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Summary of Handbook Changes Oct. 1, 2012

This handout is designed to summarize the changes that have been made to the Augustana Staff & Administrative Employee Handbook, originally published in January of 2012.  For the most current version of the handbook, visit the online handbook at  For questions about these changes or policy issues in general, conduct any member of the Human Resources department.

(PDF version of this page)

Anti-Harassment & Discrimination.  An additional paragraph has been added to clarify the college's commitment to Title IX compliance.  The new language is in  italics below:

Title IX and Sex Discrimination

Augustana College prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment as well as in its education programs and activities, and a federal law known as "Title IX" requires that the College not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs.    Questions about the College's Title IX responsibilities, or to file a complaint of sex discrimination under Title IX, contact the College's Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Evelyn Campbell, 794-7533.   You may also Laura Ford, the Director of Human Resources, who serves as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for college employees, at 794-7352.

Employee Categories.  We have added an additional employment category of seasonal employee to designate those employees who work for a short period of time within certain areas of campus.  The new language is in italics below:

Seasonal Employees:  Seasonal employees are hired for a particular short-term period such as an athletic season or a department's busy season.  Seasonal employees are not eligible for any benefits or paid time off.

Hiring Practices.  New language clarifies that open positions are generally posted on the college website and discontinues a past practice of maintaining a open position bulletin board in the HR area.

Employee Conduct.  Adds "Knowingly engaging in an unsafe work practice or refusal to follow safety instructions" as an activity that may lead to immediate discharge.

Retirement .  A policy has been added to clarify what constitutes retirement from the College.  Policy language is in italics below:

Employees who are 55 years of age or greater with at least 15 years of service are eligible to retirem from employment at Augustana.  Generally, the College expects an extended period of notice for retirements of at least 30 days.  Employees who retire under these terms from the College will be honored at a retirement celebration and receive a token of appreciation for their service to Augustana.  Additionally, staff employees who retire will receive a lump sum payment equal to 20% of accrued and unused sick time.

Employees contemplating retirement should note that retirement under these age and service requirements may not satisfy the requirements for other retirement benefits.  The Office of Human Resources can provide individual information about questions regarding eligibility  for other benefits provided by Augustana or outside vendors and/or agencies.

Holidays.  Clarifies holiday pay for employees working a 9 or 10 month schedule.  New policy language is in italics below:

 Employees who work a schedule less than 12 months are not eligible for holiday pay if the holiday falls outside the period they are generally expected to work, even if they are utilizing paid time before and after the holiday.

  Vacation Time.  The policy has eliminated the requirement that vacation time be taken in a minimum of one-hour increments and requires that all employees use college procedures to report vacation time usage.

Sick Time.  The policy has eliminated the requirement that sick time be taken in a minimum of one hour increments and requires that all employees use college procedures to report sick time usage.  Additionally the new policy clarifies that employees will not accrue additional paid time off when utilizing sick time.

Personal Leave.  The new policy eliminates the waiting period for new staff employees to begin accrual of personal time.

• Family Medical Leave.  Clarifies our policy that employees make take this leave to care for a spouse, or legal equivalent, child or parent with a serious health condition.  Also in the FMLA policy, the below italicized language is added  to the policy:

If an employee is utilizing unpaid leave during Family Medical Leave, the employee will be responsible for making payment arrangements for any premiums for elected insurance coverages.  Retirement contributions will only be made during times of paid leave.

Sick Bank.  Changes the waiting period for sick bank usage to one year to bring it into sync with our family medical leave policy.

Workers Compensation.  A new policy has been added to address this area.  Policy language is in italics below:

In accordance with state regulations, Augustana College will provide leave for employees who are injured while at work.  In these situations, the College works with an outside vendor who provides salary continuance when an employee is unable to work due to an event covered by workers compensation.  All workers compensation leaves will also be considered FMLA events and will run concurrently.  While on workers compensation leave, no additional leave can be taken by the employee and sick time, vacation time and personal leave will not accrue during the leave.  Employees on extended workers compensation leave will need to make payment arrangements for the employee portion of any elected insurance benefits. 

Vision Care Insurance (Voluntary).  Clarifies that employees are eligible to participate in this voluntary benefit if they work at least 50% or are regularly scheduled for 20 hours per week.

Dental Care Insurance (Voluntary).  Adds information on this voluntary benefit.  Policy language is in italics below:

Full and part-time employees (50% equivalent or 20 hours per week) may elect to participate in the Augustana dental plan.  This plan is voluntary and all premiums are paid by participating employees.  The Office of Human Resources can provide interested employees with information about the costs and benefits of the plan as well as enrollment information.  Employees who choose to enroll in this voluntary benefit are not able to make changes during the plan year except under the limited qualifying conditions set forth in the Summary Plan Description. 

Life Insurance (Voluntary).  Adds information on this voluntary benefit.  Policy language is in italics below:

Interested employees can purchase additional life insurance beyond that provided by the College.  Prices are based on age and available in a variety of increments.  The Office of Human Resources can provide interested employees with information about the costs and benefits of the plan as well as enrollment information.

Group Retirement Benefit (401a).  Retitles this benefit (formerly referred to as Pension Benefit 401a) and adds information about our vesting schedule.  New policy language  is below in italics:

Employees with a start date after June 30, 2012 will be subject to a vesting schedule in addition to the waiting period.  After becoming eligible to participate in the group retirement benefit, employees will be subject to a vesting schedule and will become fully vested no later than five years after beginning employment

403b Plan (Voluntary).  Retitles this benefit to Supplemental Group Retirement (403b) Plan (Voluntary).

Employee Assistance Program.  Augustana provides access to the Genesis Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all Augustana employees (both full and part-time) as well as members of an employee's family.  This is a free confidential professional counseling service designed to help employees and/or family members with a wide range of personal issues, including marital, emotional/stress, alcohol and drug abuse, elder care, family illness, family relationships, financial concerns, job stress and addictions of any sort, as well as many additional common issues.

Employees and their family members can acess the Genesis EAP by calling (800) 475-1641.  Counseling can be provided in-person at one of six Quad City locations or by telephone and immediate appointments are always available for crisis situations.