HR UPDATES
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HR Updates Homepage
February, 2009

What's in a Name?
Effective immediately, University Support Personnel System (USPS) employees will be referred to as Support Personnel (SP). In the coming months, you will notice this change in terminology in HR Policies and Regulations, on the HR website, as well as various online forms.

Additionally, departmental Payroll Custodians are now referred to as HR/Payroll Liaisons. We feel the new title more accurately reflects the importance of their role and assistance in processing HR and payroll transactions.


New HR/Payroll Policy

A new HR/Payroll Policy has been approved by the President and Cabinet and takes effect immediately. The full policy will be available on the General Counsel website shortly.

Below are highlights of the most significant changes:

Support Personnel timesheet submission
Beginning with the March 13, 2009, payroll, Support Personnel employees whose timesheets have not been submitted to HR/Payroll for more than two consecutive pay periods will have their direct deposit suspended by HR/Payroll. In order to release the employee’s paycheck and reinstate the direct deposit, the employee must submit up-to-date approved timesheets to the HR/Payroll Office.
 
Payroll Certifications
-  All VPs/Deans/Directors or their authorized designee(s) are now required to certify the accuracy of their employee payroll for each bi-weekly period. Through the payroll certification process, the Unit/Department/College is acknowledging that the employees paid are authorized employees of Florida Gulf Coast University and are entitled to the payments reflected on the Total Payroll Cost Report.
 
Time Approvals
- In order to assist in the Payroll Certification process, the work time entered by hourly OPS employees via Gulfline or on paper timesheet must be approved. If the employee’s supervisor is acting as the HR/Payroll Liaison and approving the timesheet online, it is not necessary for the timesheet to be printed and signed. The online submission and approval process provides an electronic signature. However, if the supervisor is not approving the timesheet online, the employee needs to print the timesheet for the supervisor’s signature. The signed timesheet can then be given to the HR/Payroll Liaison for online approval.

Time Sheets/Leave Slips- HR/Payroll Liaisons are responsible for gathering all Support Personnel timesheets as well as any Faculty and A&P Leave forms each pay period. In order to improve the efficiency of the payroll process, these documents should be submitted to HR/Payroll Office in one batch no later than the Wednesday following the BS pay period end date.  Please refer to the Payroll Calendar for pay period dates and other important information.


New Workers' Compensation Carrier
Effective January 1, 2009, FGCU’s NEW workers’ compensation carrier is OptaComp. OptaComp provides 24/7/365 claim reporting through their Triage Unit.

If you are injured on the job...
  • In a medical emergency, please call University Police at 590-1911.The University Police Department staff is trained to handle emergency situations and can arrange for emergency transportation, if necessary. As soon as possible after receiving emergency treatment, contact OptaComp at 877-518-2583 to report the claim.
  • In the case of an injury not requiring immediate medical attention, report the injury to your supervisor. Your supervisor should then immediately report the claim to OptaComp at 877-518-2583 . Whenever possible, you should be present with your supervisor when the claim is reported. The triage nurse will then be better able to assess medical needs and arrange for immediate medical treatment. Upon completion of these initial tasks, the triage nurse will immediately transfer the case to a nurse case manager and adjuster team for continued handling.
Please note that on the job injuries not requiring medical treatment are also required to be reported to OptaComp.
 

ADDITIONAL NOTE: CorVel will continue to provide service on claims reported prior to January 1, 2009.

For additional information regarding Workers' Compensation procedures please click here, or contact Human Resources at 590-1400.


Drug-Free Workplace
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Drug-Free Workplace/Schools Policy was promulgated to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act adopted by Congress in 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Public Law 101-226. The regulations require publication of a policy statement notifying students and employees of the University’s Drug-Free Workplace/Schools Policy and establishment of a drug prevention program.

We are committed to providing an academic and workplace environment free of the illegal use and abuse of alcohol and the manufacture, sale, purchase, use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs in and on FGCU owned or controlled property. Florida Law prohibits the sale or distribution of illicit drugs within a 200-foot perimeter of the University property. Further information regarding the health risks associated with substance abuse, available drug and alcohol counseling, treatment, or conduct and penalties for violations are available on the main HR page by clicking here.

Your help is needed to ensure compliance with this policy. Faculty or staff with questions regarding the policy should contact the Office of Human Resources at 239-590-1400.

Minimum Wage Increase

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To comply with Florida’s minimum wage increase, which became effective January 1, 2009, all employees--including OPS, Student Assistant, and Federal Work Study Students—are now paid a minimum of $7.21 an hour.


Work Time Records

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires the University to maintain accurate daily records of  work time for all Support Personnel employees (formerly referred to as USPS) and hourly OPS employees. Such records must document hours actually worked, rather than hours scheduled to work.   

In order to document the daily record of work time, the University utilizes the Support Personnel Timesheet which is located on the HR website at the following link:  http://www.fgcu.edu/HR/files/Support_Personnel_Timesheet.xlsx.  Employees should follow the instructions for completion found on page two of the timesheet document. For hourly OPS employees, the University utilizes an online Time Sheet process via Gulfline.  The Web Time Entry Manual is available online at
http://www.fgcu.edu/HR/files/Web_TimeEntryManual.pdf.

It is never acceptable for Support Personnel or OPS employees to maintain hours worked “off the books”. All hours worked must be reported on the biweekly timesheet on the appropriate workday.

The University’s established work week is 40 hours, Sunday through Saturday.  The typical work schedule is Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with a one hour lunch break.  Each department may approve variations to the work week schedule based on the unique operations of the department.

In the event a supervisor must assign an employee to work in excess of 8 hours in a workday, the supervisor should attempt to adjust the remaining work schedule, within the current 40 hour workweek to avoid an overtime compensation obligation.

Support Personnel employee timesheets must be submitted to their supervisor for approval no later than Monday following the pay period end date published in the Payroll Calendar available at: http://www.fgcu.edu/HR/generalpayroll.html.  Hourly OPS employees must complete their Gulfline timesheet and submit by the OPS Time Entry deadline published on the Payroll Calendar.

Overtime is defined as the actual hours of work required to be performed by an employee that are in excess of 40 hours during the established workweek. The term "actual hours of work" does not include leave hours taken and/or holidays that occur during the work week.

The majority of Support Personnel and hourly OPS employees are designated under the FLSA as non-exempt and are eligible to receive Overtime Compensatory Leave at the rate of time and one half for working over 40 hours in a work week . Overtime compensatory leave  is  accrued in Banner and can later be used in place of annual or sick leave. Non-exempt Support Personnel may accrue a maximum of 120 hours of overtime compensatory leave. With written supervisory  approval, overtime hours worked may be paid in addition to the employee’s regular biweekly pay.

Exempt Support Personnel employees receive compensatory leave for working over 40 hours in a work week  at a rate equal to the actual hours worked over 40 – referred to as Regular Compensatory Leave. Regular compensatory leave  is accrued in Banner and can later be used similarly to annual or sick leave. Exempt Support Personnel may accrue a maximum of 120 hours of regular compensatory leave and are not eligible to receive cash payment.

OPS hourly employees who work over 40 hours in a work week  receive overtime pay at the rate of time and one half. OPS employees are not eligible for compensatory leave.

Any employee or supervisor who would like additional training regarding time sheet procedures, or who may have additional questions regarding the information provided above should contact or be directed to Andrea Davis (590-1225) or Noyra Valentin (590-1415).


Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Department of Labor published new regulations in November interpreting and guiding the operation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These are the first significant changes to the regulations since the 1994 enactment of the law and became effective on January 16, 2009.  The new regulations address and clarify many issues including two new forms of military leave adopted in 2008 and employer notice obligations.

New military family leave entitlements for eligible specified family members include:
  • Up to 12 weeks of leave for certain qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered military member's active duty status, or notification of an impending call or order to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation; and ,
  • Up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member recovering from a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty. An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a service member is entitled to a combined total of up to 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave during the single 12-month period.

Questions regarding the FMLA should be referred to Human Resources, 590-1400.


Federal & State of Florida Labor Law Posters Now on HR Website

For your convenience, all federal and state posters that are required by law to be posted on campus are now available on the home page of the HR website. The federal posters include: Family and Medical Leave Act, It’s the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraphic Protection Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, and USERRA. The state posters include: Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, Child Labor Law, Discrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Florida Minimum Wage.

University notices have also been posted to the home page of the HR website. These include: Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Institutional Statement, Preventing Sexual Harassment, Drug Free Work Place Policy Statement, and Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve.

Posters continue to be displayed in hard copy outside the Human Resources Department in Howard Hall. If you have any questions regarding these postings, please contact Human Resources at 239-590-1400.


Attending SAC Meetings

Based upon the recent revisions to the SAC charter that expands the number of elected members from sixteen to twenty-four, we have received the following question about staff interested in attending SAC meetings and events.

Question:

Could you please clarify something regarding attendance at SAC meetings and activities?  As the department director/supervisor, employees have asked about taking time off to attend SAC meetings.  For instance, staff members have requested permission to attend the two hour SAC monthly meeting.  Are supervisors required to approve a staff members request to attend SAC meetings? In the case of the monthly meetings would part of the meeting time be considered lunch and the remainder considered work time or leave?

There has been some confusion among my various supervisors on how to handle this. 

Reply:

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) states that their mission is “to facilitate effective communication between the Staff, the President and the Administration. As a proactive partner in the University’s Shared Governance processes, SAC will provide a forum that will directly address the issues and concerns of the Staff at Florida Gulf Coast University, and strive to ensure a campus climate that reflects a strong, enthusiastic and positive quality work life.”

Like other established University community organizations, such as the Faculty Senate and Student Government, SAC is composed of elected representatives consisting of A&P and Support Personnel employees. Therefore, as an elected representative, attendance at SAC meetings and related committee assignments is considered work time. Service as an elected SAC member is considered a secondary activity in respect to the primary functions of the SAC member’s position. The department head and/or supervisor should be informed of scheduled SAC meetings and related committee assignments. Requests by SAC representatives should not be unreasonably denied. However, there may be instances in which attendance at a specific meeting or event may be denied due to the needs of the department.

All staff members are strongly encouraged to participate in SAC’s efforts to serve the University’s mission. Similar consideration should be given by department heads and/or supervisors to non-elected staff members’ requests to attend SAC meetings that are held during regular work hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. As an effort to accommodate work demands and allow for more staff participation, SAC meetings are currently scheduled between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Attendance at a SAC meeting is not part of an employee’s regular position responsibilities; therefore, an employee may use their lunch break or off time to attend the meeting. Any additional time needed to attend the SAC meeting would require department head and/or supervisor approval, and would be considered as work time if the meeting is held during regular work hours. The department head and/or supervisor is encouraged, where possible, to allow employees to attend SAC meetings. However, such requests may be denied if the work requirements of the department do not allow the employee to be away during that time.

The annual and periodic Staff Assembly meetings present a different issue in regard to employee attendance. Since the purpose of such meetings is to inform staff of upcoming elections, proposed charter changes, etc., department heads and/or supervisors are encouraged to allow staff to attend during work time when department work demands allow them to be released.

 


2009 Holiday Schedule
New Year's Day 2009
Thursday, January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
Monday, January 19
Memorial Day
Monday, May 25
Independence Day
Friday, July 3 (observed)
Labor Day
Monday, September 7
Veterans Day
Wednesday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 26
Day after Thanksgiving
Friday, November 27
Christmas Day
Friday, December 25
Winter Break (4 business days between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1)
Monday, December 28 through Thursday, December 31
New Year's Day 2010
Friday, January 1

In addition, each Support Personnel employee is entitled to one personal holiday per year. The personal holiday is available to eligible employees on July 1 of each year to be taken prior to June 30 of the following year.

 
The Holiday Schedule can also be found on the HR website at http://www.fgcu.edu/HR/HolidaySchedule.html. To view FGCU's Holiday Policy and Procedure, click here.
 
Please contact Human Resources with any questions regarding the observance of official university holiday.

Withholding Calculator
Click here for a handy tool provided by the Internal Revenue Service to help employees ensure they do not have too much or too little income tax withheld from their pay.

By going through the various steps in the program you will have a good idea of your anticipated tax liability for 2009.* You may use the results of this program to update your current W-4, if necessary. The 2009 W-4 is available on the HR website under the Forms menu. Completed W-4 forms must be forwarded to Human Resources for processing.

*Note: Remember that the results provided by the program can only be as accurate as the input you provide.


2009 Deferral Limits
The maximum limit on employee elective deferrals to 403(b) plans is $16,500 for 2009. Employees 50 and older may make additional 'catch up' contributions of $5,500 for 2009.

Additionally, employees with 15 or more years of service may be able to defer up to an additional $3,000 more annually.

Please contact your tax-sheltered annuity company representative for more information regarding these limits.