair, and the Department of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Grievance Policies

Retrieval No.: 5003

Subject:  Sexual Harassment Policy

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy Statement

 The University of Southern Mississippi in its efforts to foster an environment of respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the university community is committed to maintaining a work‑learning environment free of sexual harassment.  It is the policy of the university that no member of its community shall sexually harass another.  Any employee or student who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action.

 

Sexual Harassment is illegal under both state and federal law. Vice presidents, deans, chairs, directors, and supervisors are directed to take appropriate steps to disseminate this policy statement to inform students and employees of procedures for lodging complaints.

 

The following informal and formal procedures are intended to provide alternatives for resolving complaints of sexual harassment.  However, the university shall fully retain all rights to discipline or discharge any employee or student who engages in misconduct or other behavior which is prohibited by law or other university policy, notwithstanding the remedies and procedures offered in this policy.

 

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

Procedures for Handling Policy Violations

Procedures for prompt, appropriate corrective action are an essential part of the university's effort to deal with sexual harassment.  Action on harassment complaints will be taken immediately and appropriately through administrative channels. At all stages of the presentation and processing of a complaint, the complainant and the alleged offender will be free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.

 

When reporting an alleged violation, the complainant may be accompanied by a colleague, friend, or counsel. The procedures for resolving allegations of sexual harassment, allow for both an "informal" and a "formal" procedure.

 

Informal Procedure

 An employee or student who believes he or she has been sexually harassed is encouraged to pursue one of the following options as an "informal" attempt toward resolution:

 

  • Option 1:  Report the violation to the most appropriate administrator in the following suggested listing:

 

1.         The Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer

2.         The Director of Human Resources

3.         The Dean of Student Development

4.         The Academic Dean

   

Following the report of violation, the administrator will conduct an informal meeting with the alleged offender to discuss the policy and the allegation.

 

  • Option 2:  Report the violation to the alleged offender's immediate supervisor.  The supervisor will discuss the policy and the allegation with the alleged offender.  This meeting will be reported to the department head or dean of the area.

 

  • Option 3:  Discuss with the offender the behaviors that are perceived as violations of this policy, either in person or in writing.  If assistance is needed, the Student Counseling Center, the Department of Human Resources, and the EEO/AA Officer offer their services.

 

If the "informal" procedures do not serve to rectify the situation or to satisfy the parties involved, the following "formal" procedures are recommended. 

 

Formal Procedure

An employee or student who believes he or she has been sexually harassed may pursue the formal procedures as an attempt toward resolution:

  • A written report of the violation is prepared by the complainant and presented to one of the university administrators listed in Option 1 above.
  • The administrator shall consider the written report as a formal complaint of sexual harassment and shall proceed with a thorough investigation of the incident(s) prompting the complaint.
  • The findings of the investigation shall be discussed with both the complainant and the alleged offender and action taken to rectify the situation.
  • Disciplinary procedures, if warranted, will be prompt and applicable to the actions and situation.

 

In all cases of sexual harassment, the alleged offender has the right to respond to charges made and to review the material on which charges are based.  Therefore, disciplinary action in cases of sexual harassment is possible only when the complainant is willing to make a written statement describing the specific incident.

 

Confidentiality

Because of the sensitivity of the information involved, any documents pertaining to sexual harassment cases and any resulting disciplinary action will be transferred to and maintained in confidential files under the supervision of the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer.

 

Investigatory Procedures

Any supervisor, department head, or administrator to whom a complaint of sexual harassment is brought, is to proceed as follows:

  • Hold separate preliminary discussions with the complainant and the accused.
  • Facilitate a swift and confidential investigation of the allegation.
  • Inform the complainant and the accused of existing university support services, such as the Counseling Center, Student Health Center, Employee Assistance Program, and other support groups as appropriate.
  • Follow through to see that the appropriate administrator has resolved the complaint and taken prompt, appropriate corrective action when necessary; and 
  • Advise the complainant and the accused of procedures to follow if there is an unresolved complaint.

 

Each of these administrators and all supervisors are charged with keeping current on applicable laws, institutional policies, procedures, and rules and exploring with complainants the full ramifications of their allegations.

 

Every effort is made through these procedures to resolve, with promptness and confidentiality, a sexual harassment complaint and to take appropriate corrective action when necessary.  If, however, after exhausting this procedure, there remain unresolved issues, relief may be pursued through the university's Grievance Procedure.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Grievance Policies

Retrieval No.: 5004

Subject:  Procedure for the Resolution of Discrimination Complaints

Date: September 19, 2001

Supersedes: None

 

Any University of Southern Mississippi employee, student, applicant for admission or employment, or other participant in the university’s programs or activities who believes s/he has been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of age, color, sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, or Vietnam Era veteran status by a university employee may file a complaint with the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, in accordance with the procedures described below.

 

Students or employees who wish to file complaints against students should contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

 

Federal law, as well as university policy, prohibits any form of retaliation against a person who files a discrimination complaint in good faith. 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY:  Complaints filed with the university will remain confidential to the extent allowed by law, while also allowing for a complete investigation.  University personnel involved in or responsible for any aspect of a complaint, including the appeals process, shall maintain confidentiality throughout the processing of the complaint. All persons involved in the complaint process are expected to maintain confidentiality, both during the process and afterward.

 

RETALIATION:  The university seeks to create an environment where students and employees are free to explore the possible violation of their civil rights without fear of reprisal.  Retaliation is illegal and will not be tolerated by the university.  Similarly, persons who use this process to bring bad faith allegations against an employee may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Employees and students are encouraged, where feasible, to reach an informal resolution to complaints through the administrative reporting structure of the academic or employment unit.  However, if the complainant wishes to access a formal process instead, the following procedures apply:

 

Step 1:  Complaints must be received in writing in the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity within a reasonable period of time from the most recently alleged discriminatory act.  “Reasonable” will be defined as 30 calendar days from such alleged action.  [Note:  at the discretion of the Office of AA/EEO, in certain situations complaints filed outside of this time limit may be investigated despite stated timelines.] Complaint forms may be obtained in the Office of AA/EEO, 221 Weathersby Hall, or at the departmental Web site:

http://www.aa-eeo.usm.edu.    The written complaint must include the complainant’s name and signature, and must include a brief written description of the alleged discriminatory act[s], as well as the name[s] of the person[s] who allegedly are responsible for such act[s]. 

 

Step 2:  The director of the Office of AA/EEO will meet with the complainant and subsequently will determine if the written and verbal description of the alleged discriminatory act warrants further investigation into the allegations as presented.  If it is determined that no potential violation of civil rights related university policy is being presented, the Office of AA/EEO will notify the complainant of such in writing within fifteen [15] working days of written receipt of the complaint.  This notification will explain why the complaint does not state a possible violation of civil rights law or policy and may inform the complainant of other avenues of redress, as appropriate.

 

Step 3:  If the Office of AA/EEO determines that the complaint as presented may involve a violation of civil rights related university policy, the complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of such.  If determined appropriate by the Office of AA/EEO, the complainant will be given the option to pursue mediation as resolution to his/her concerns.  SEE “MEDIATION” BELOW.   

 

If the nature of the complaint is such that mediation is inappropriate and/or the complainant or respondent declines mediation or if mediation fails, the director of AA/EEO or his/her designee will investigate the allegation[s].  The director of the Office of AA/EEO will inform the following parties that a complaint has been filed and that an investigation will be conducted:  the complainant, the respondent, the respondent’s immediate supervisor and department head, dean, vice president, and the president.  

 

A typical investigation will involve meeting with the complainant, the respondent[s], and with other persons who may have knowledge relevant to the investigation.  Upon completion of the investigation, the director of the Office of AA/EEO will issue a written report in which the findings of the investigation will indicate either sufficient or insufficient evidence to support the allegation[s]. This determination will be based upon information obtained as a result of the investigation process.  The complainant and the respondent will receive written notification of the findings.  Written notification of the findings will also be sent to the administrators listed above.

 

In the event that there is a finding of a violation of university policy, the director of the Office of AA/EEO will recommend to the appropriate vice president that a directive be issued to stop the discriminatory behavior and make recommendations concerning disciplinary action against the respondent.  Additionally, corrective action, when appropriate, will be recommended to eradicate the effect of the discriminatory behavior.

 

The vice president to whom the report is sent will issue written notification of disciplinary action within fifteen [15] working days of receipt of report from the Office of AA/EEO.  Details of the disciplinary action will not be shared with the complainant, nor may the complainant appeal the disciplinary action itself.  The respondent may, however, appeal the disciplinary action.

 

In the event that there is a finding of insufficient evidence of a violation of university policy, the director of the Office of AA/EEO will notify the complainant, respondent, and above named administrators.

 

Step 4:  Should the complainant or the respondent wish to appeal the decision[s] of the Office of AA/EEO and/or the decision of the vice president made at Step 3, s/he may do so in writing to the Office of the President, within fifteen [15] working days from the date of receipt of written decisions made at Step 3.  The president will appoint a panel and will name a panel convener.  The panel will be comprised of three employees, with at least one tenured faculty employee and one non-faculty employee. 

 

The complainant or respondent may request an appeal panel review based on any of the following grounds:

  1.  that the complaint procedure was not followed;
  2.  that new information is to be presented, or which could have had a material effect upon the findings;
  3.  that the investigation was conducted in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

 

The appellant will provide a written request to the Office of the President for an appeal, citing at least one of the bases listed above, within fifteen [15] working days from the date of written receipt of the decision made at Step 3.  The appellant must provide a detailed written rationale for why s/he believes the appeal basis has been met. The president will appoint the panel as described above.   The panel will determine if at least one of the grounds for appeal has been met.  If its determination is that none of the grounds has been met, the appellant will be notified of such in writing. 

 

If the panel determines that at least one of the grounds for appeal has been met, the panel convener will notify both the complainant and the respondent in writing that the appeal panel will meet and review the information provided by the appellant. The panel will share with the other party the information provided by the appellant.  Both parties will be invited to present information to the panel, at a date decided upon by the panel convener.

 

Once the appeal panel has reached a determination, it will recommend, in writing, that the Office of the President reverse, amend, or uphold the finding and/or the disciplinary action. The panel is empowered to make recommendations only. The decision of the president is final. 

 

MEDIATION

Mediation is a process by which the university attempts to resolve complaints to the satisfaction of all involved parties without reaching a formal finding regarding a violation of the university’s non-discrimination policy.  Mediation seeks to protect the confidentiality of all involved parties to the extent allowed by law.  At any time during the mediation process, either party may choose to terminate the process, and the complaint will then be investigated by the Office of AA/EEO per procedures listed above. 

 

Generally, mediation will involve only the complainant, the respondent, and the mediator.  If the complaint is successfully resolved through mediation, each party will sign a document that describes the mutually agreed-upon terms.  Any deviation from the terms of the agreement allows either party the right to re-file formal charges with the Office of AA/EEO.

 
PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW BY APPEAL PANEL
  • Appellant makes request in writing to the Office of the President within 10 working days of receipt of determination letter.
  • President appoints a three-person panel to review the request, designating a convener from that group.  The panel will consist of at least one tenured faculty member and at least one staff member.
  • Panel reviews request and determines if ground[s] for appeal have been satisfied.  If not, panel indicates such in writing to appellant.
  • If panel determines that appropriate grounds have been established [from the bases listed in the complaint procedures], it will determine a date/time for the panel to hear the appeal and will notify both parties of such.  Information provided by the appellant will be shared with opposing party. The panel may request involvement in the hearing from any member of the university whom it believes may have information pertinent to the appeal.  These persons include the AA/EEO officer and any witnesses that either party may recommend to the panel.  Witnesses are invited to participate at the discretion of the panel.
  • Hearing will be conducted as follows:
  1. Chair will invite appellant to give a brief overview of the reason[s] for appeal.
  2. Opposing party will be allowed to respond to ground[s] on which appellant appealed.
  3. Panel members will be invited to question other party.
2.     Panel members will be invited to question appellant.

 

  • The panel will reach a determination either supporting the findings and/or disciplinary action, or supporting the appeal of the appellant.  The panel will forward their findings and any recommendations to the president for his review.  Within fifteen [15] working

days of receipt of the panel’s findings, the president will inform all involved parties of his decision in writing, based on input from the appeal panel.  The decision of the president shall be final.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Academic Policies

Retrieval No. 6001

Subject:  Academic Policies

Date: January 1, 1994

Supersedes: None

 

The policies and procedures involving Faculty Members are detailed in the Faculty Handbook for the following policies:

  • Faculty Personnel Procedures
  • USM Terminal Degrees
  • Adjunct Instructors in USM Bulletin
  • Teaching Loads/ Special Assignments
  • Summer Session             
  • Teaching Fellows
  • Tenure and Promotion
  • Faculty Evaluations
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
  • Grievance Policy and Procedures
  • Affirmative Action
  • Administrative Policies
  • Organization for the Administration of Research
  • Center for Business Development and Research
  • Ethics in Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity
  • Extended Educational Services
  • university Library Services
  • Governing Bodies and Committees relating to Faculty

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Forms and General Information

Retrieval No.: 7001

Subject:  Who to Call for Information

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: April 1, 2003

 

Who to Call for Information

 

 

 

 

Title

 

Telephone

Number

Accounts Payable

64131

Accounts Receivable

65791

Affirmative Action

66618

Alumni Association

65013

Arts Tickets

65418

Athletic Broadcasting

64503

Athletic Compliance

65929

Athletic Director

65017

Athletic Facilities

65017

Athletic Information

65017

Athletic Marketing

65017

Athletic Tickets

65418

Auditor

64231

Auditorium Manager

65620

 

 

Benefits - Manager

64056

Bookstore

64384

Budget Office

64091

Buildings/Maintenance

64414

Business Services –General Information

64771

 

 

Chartfield Maintenance

65032

Contracts and Grants Accounting

65086

Controller

66986

Cost Accounting Policies and Procedures

66043

Custodial

64437

 

 

Departmental Deposits – university Cashier

64146

 

 

Eagle Club Information

65299

Electrical/Mechanical

64414

Email Accounts

64010

Employment Manager

64052

Environmental Services -Recycling/Moving

64414

 

 

Facilities and Administrative Costs- Contracts/Grants

64099

Financial Affairs – General Information

64084

Financial Affairs – Financial Statements/Accounting

66986

 

 

General Accounting

64101

Grant Account Establishment, Additions and Extensions

66717

Grant Salary Recovery and Distribution

64100

Grounds Maintenance

64414

 

 

Interdepartmental Invoices - Accounting

65032

International Students/Employees

64841

Human Resources- Director

64050

Human Resources - Classification/Compensation

65663

 

 

Monthly Detail Reports - Accounting

64094

Motor Pool Reservations

64435

 

 

Natatorium

65430

 

 

Payne Center Membership

65405

Payroll - Manager

66625

Photo Services

64149

Physical Plant

64414

Police

64986

Post Office

64006

Printing Center

65455

Procurement (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, and Travel)

64131

Project Estimates & Construction Management

64414

Property/Tagging/Inventory

64439

Purchasing - Procurement Card/State Contracts

64131

Purchasing- Change Orders

65183

Purchasing – Computers, Scientific Equipment, Work Flow

64133

Purchasing- Associate Director

64131

 

 

Registrar

65006

Remittance Voucher Information

64097

 

 

Sports Information

64503

Stores and Receiving

65433

Student IDs

64149

 

 

Tax Compliance

66625

Technology Resources - Director

65479

Time and Effort Certification-Contracts/ Grants

66312

Parking Management

65447

Travel Office

64085

 

 

Union Reservation Information

64399

Unique Catering

65552

 

 

Work Orders-Physical Plant

64414

 

 

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________


Section:  Financial Policies

Retrieval No.: 8001

Subject:  Implementation of User Fees

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

User fees are university approved charges to cover the supply/material costs associated with a particular academic course.  These charges are assessed only to students who enroll in the course.  These fees may vary from course to course but should not exceed the cost of the materials and supplies utilized by the student for the course.  User fees are sometimes called lab fees, activity fees, or performance fees.  Whatever the terminology, the following process must be followed before students may be assessed a user fee.

 

Procedure

Departments that desire to revise their user fee charges for the subsequent academic year must complete and submit to their respective dean by October 1, of the current academic year, the Academic User Fee Request.  This form allows departments to add, revise, or delete user fee charges and may be used to modify the user fees for one class or all the department’s courses.  Deans will review the request and will forward approved forms to the Provost’s Office.  The Provost will review the request and forward copies of the approved forms to the university Business Office, the university Registrar, and the requesting department.  The Business Office will input the change in user fees into the university’s registration and billing system.  The university Registrar will include the approved fees into the appropriate university’s catalog and course schedule.  For user fees to be added to the schedule the fees for the subsequent academic year, the Business Office and the Registrar’s Office must receive the approved Academic User Fee Request by November 30. 

 

Authorization

For user fees to be charged, they must first be approved by the Provost and published in the appropriate university catalog.  User fees will only be added effective with the fall semester of an academic year.  Due to legal constraints, user fees will not be implemented until they are included in the university catalog.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Financial Policies

Retrieval No.: 8002

Subject:  Charitable Requests to the university or Foundation

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The university is prohibited from using public funds for the purpose of sponsoring events, being listed as supporters in golf tournaments, or supporting charitable causes.  The Foundation also follows a policy that prohibits it from contributing to charitable organizations.  This policy would not prohibit key individuals from personally attending such events or from making personal contributions, but reimbursement should be limited to the actual cost, not the charitable portion of an event.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Financial Policies

Retrieval No.: 8003

Subject:  Foods, Supplies, and Services purchased with university

Funds Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

Foods, supplies, and/or services purchased with university funds are to be used only for the event or project they are initially purchased for.  Proper planning by department personnel is expected to ensure that adequate amounts of necessary items are ordered.  Any foods left at the completion of a university function are the responsibility of the Food Services Department and are to be handled in accordance with the guidelines set up by the Mississippi State Department of Health.  Individuals are not to remove foods in take-out containers from functions paid for by university funds.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No. 9001

Subject:  University Events, Committees, and Awards

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

Convocation

It has been the long-standing policy of the University President to hold a Fall and a Spring Convocation to address issues and concerns affecting the operation of the university.  The traditional "State of the Union" message is a time for faculty, staff, and students to be informed of goals, accomplishments, and long‑range plans of the university.  The announced meetings are generally held in Bennett Auditorium.  

 

Service Pin Awards

University faculty and staff who have completed 10‑, 20‑, 30‑, and 40‑years of service to The University of Southern Mississippi are honored annually during Founder’s Day.

 

Staff Excellence Awards

The Staff Excellence Awards Committee is comprised of seven (7) staff employees serving on a rotating basis with one representing each of the Vice Presidential areas of responsibility.  The committee distributes nomination forms, reviews the eligibility of recommended staff, evaluates, and selects outstanding staff employees to receive the Staff Excellence Award.  Monetary awards and certificates are presented to those staff selected in the categories of Professional; Office Personnel; Service Maintenance/Skilled Craft/Technical; and the Jessie H. Morrison Award which an employee must have 20 consecutive years of service to be eligible.  

 

The criteria for selection  includes:  full‑time employee with three (3) years of service at USM, attendance, job performance, good deeds, participation in on‑campus committees and organizations, and community activities.

 

The Staff Excellence Awards Committee is responsible for seeking nominations and selecting the recipient.  Recipients of the Staff Excellence Awards are recognized each December at the Staff Council Holiday Reception.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9001

Subject:  University Events, Committees, and Awards

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2002

 

University Committees

The university Committee on Committees is responsible for reviewing the function, membership, and chairs of all university standing committees.  The membership of university committees is categorized into three groups: ex‑officio membership, general membership, and student membership. University committees and councils are an integral part of the decision making process in the university.  Detailed listings of each committee are contained in the university Committees publication from the Office of the President.

 

Classification Appeals Committee

This ten‑member committee considers appeals of decisions rendered by the Department of Human Resources in relation to changes in reclassification of positions by levels, titles that reflect the positions in question, and organizational restructure of departments as they affect the university Classification System.

 

 

Staff Council

The University of Southern Mississippi Staff Council is organized to provide an operational framework for discussion of issues, policies, and activities relating to the staff of the university and to make recommendations as appropriate.  The council shall provide for enhanced communication among the staff, faculty, and administration and shall promote excellence in service.  Membership on the council is composed of elected representatives from the full‑time staff of the six major Equal Employment Opportunity Commission categories, two members to be elected at large from the USM‑Gulf Coast campuses and two members from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, and one member from Stennis Space Center.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9002

Subject:  Services, Facilities, and Privileges

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Credit Union

The University of Southern Mississippi Credit Union was organized November, 1956, under the Mississippi State Credit Union Act. Employees of the university and their families may join the Credit Union by paying the membership fee of $10.00 and subscribing for at least one $5.00 share.

 

Services include checking accounts, savings accounts with dividends paid quarterly, and loans available to members and their families upon approval of the Credit Committee.  Other services include traveler's cheques and cashier check availability, notary services, direct deposit, and payroll deductions.

 

Employees are encouraged to contact the Credit Union between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for a complete listing of services available.  The Credit Union is located at 3318 Hardy Street, telephone number 601-450-4114.

 

GCRL employees are eligible to join Keesler Federal Credit Union.

 

Southern Miss Ticket Office

Tickets to athletic events are available to faculty, staff, and retirees at reduced rates on season tickets. They may be purchased from the Southern Miss Ticket Office.  The phone numbers for the Ticket Office are 601-266-5418 and 1-800-844-TICK. You can also find information at www.southernmisstickets.com.

 

Library Service

The library structure at USM is organized into five major units: the Joseph Anderson Cook Memorial Library; the William David McCain Library and Archives; the Instructional Resource Center on the Hattiesburg Campus; the Richard G. Cox Library at Gulf Park, and the Gunter Library at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  The libraries serve students, faculty, and staff.  Books can be checked out by faculty and staff for 6‑months (180 days).  Other services include reference assistance, interlibrary borrowing, database searching, bibliographic instruction reserves, and library orientations.

 

The Instructional Resource Center has a two‑fold mission:

1) to aid in facilitating teaching and learning throughout the university; and

2) to support the university community by providing services related to the facilitation of teaching and learning. This mission is accomplished by offering faculty development, graphic services, instructional design, and learning resources. The Resource Center is located on the ground floor of McCain Library. For more information, please call 266‑4356.

 

Post Office

The University of Southern Mississippi operates a post office that provides full postal service, an outgoing mail center, incoming mail distribution to box holders, and campus distribution. Faculty, staff, and students are eligible to rent personal mail boxes. Departments and approved campus organizations may also rent boxes for their official mail and campus distribution. A nominal fee (non‑refundable) is charged for box rent. Computerized box assignment, mail redirect, and forwarding give box holders rapid, reliable mail delivery. Account billing for outgoing official mail is also computerized. To avail yourself of any of these services or to obtain more information, come by the USM Post Office between the hours of 9 AM and 4 PM Monday through Friday except on holidays.

 

Payne Center

The Payne Center offers a variety of fitness and recreational programs in a 133,000 square foot, fully air- conditioned building.  The facility includes swimming pool, indoor volleyball and basketball courts, and squash and racquetball courts.   Membership fee is required.  For more information call Recreational Sports, 266-5405.

 

Audiology and Speech-Language Services

All full-time, part-time, and retired faculty and staff members, students, alumni, and respective family members are eligible for services at NO CHARGE from the USM Speech and Hearing Clinic.  The clinic offers screening, assessment, and management for children and adults with a variety of articulation, fluency, hearing, language, and voice problems.  The clinic serves as a training facility for graduate student completing their professional requirements in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

 

Individuals may request an appointment by calling 266-5216 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

 

University Forum

Each semester, the Honors College offers programs combining presentations in humanities, science, and social science. These evening sessions feature such things as nationally known speakers, outstanding films, panels, and other enrichment programs.

 

This series is offered on a one‑hour, pass‑fail basis to students of the university. Employees may also attend these enlightening sessions that are generally held in Bennett Auditorium. For more information, contact the Honors College at 266‑4533.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9003

Subject:  Drug Free Workplace Policy

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

Policy

The Drug‑Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989, Public Law 101‑226, require that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by faculty, staff, and students.  The following is the official substance abuse policy for all university employees and students: 

 

"The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on The University of Southern Mississippi property or a part of any of its activities." 

 

The University of Southern Mississippi will maintain a drug free workplace. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance, as defined in the Mississippi Code, Title 41, Chapter 29, Article 3, "Uniform Control Substances Law," or under Title 21, Section 812, United States Code (and further defined at 21 CFR 1300. 11‑15) is prohibited on the university property. Individuals who violate these laws are subject to appropriate personnel sanctions, including possible termination of employment, as well as any penalties imposed by a court of law.

 

The university makes available to all its employees an employee assistance program which includes drug counseling and rehabilitation. The services are provided in a confidential manner.

 

Employees having substance abuse problems:

  • Are encouraged to seek assistance voluntarily on a confidential basis by contacting the person's immediate supervisor.
  • Have a right to accept or refuse help as they choose; however, individual work performance must always meet acceptable standards or be subject to existing personnel procedures for below standard performance.

 

Implementation of this policy will not interfere with, or negate, any other university practices, policies, or procedures. Employees whose performance on the job is unsatisfactory remain fully subject to discipline or termination on the same basis as all employees.

 

It is the responsibility of the university students, faculty, and staff (and a condition of employment of faculty and staff) to: 

  • Abide by the terms and provisions of the Drug Free Workplace policy.
  • Notify the university of any criminal drug conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than 5 days after such conviction.

 

 

The university has the responsibility to:

  • Notify any pertinent federal granting agency within 10 days after receiving notice of a workplace drug conviction from an employee or student or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction.
  • Impose sanctions or require the satisfactory participation in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program by any employee or student who is convicted of a drug related violation in the workplace.
  • Conduct periodic training and counseling for faculty, staff, and students concerning the hazards of drugs in the workplace.

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9004

Subject:  Policy on Smoking (Effective January 1, 1994)

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: January 1, 1994

 

Smoking Policy

According to a report released in 2006 by the Surgeon General, exposure to secondhand smoke causes an increased risk of disease and premature death in children and non-smoking adults. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in nonsmokers. In light of this information and the university’s mission for healthy minds and bodies, The University of Southern Mississippi will limit smoking to designated areas with a goal to eventually go entirely smoke free.

 

Smoking on The University of Southern Mississippi ‘s campus is limited to designated smoking areas which are marked by tobacco receptacles and signs. Tampering with, moving or damaging receptacles and signs is prohibited.  Any littering of tobacco related products is also considered a violation of this policy.


Tobacco use is also banned inside all university owned facilities, buildings and vehicles.
Greek Life Houses are responsible for designating their own outdoor smoking area at least 15 ft from entries.


Advertisement, distribution and sale of all tobacco products and companies is banned from all university campuses and publications. This policy will be temporary as the university attempts to move towards a tobacco- free campus in the coming years.

 

Definitions

University buildings and facilities – any facility or building owned or leased by the university including stadiums, covered parking areas and off campus buildings owned by the university.


University vehicle – any automobile, truck, van, bus or golf cart owned or leased by the university


Designated smoking use areas – predetermined areas made by university officials, marked by tobacco receptacles where smoking is allowed. 

 

Littering of tobacco – disposal of any tobacco or tobacco related products including butts, tobacco packaging and spit cups onto campus grounds.

 

Enforcement

Cooperation between tobacco users and non-tobacco users is necessary to ensure implementation of this policy.  Members of the University of Southern Mississippi community including faculty, staff and students are expected to observe the provisions of this policy. 
Anyone in violation of the smoking policy is subject to a fine of up to $50 through the university Police Department and other designated authorities.  Repeat offenders may be subject to receive further appropriate disciplinary actions, to be detailed by administration. Visitors should be politely reminded of our policy and asked to leave if they fail to comply.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9005

Subject:  Campus Crime Awareness Act

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The purpose of Phase I of the Campus Crime Awareness Act is to provide timely reports to the campus community for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. 

 

The Dean of Student Development has been designated by the University President to work in conjunction with the Chief of University Police to determine when crimes have occurred on the university campus which fall within the duty to make timely reports to the campus community.  The designated administrator shall make preliminary determination as to whether the crime shall be classified as a "Class A" or "Class B" potential threat to members of the campus community.

 

Class A crimes are defined as those of such a nature as to pose an immediate and dire threat to the health and safety of individuals.  Class B crimes are defined as those that, though they could occur again, are not of immediate threat to the lives and personal well-being of those on and about the campus. Typically, Class A crimes would include murder, rape, aggravated assaults and other crimes where weapons have been involved, especially when the offender(s) are considered to be "at large." Class B crimes would include some occurrences of robbery, burglary, and auto theft, and crimes where the assailants have clearly been apprehended.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the Chief of University Police to notify the designated administrator immediately of the occurrence of a murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary or motor vehicle theft, so that the classification and response to the crime might begin at the earliest possible time. 

 

In general the timely reports to the campus community shall occur in the following manner, in regard to the two classifications (A&B) of the crimes.

 

CLASS A CRIMES  

The university Crime Awareness Committee will be convened as soon as reasonably possible to determine a specific customized strategy to inform and protect the campus community with due speed.  Strategies that will likely be deployed would include immediate area‑wide media releases (radio, newspaper, television); direct mail, residence hall meetings; other student and staff meetings; as well as other means which will be used routinely under "Class B" below. 

 

CLASS B CRIMES

The designated administrator in conjunction with Director of Public Relations will act within a reasonable time to inform the campus community of these crimes in the following ways:

 

  • Exclusive pre‑designated public posting in residence halls and other high use buildings.
  • Immediate news release to the campus newspapers and radio station.
  • Inclusion in campus electronic mail.

 

The dissemination of these crimes will not only include notice of their occurrence, but also prevention tips when appropriate.  For more information regarding the Campus Crime Awareness Act, contact the Dean of Student Development, University Union Building.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9006

Subject:  Policy on HIV Infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The University of Southern Mississippi recognizes that infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), as a serious public health threat and is committed to encouraging an informed and educated response to questions raised by faculty, staff, and students.  These guidelines have been developed to assist members of the university community in responding to the medical, educational, legal, administrative, social, and ethical issues involved.  These guidelines are derived from the best currently available medical facts about HIV infections and AIDS and are applicable to students and employees with HIV infection.

 

HIV Transmission Information relative to The University of Southern Mississippi policy 

Current knowledge indicates that students or employees with any form of HIV infection does not pose a health risk in an academic setting.  HIV is not transmitted through casual contact.  HIV is transmitted through intimate sexual contact, by exposure to contaminated blood and blood products, and from mother to fetus.  The U. S. Public Health Service states that there is no risk created by living in the same place as an HIV infected person, eating food prepared by an infected person, being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person, casual kissing, or swimming in a pool with an infected person. 

 

Guidelines

1.  AIDS Task Force.  The committee is made up of university officials appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs to assist the university in policy decisions as they pertain to HIV infection and AIDS.  The functions of this committee are three fold: 

 

  • Evaluate individual cases of HIV infected students and employees as necessary.

 

  • Organize and oversee educational programs.

 

  • Amend AIDS policy as mandated by new medical information, state, or federal legislation.

 

2.  Education Programs.  The primary response to HIV infection on campus must be education.  It is appropriate for faculty and staff to incorporate information about HIV infections into academic classes and into employee training.

 

3.  Disabling Conditions.  Persons with AIDS and possibly those with other manifestations of HIV infection will be considered as having a disabling condition. 

 

 

4.  Admissions and Employee Hiring.  Consideration of the existence of HIV infection will not be part of the admission decision for prospective students or the hiring decision for prospective employees.

 

5.   Class Attendance and Access to university Facilities.  Those with HIV infections will be allowed to attend class and perform their usual duties as long as they are physically and mentally able to do so.  Furthermore, HIV infected persons may have unrestricted access to RC Cook Union, swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, snack bars, and other recreational facilities.

 

6.  Residence Life (Housing).  Students infected with HIV will not be excluded from living in the residence halls.  However, in any group living area where students are exposed to contagious diseases, students with HIV infection of AIDS may be assigned a private room in the interest of protecting their health.  A decision regarding the type of living accommodation required for a student with AIDS or AIDS‑related illness will be made with assistance of the Director of the USM Student Health Service Center.

 

7.  Medical Care.  The following recommendations pertain to the provision of clinical services to members of the university community with HIV infection.  

  • Medical History.  The university will not routinely ask students or potential students to respond to questions about the existence of HIV infection, nor should interviewing personnel ask job applicants about the existence of HIV infection during the application process.  However, students with HIV infection are encouraged to inform the physicians at the USM Student Health Service Center of the above infection in order for the health care providers to offer appropriate medical care, counsel, and education.
  • Medical and Psychological Care.  Counseling for students with HIV infection will be available at the USM Student Health Service Center and university Counseling Center.  Referrals will be made for services beyond the scope of care available on campus.
  • Immunizations.  Persons known to have HIV infection should receive measles and rubella vaccine.  Exemption from institutional requirements for vaccinations will be reviewed on a case‑by‑case basis.

8. HIV Antibody Testing.

  • Mandatory Testing.  The university administrators will not undertake programs or mandatory HIV antibody testing of either employees or students or potential employees or students.
  • Voluntary.  The USM Student Health Service Center offers confidential but not anonymous HIV antibody testing.  Anonymous testing is available through the local Health Department and referral can be made.  The testing process at the USM Student Health Services Center mandates consent, and pre‑ and post‑test counseling.  Positive HIV antibody results must be confirmed by a second procedure.  All individuals with positive HIV antibody confirmed by a second test must be reported to Mississippi State Health Department.  The reporting process includes identification of the patient by name, social security number, address.  This is done for contact tracing.  The patient should be made aware of this during pre‑test counseling.

 

9.  Confidentiality of Information.  Understanding the potential for discrimination and mistreatment of individuals known or suspected of HIV infection, The university requires that confidential information about any aspect of HIV infection be handled with extraordinary care.

  • Release of Information.  Specific information about students health concern or diagnosis will not be provided to faculty, staff, administrators, or parents.  This position, with respect to the medical record, is supported by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 that regards the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in minors.

Also, no person, group, agency, employee, insurer, or institution will be provided with any medical information without prior written consent of the patient.  The inclusion of HIV testing results within the medical record at the USM Student

 Health Services Center will be discussed with the patient prior to its entry in the record. Release of HIV antibody testing results or any HIV information requires a separate signed release of information from the patient.

 

  • Legal Liability.  All confidential information is protected by statutes and any unauthorized disclosure of such information may create legal liability.

 

  • "Need to Know."  The number of people who need to be made aware of the existence of and/or the identity of university students or employees who have HIV infection will be kept to a minimum.  This effort is to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the HIV infected person(s) and to avoid unnecessary fears among fellow students and employees.

 

  • Informing Other Students or Employees.  There is no medical reason to advise other students of the identity of a student with HIV infection.   The university will make every effort to provide a safe living and working environment for HIV infected persons.

 

  • Secondary Lists.  Neither health officers nor administrators will keep lists which identify patients tested for HIV antibody or known to have HIV infection. The potential for compromise of confidential information far exceeds any benefit of such listings.

 

10.  Safety Precautions.  The university health care providers and other employees who handle blood and body fluids will adopt guidelines as proposed by U. S. Public Health Service for handling blood, body fluids, used needles, and equipment from all persons, not just those with potential of or known HIV infection.  "Universal precautions" are required when handling blood or body fluids of any university student or employee. These same precautions must be followed in teaching and research labs where human blood and body fluids are handled.  Education programs regarding safety and universal protection must be provided to employees and students who handle such human products.

 

11.   Harassment.  Physical or emotional abuse of a student or employee known or suspected to have HIV infection will not be tolerated by this university.   

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9007

Subject:  The Americans with Disabilities Act

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Americans With Disabilities Act Policy

After July 26, 1992, job discrimination against people with disabilities is illegal.  The act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee, whether disabled or not, because of the individual's family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.

 

Under the ADA, a person has a disability if he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.

 

To be protected under the ADA, an individual must have, have a record of, or be regarded as having a substantial, as opposed to a minor or temporary, impairment.  A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, caring for oneself, learning or working.

 

An individual with a disability must also be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations, in order to be protected by the ADA. This means that the applicant or employee must:

  • satisfy job requirements for educational background, employment experience, skills, licenses, and any other qualification standards that are job related; and
  • be able to perform those tasks that are essential to the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

The ADA does NOT interfere with the right to hire the best qualified applicant.

 

Essential Functions:

Factors to consider in determining if a function is essential include:

  • whether the reason the position exists is to perform that function,
  • the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the performance of the function can be distributed, and
  • the degree of expertise or skill required to perform the function.

 

Reasonable Accommodations:

Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that does not promote an undue hardship on the employer that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.  For example, reason accommodation may include:

 

  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices,
  • job restructuring,
  • part-time or modified work schedules,
  • reassignment to a vacant position,
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials or policies,
  • providing readers and interpreters, and
  • making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

 

It is a violation of the ADA to fail to provide reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified individual with a disability, unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of your business.  Undue hardship means that the accommodation would require significant difficulty or expense.

 

Undue Hardship:

Undue hardship means that an accommodation would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. For more details regarding ADA, contact the Department of Human Resources.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9008

Subject:  Loss Prevention Policy

Date: March 1, 1994

Supersedes: None

 

General

The University of Southern Mississippi will maintain an internal control environment which will minimize loss and help identify losses and fraudulent acts.  All employees are responsible for reporting possible losses and/or fraudulent activity.  Any employee found to have caused the university loss in relation to the university's financial affairs is subject to disciplinary action including termination and investigation by law enforcement agencies when warranted.

 

Scope

Loss and fraudulent activities may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Forgery or alteration of documents (checks, promissory notes, time sheets, independent contractor agreements, purchase orders, budgets, etc.)
  • Misrepresentation of information on documents
  • Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or any other asset (including furniture, fixtures, or equipment)
  • Improprieties in the handling or reporting of money transactions
  • Authorizing or receiving payments for goods not received or serviced not performed
  • Authorizing or receiving payments for hours not worked
  • Any apparent violation of federal, state, or local laws
  • Any similar or related activity causing undue loss to the university


Responsibility

Although fraud detection is not solely the responsibilities of management, management is responsible for detecting loss and fraudulent activities in their areas of responsibility.  Each manager should be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur in his or her area.  Managers should also be alert for any indication that loss or fraudulent activity is or was in existence in his or her area.

 

When an improper activity is detected or suspected, the employee should contact his/her supervisor.  If the supervisor is suspected, the next level supervisor should be notified.  The vice president for the area along with the supervisor will discuss the situation with the Internal Auditor, if appropriate.  If an employee does not feel comfortable discussing the situation with his/her supervisor, he/she may contact the department of Internal Audit.  All information will be held in strict confidence by the auditors.  The issue should not be discussed with any other individuals.  Internal Auditing along with the University Police (when applicable) will conduct an investigation of any suspected loss or fraudulent activity.  Management is responsible for taking appropriate corrective actions to ensure adequate controls exist to prevent continued occurrences. 

Care should be taken in dealing with suspected dishonest or fraudulent activities to avoid the following:

  • alerting suspected individuals that an investigation is under way
  • incorrect accusations
  • making statements that could lead to claims of false accusation or other offenses

 

Employees may contact the Department of Human Resources to determine the appropriate action to be taken. 

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9009

Subject:  Safety

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 1995

 

Policy

The Safety Department provides a comprehensive and continuing accident prevention and environmental health effort compatible with the functions of the administration of the university.  The program is designed to create a safer and more healthful atmosphere for study, research, service, and employment, and to promote good health and safety practices by the student body, the faculty, and the staff.

 

The Safety Department has the following responsibilities:

  • Commitment of the university to accident and injury prevention
  • Establishment of standards of safety practices for equipment and facilities
  • Accident investigation involving serious injuries
  • Preventive investigation: an on‑going program of surveillance of the entire campus environment to disclose safety hazards and to promote improvements
  • Safety promotion: a continuous safety education program, conducted to orient and train students and university personnel in safety policies and practices

 

Injury Reports should be completed immediately by contacting Human Resources and obtaining the Workers' Compensation or tort forms required, completing those forms, and processing them with the assistance of the Human Resources Department.  Injury on campus is a proper concern of students, faculty, and staff alike, and its control should enjoy the cooperation and attention of all personnel of the university.  More detailed information on the Workers' Compensation Program may be obtained from the Department of Human Resources.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

At GCRL, injury reports are submitted to the Finance Office.

 

Use of Electrical Heaters

The use of portable electric space heaters or any other portable heating devices in university buildings is prohibited.  Plugging portable heaters into outlets overload the circuits causing nuisance tripping of protective equipment.  These overload conditions create a potential fire hazard which can endanger the safety and welfare of building occupants.

 

Asbestos Containing Building Materials

The presence of asbestos in buildings and houses poses a widespread concern for everyone.  It was used extensively in construction from 1946 through 1973 for insulation and acoustical purposes.  As a government‑approved building material, it was considered almost a miracle substance because of its fire retardant and insulating properties.  However, airborne asbestos fibers are a potential health hazard because they have been linked with different types of abdominal and lung cancers.  We are therefore committed to taking corrective measures.  Our asbestos control efforts will be based on the advice of experts knowledgeable in asbestos abatement techniques.

 

An environmental consulting firm has completed a study to determine the presence and location of asbestos materials in all buildings located at The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.  The buildings were inspected in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for asbestos‑containing materials.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi has undertaken asbestos control techniques which will drastically reduce the potential risk associated with airborne asbestos fibers.  It is advisable not to disturb any materials found to contain asbestos as doing so will cause asbestos contamination of the air.  Warning posters to alert users of the potential hazards have been placed at all locations on the campus where asbestos has been found.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Director of Physical Plant, Asbestos Program Coordinator, Room 107 of the Physical Plant Building. 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9101

Subject:  Campus Solicitation Policy

Date: July 1, 1995

Supersedes: July 1, 1993

 

Policy

Commercial on‑campus solicitation shall be defined as any promotion or sale of tickets, products, or services to be purchased for financial consideration or free give‑aways.  This may be accomplished by individual students, faculty, staff or non‑university commercial concerns.  All persons or concerns must have written permits from the Director of Student Activities, showing dates and places allowed to solicit.  A detailed Solicitation Policy, which includes information regarding permits, can be obtained from the Director of Student Activities.

 

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

All commercial on-campus solicitation at GCRL must be cleared through the director's office.

 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9102

Subject:  Parking Regulations

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 2002

 

Policy

Vehicle parking permits may be purchased by all university employees.   Applications for permits and assignment of parking zones will be made through the Department of Parking Management.  The employee may request a copy of the parking regulations when the permit is issued. It is expected that each employee will be familiar with these regulations and abide by them.  

 

Should an employee wish to park off campus, then a parking permit is not required.

 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9103

Subject:  Sign and Speaker Policy

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Sign Policy

Students and student organizations commonly post signs on university buildings as a means of informing the Student Body of events that they are sponsoring, or merely of their opinions. Staff employees engaging in such activity will follow the established university guidelines for posting of signs.  Detailed information regarding the procedures, specifications, and designated locations for signs can be obtained from the Student Activities Office, university Union Building.

 

Speaker Policy

The university will provide designated space for individuals or organizations desiring to make a public address to faculty, staff, or students.  The free expression of views and opinions either by individuals or groups must not violate any rights of others, disrupt the normal function of the university, or violate any of the provisions specified in the university Code of Conduct.  For more detailed information regarding the Speaker Policy, contact the Student Activities Office, University Union Building.

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9104

Subject:  Negotiating Contracts

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

The IHL Board Policy states: The Institutional Executive Officer of each institution, or a designee as evidenced in writing, is authorized to sign all official documents for and on behalf of the institution for which he is responsible.   

 

Anyone who signs a contract without authorization is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9105

Subject:  Jury Duty and Elections

Date: July 1, 1993

Supersedes: None

 

Jury Duty

Jury duty is recognized as a civic responsibility. A regular employee who is called for jury duty or summoned to appear as a witness on behalf of any town, city, county, state, or federal government shall be granted special leave with pay. The payment granted to an employee for serving on a jury may be retained by the employee. When an employee has been granted special leave for court attendance, he or she shall report immediately to his or her official place of duty whenever he or she is excused by the court.

 

Special leave with pay shall NOT be granted for court attendance when the employee is the defendant or is engaged in personal litigation. Personal leave shall be used for this purpose.

 

Elections

Most employees live or work close enough to the polls to vote before or after working hours. Should this not be possible, one may have time off to vote in county, state, or federal elections with the prior approval of his or her immediate supervisor.

 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9106

Subject:  Policy on Retirees

Date: July 1, 2012

Supersedes: July 1, 2008

 

Policy

Employees of The University of Southern Mississippi are provided a number of special privileges upon official retirement from the university.  These special privileges are over and beyond benefits provided by the Public Employees' Retirement System and other outside organizations such as AARP.

The following are a list of the special privileges:

  • Permanent Retiree Identification Card

The card is available through the Department of Human Resources.

  • Retiree Parking Decal

These decals are available at the Department of Parking Management (McLemore Hall 1st Floor) at no cost upon presentation of retirement ID card from photo services.

  • Free Credit Courses

Retired employees who meet admission or readmission requirements may take two free credit courses per semester not to exceed six semester hours.  Those taking free courses are responsible for their own textbooks and supplies and must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0.

To take advantage of free credit courses, retirees must first be admitted by the Admissions Office (Kennard-Washington, 110) or readmitted by the Registrar's Office (Kennard-Washington, 110) and then obtain a permit from the Department of Human Resources (McLemore Hall, 307).

  • Use of Library

Retirees of USM may use Cook Memorial Library on the same basis and under the same conditions as currently employed faculty and staff.

  • Scholarships for Children

The undergraduate tuition remission (scholarship) program that is provided for children of employees of the university is also available to the children of retirees of the university.  The amount of the scholarship depends upon the employment date of the retiree.  Children of those employed prior to July 1, 1977, may receive a 100 percent tuition remission.  Children of those employed after that date may receive a 50 percent tuition remission.

An application for a scholarship for children of retirees is available in the Department of Human Resources.  It must be verified by the Department of Human Resources.  Once the scholarship is awarded, it is continued automatically on a semester-by-semester basis as long as the student remains in good academic standing.

The scholarship is available at the undergraduate level only for students who have not reached their 25th birthday.

  • Use of Health Services

The charge, payable by cash or check at time of service, is the same as charges to active faculty and staff.  The clinic does not file for Medicare or Medicaid. 

  • Use of Post Office Box

The university Post Office will rent mail boxes to retirees for the same rate that it charges active faculty and staff. Cash or check only.

  • Use of the Payne Center

A reduced cost membership fee is available to retirees.

  • Season Tickets for Athletic Events

Any retiree is eligible to purchase a maximum of two season tickets at the faculty and staff rate for the sports of football, men's and women's basketball, and baseball.

  • Tickets for Cultural Events

For those events that have admission charges, reduced-price tickets are available to retired USM faculty and staff.

  • The DMA (Don't Mention Age) Club

The DMA Club is comprised of all USM retirees who wish to join together for fellowship, fun, information about the university, and information about other things of interest to retirees.  Membership is gained by paying annual dues at the September meeting.  The club meets for lunch four times each year.  Members pay for the costs of their meals.  Letters of invitation for membership are mailed to USM retirees in the early fall each year.  For further information, contact Mrs. Polly Odom (Administration Building, Room 106).

  • The ILR (Institute of Learning in Retirement)

The Institute of Learning in Retirement is an association of persons in retirement or semi-retirement who seek stimulating learning experiences while developing new friendships.  Its membership is not limited to USM retirees.  The program is self-directed and is run for and by the members.  It draws on members' talents and experiences as instructors and facilitator. 

Membership in ILR carries many benefits.  An annual membership fee is required and nominal fees are charged for various courses and seminars.  Further information is available from the Office of Continuing Education. For more information, please call 601-266-4210.

  • USM Credit Union

Memberships are available to retired faculty and staff as well as their families.  For further information visit www.usmfedcu.com.

 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9107

Subject:  Policy Formation

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 2000

 

Policy

The university would like to ensure that all policies are formally approved, printed in a consistent format, and maintained centrally.  Proposed new policies or revisions of current policies should be submitted to the Department of Human Resources who is responsible for obtaining the appropriate approvals on all proposed new policies or the revision.  The handbook that is maintained in the Department of Human Resources is the official handbook of the university and policies and procedures in this book take precedence over any and all other policies that might exist throughout the university and will be the policies consulted in any dispute.

 

Procedure

Upon completion of policies and procedures affecting the employees of the university that have been approved by the various organizations, the organization should send the completed copy to the Department of Human Resources.  The following information should be included:

  • the name of the organization writing and approving the original policy,
  • the name of the organization responsible for review of the policy,
  • the source of the policy,
  • the section of the handbook affected, and
  • the written policy approved by the university proofer.

 

Upon receipt of the policy and documentation, the Department of Human Resources will submit the policy to the President’s cabinet via the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  Once approved, the policy will be included in the handbook of the university and on the Human Resources’ Web page at www.usm.edu/hr.

 

 

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No.: 9108

Subject:  Signature Authority for Contracts

Date: July 1, 2000

Supersedes: None

 

Policy

According to the policy number 707-01 of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning only the Commissioner of Higher Education and the President of the university have the authority to obligate The University of Southern Mississippi for the purchase of land, personal property, and services.

 

The president may delegate in writing, signature authority to designated individuals for specific types of contracts or services.  Anyone signing a contract without written authorization from the president is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  Additionally, any person without authority who signs a contact on behalf of the university may be held personally liable for the contract.

 

This policy covers all types of configurations of purchase agreements, service arrangements, and software agreements.

 

Source of Policy: IHL Board of Trustees Board Policy 707.01

                       

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Section:  Other university Policies

Retrieval No. 9109

Subject:  Posting of Office Hours

Date: July 1, 2008

Supersedes: July 1, 2000

 

Policy

The university is open during the hours of 8 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on official university holidays or administrative closings.  Certain university departments may be required to remain open during the noon hour.  Therefore, administrative offices should post their hours on their main doors.