Cornell College Employee Handbook
Table of ContentsEqual Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy
Commitment to Quality ServiceStaff RecruitmentBackground Check Policy
Employment Letter/Salary Notices
Hours of Work
Flexible Work Arrangements
Time Reporting/Pay Procedures
Performance Review Procedures
Wage and Salary Administration
Termination of Employment
Flexible Spending Accounts
Life AD&D Insurance
Long Term Disability Insurance
Travel Accident Insurance
Family and Medical Leave
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Hilltop Fitness Center Club Membership
Dependent Tuition Remission
Personal Relationships in the Professional Setting
Americans With Disability Statement
College E-mail and Web Policy
Statement of Ethical Conduct
Conflict of Interest Policy
Nursing Mothers Policy
Admission to College Events
Vehicle Registration and Parking
Employee Identification Cards
Business Expense Reimbursement Policy
The purpose of this Employee Handbook is to provide employees with a working guide to the understanding of the day-to-day administration of personnel policies and practices at Cornell College. It is not intended to cover every possible situation which could be encountered but rather to provide employees an overview of current College personnel policies, programs, and employee benefits. After appropriate consultation, the College has the right to change, modify, or add policies and procedures. As a general rule, changes will be announced in a timely fashion by memorandum or in the Campus e-Newsletter. Any subsequent revisions or other modifications supersede this Employee Handbook. It is your responsibility as an employee to read this handbook. If further clarification or interpretation is necessary, please talk with your supervisor, division vice president, and/or the Human Resources Office. These policies and procedures and any subsequent revisions do not constitute an employment contract and should not be interpreted as creating an employment contract.
Although most policies are the same for all employees, some differences do exist based on factors such an employee category and pay status (exempt, non-exempt, hourly support, faculty, administrative). Where applicable, these differences are explained.
All Human Resources and Payroll forms are located in the Forms Directory webpage (http://www.cornellcollege.edu/human-resources/forms).
Staff at Cornell College are
employed at will. This means that employees are not required to work for the
College for any set period of time and that the College is not required to
employ anyone for a set period of time. This handbook does not modify or limit
the employment-at-will relationship.
The following statement regarding the mission of Cornell College was ratified by the Cornell College Faculty on March 6, 1990, and adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 18, 1990:
The Aims of Cornell College
Cornell is an independent, coeducational, residential liberal arts college, established in 1853, nurtured by the United Methodist Church, and dedicated to fostering intellectual, moral, and personal growth.
The College is committed to sustaining a community devoted to liberal learning and democratic values. To this end, it seeks to provide a caring environment for living and learning characterized by close relationships, physical and emotional well-being, appreciation of diversity, affirmation of equal opportunity and academic freedom, and respect for the dignity and worth of each individual.
Cornell College endeavors to provide opportunities for pursuing liberal
education that allow Cornell students to:
· explore widely the range of human experience and investigate carefully the work of a chosen discipline;
· analyze problems and synthesize solutions;
· integrate theory and practice; and
· read critically, reason effectively, engage creatively, feel deeply, evaluate fairly, respond imaginatively, communicate clearly, and act responsibly.
Cornell College endorses liberal educational as an end in itself and as a means of empowering students for leadership through productive careers and humane service in the global community.
This policy outlines Cornell College's Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action statement, with guidelines set forth in Iowa Code Section 261.9.
Policy Questions: Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to your supervisor, division vice-president, or director of human resources (x4243). It is the responsibility of the director of human resources to keep this policy up-to-date in conjunction with any changes in legal requirements.
Scope: This policy applies to faculty and staff.
Statement: Cornell College is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. It is against Cornell College's policy for any employee to discriminate against an applicant for employment or another employee on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law.
Cornell College is an Affirmative Action employer and is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce through specific guidelines regarding employment searches, diversity training, and ongoing assessment of recruitment and retention.
Affirmative Action Coordinator: The Affirmative Action Coordinator shall be appointed by, and shall report to, the President and will coordinate the affirmative action needs. Currently, the Director of Human Resources, Vickie Farmer, has been appointed as affirmative action coordinator. The President, in conjunction with the affirmative action coordinator, will annually appoint an affirmative action committee to oversee affirmative action needs, including recruitment.
Reporting Violations: If anyone believes a violation of this policy has occurred, a written concern should be submitted to the Director of Human Resources. If there is a concern with actions taken by the Director of Human Resources, a written report should be submitted to the Vice President for Business Affairs.
Commitment to Quality Service
A commitment to provide quality service is a responsibility of all full-time, part-time, and student employees of Cornell College. As representatives of the College, courtesy, thoughtfulness, and willingness to be helpful are extremely important when working with faculty, staff, students, and the public.
Notice of employment openings will be announced in the Campus e-Newsletter prior to external advertising. Additional information on employment openings can be found at http://www.cornellcollege.edu/human-resources. Selection and placement are based on several factors, including knowledge, skills, education, experience, interview results, references, and background check results (refer to Background Check Policy).
Cornell College conducts background checks for faculty, staff, key students and select volunteers in order to promote a safe learning and working environment and protect the welfare of current and future students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the College. Additionally, the policy provides compliance with guidelines set forth by the College’s risk management insurance company.
Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to your supervisor, division vice-president, or director of human resources (x4243). It is the responsibility of the director of human resources to keep this policy up-to-date in conjunction with any changes in legal requirements.
This policy applies to faculty, staff, key students and select volunteers.
- External Employment Candidate:
A person applying for a job with Cornell that does not currently work for Cornell, and is not applying for an adjunct faculty position.
- Internal Employment Candidate:
A person currently working for Cornell and a candidate for a position substantially different from their present position.
- Adjunct faculty:
Faculty hired after July 1, 2010 to teach one or more blocks on a periodic basis and having never before worked for the college.
- Temporary Employees:
A employee hired to work only a set, short period of time.
- Key Students:
Resident assistants, library student workers, peer advocates, camp workers, or other students in a position with access to minors, developmentally disabled persons, or vulnerable adults, hired after July 1, 2010, and having never before worked for the college. Outside vendors employing Cornell students, such as Bon Appétit, maintain responsibility for them and Cornell College will not perform background checks for these student workers.
A person who wants to perform services for Cornell free of charge and in their volunteer capacity will have access to minors, developmentally disabled persons, or vulnerable adults with a volunteer start date after September 1, 2011.
The hiring manager may extend a conditional offer of employment to their finalist; background checks are performed before the offer can be finalized.
If a candidate refuses to authorize a background check, or authorizes one and it is determined they have falsified or withheld information during the application process, they will be disqualified from employment.
Type of Candidate:
Background check link distributed and candidate entered into the background check database by HR:
When the hiring manager notifies HR to distribute
When a current employee notifies HR of their intent to apply for a position
When the Dean’s office or hiring manager notifies HR to distribute
When the hiring supervisor notifies HR to distribute
Who notifies HR to run the check:
The hiring manager
The hiring manager
The Dean’s Office for adjunct; the hiring manager for all others
The hiring/volunteer supervisor
What checks are requested via HR to an outside reporting agency:
Note: The College will ensure, as far as possible, that all checks are conducted in compliance with federal and state statutes.
Residency History; Social Security Verification; All County Criminal Search (all counties within the past 7 years, includes maiden name search); Nationwide Criminal Database & 50 State Sex Offender Registry; Education Verification and Previous Employment Verification (up to 3 jobs, or a maximum of 10 years).
If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run.
Residency History; Social Security Verification; All County Criminal Search (all counties within the past 7 years, includes maiden name search); Nationwide Criminal Database & 50 State Sex Offender Registry; Education* Verification and Previous Employment Verification (up to 3 jobs, or a maximum of 10 years).
*The Dean’s office will verify education for all teaching hires.
If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run.
Social Security Verification, Nationwide Criminal Database and 50 State Sex Offender Registry.
The Dean’s office will verify education. HR will verify education of temporary employees.
If operating a College-owned vehicle and/or transporting people or material for the College a motor vehicle check will be run.
Social Security Verification, Nationwide Criminal Database and 50 State Sex Offender Registry.
*No employment verification will be run for candidates whose primary experience is working as a research assistant, etc. in preparation of defending or obtaining their Ph.D.
Results1. Results from the outside reporting agency will be sent to the Human Resources Director or Coordinator.
2. If results show no criminal convictions and no significant motor vehicle violations, the Human Resources Director or Coordinator will notify the hiring manager/search committee chair or other appropriate person that the candidate is approved for a final job offer or that a current employee may be transferred to a new or interim position.
4. If results reveal a criminal conviction or significant motor vehicle violation, which might factor in an adverse action, Human Resources will notify the candidate that the conditional offer of employment has been withdrawn and provide to the candidate a Pre-Adverse Action Notice along with a copy of the report, a notice of the individual’s rights under the Federal Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA), and the contact information of the outside reporting agency. If the candidate believes the report provided to the College is inaccurate, the College will give the candidate a reasonable period of time to refute the disputed information with the vendor.
6. A criminal conviction or a motor vehicle violation does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment. In making the determination of the job-relatedness of a criminal conviction or a motor vehicle violation, consideration will be given to the position for which the applicant is being considered; how recently the incident(s) occurred; the frequency and severity of the incident(s); the age of the individual at the time of the incident(s); evidence of rehabilitation; and the safety and security of the campus. When in doubt, the Human Resources Director or Coordinator may elect to consult with legal counsel.
Only the Human Resources department may initiate criminal or motor vehicles records check and receive results. Results of all such checks will be kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to any person except to the extent necessary to administer and enforce this policy, or as required by law or appropriate legal process. Records will be maintained as part of a confidential file in the Human Resources department, separate from employee personnel files. Violation of the confidentiality requirement is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination of employment.Internal Promotion
Promotions of staff members may occur without external recruiting if it is clear that each promotion 1) is the result of growth in competence and skills of an individual and merit a corresponding expansion of the individual's current job responsibilities or 2) is a position change involving increased but similar responsibilities. In cases where two or more persons at the College are potentially eligible for promotion to the same position, notice of the employment opening shall be circulated to current employees. Promotion without external recruiting requires the approval of the Affirmative Action Coordinator, the President, the Salary Review Committee, and the Director of Human Resources.
Practices relating to promotion of faculty members are detailed in the Faculty Handbook.
Employment Letters/Salary Notices
Employees will receive an employment letter at the time of initial hire. Subsequently, written notifications will be sent to employees regarding any changes in compensation, title, or department. Employee salaries are reviewed once a year, normally effective September 1. If increases are implemented, eligible staff who meet performance expectations and have been employed less than one year will receive a prorated increase. Each year the timing and amount of salary increases are subject to change.
All full-time hourly employees work 7.5 hours per day and 37.5 hours per week, unless their supervisor and the Human Resources Office have approved other specific arrangements. Part-time and temporary employees will work their assigned schedules. Work schedules may vary to fit the particular needs of a department.
One-hour lunch breaks are provided. Some offices may stagger the lunch break so that they can remain open over the noon hour to provide necessary services for students, staff, faculty, and the public.
Employees are provided a 15-minute paid work break in both the morning and afternoon. Breaks are not guaranteed and depend on workload and time constraints. Unused breaks cannot be "banked" and used to shorten the regular work hours.
Flexible Work Arrangements
The College will consider flexible work arrangements where appropriate. Flexible work arrangements refer to reductions in work load with corresponding reductions in compensation and benefits, as well as flexible work schedules without reduction in work load, compensation, and benefits. Flexible work arrangements may involve significant monetary costs to the College and may have an adverse effect on the efficiency of specific offices. Therefore, before being implemented, these arrangements must be approved by the employee's supervisor and the appropriate Vice President or Dean, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources and the President of the College. The arrangement may be changed or terminated at the discretion of the College.
Summer Hours Optional (Updated May 2010)
In the summer, hourly employees have the option of (1) working until 4:30 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break or (2) working until 4:00 p.m. with a half-hour lunch break. The schedule for summer hours is announced annually in the Campus e-Newsletter.
Cornell is a self-contained residential institution and its teaching and administrative activities must generally continue despite the weather. On occasion, weather conditions may be such as to make travel difficult and slow. Employees will be allowed additional paid time, if needed, up to sixty (60) minutes for commuting.
The decision to close all or a
portion of the college, or delay the start of the working day is the
responsibility of the Dean of the College, who consults with the Vice President
for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, the Vice-President for Business
Affairs, the Director of Facility Services, and the Director of Campus Safety.
When appropriate, the Dean will schedule an early morning conference call with
the above-named individuals to determine a closing/delay and will then work
with the Office of College Communications to initiate appropriate notifications
to the campus community. Closings/delays may affect only non-essential
administrative offices, or the Dean of the College may determine the need to
cancel classes, depending on the situation.
Faculty and Staff should be alert to regular communication methods through the campus home page (updated by 7:00 a.m. with closing/delay information), email, voice mail and cell phones. Where these methods are not effective, phone trees or other departmental methods of reaching personnel should be used. In extreme weather situations, an announcement will be broadcast through local radio and/or television stations. When in doubt, employees should seek guidance from their supervisor.
Unless the Dean of the College delays or cancels classes, individual faculty will determine whether classes meet based on their ability to come to campus safely. Faculty will notify students of class cancellations or alternative arrangements for learning during the inclement weather (Moodle assignments/readings, independent study, group work on campus, etc.) via established procedures.
Because Cornell is a residential campus, services to students must continue to be provided, requiring essential staff to work. Essential services include dining services, facilities management, campus safety, residence life, the information desk, the health center, and cleaning services. Staff who work in these areas are considered “essential staff” and are expected to work during times when non-essential offices are closed. Depending on scheduled campus activities, there may be times when other services are also deemed essential. Each division head will inform others when they are deemed essential.
When advance planning is possible, essential staff may contact Student Affairs or Academic Affairs to determine if there is any on-campus housing available for them to take a rest break or, when necessary, to spend the night.
Those essential staff paid hourly and required to work during a delay or closing will be paid one and one-half times their standard hourly rate of pay for hours worked during a delay or office closing. Those essential staff classified as exempt will be given one hour of vacation time for each two hours worked during a delay or office closing.
In order to qualify for this pay/vacation time, it is necessary for the division head to send an email to Human Resources on the next available working day, listing those essential staff who worked and hours worked.
If a decision to close administrative offices or to delay the start of the working day is announced, non-essential staff may elect to stay home and will be paid for those hours at their regular rate. Non-essential staff who voluntarily elect to come to work during a delay or closing, or who elect to work from home, will not be further compensated.
Note: For road condition updates: http://www.iowaroadconditions.org
In all situations, safety of students, faculty and staff is the number one concern. Please utilize discretion and judgment when determining whether to travel in inclement weather situations, and communicate your plan in a timely manner with your supervisor.
Those employees paid on an hourly basis who are eligible for overtime earnings.
- Full-time Regular: Employees who normally work 37.5 hours per week, 9 months or more per year.
- Part-time Regular: Employees who normally work more than 20 hours but less than 37.5 hours per week, 9-months or more per year.
- Part-time: Employees who normally work less than 20 hours per week.
Those employees who meet the definition of salaried employees (title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 541) are not eligible for overtime compensation. However, the nature of the position may require that additional hours be worked periodically.
Individuals hired to work for specific period of time, normally not to exceed 6 months.
Time Reporting Procedures (Revised January 2010)
Non-exempt hourly staff are required by the Fair Labor Standards Act to complete time cards. To comply with this regulation, employees must record the hours worked each day on a time card. The time card is signed by the employee, approved by the supervisor, and submitted to the Payroll Coordinator.
Full-time Non-Exempt Hourly Staff
The pay period for full-time hourly employees is from the first of the month to the end of the month. Full-time employees are paid based on the number of working days (varies per month) for the current month worked, with any adjustments for sick time, vacation and overtime from the prior pay period.
Click here for the full-time hourly time card and due dates.
The normal work week is 37.5 hours, paid at straight time. Hours worked beyond 37.5, but less than 40 hours per week, will be compensated at straight time or compensatory time off during the same pay period. Any hours worked in excess of 40 will be compensated, by overtime pay, at time and one-half. Time cards must reflect compensatory time off or overtime worked, both of which must be authorized in advance and approved by the supervisor.
Questions regarding time cards should be directed to the Human Resources Office or payroll coordinator.
Part-time Non-Exempt Hourly Staff
Click here for the part-time hourly time card and due dates.
Exempt Administrative Staff
The pay period for exempt administrative staff is from the first of the month to the end of the month. The nature of exempt positions requires that additional hours may be needed in carrying out the responsibilities of the job. These additional hours are not compensated. Exempt administrative staff will complete a monthly report that records vacation and sick time.
Employees are paid on the last working day of the month. Earning statements will be delivered in campus mail, unless other arrangements are made with the Human Resources Office. Electronic direct deposit of payroll checks to a financial institution within the United States is required.
On occasion, an employee may be required to serve on jury duty. Cornell encourages its employees to accept and perform their duties as citizens. All regular part-time and full-time employees will continue to receive their regular pay while serving on jury duty. The employee will reimburse the College for any additional monies received as compensation for jury duty, other than mileage reimbursement. A person serving on a jury is expected to report to work when the jury is recessed.
Employees are entitled to a military leave of absence without pay for service in the armed forces of the United States or in a state National Guard. Short leaves may be with pay if they are charged to accumulated vacation. When called to duty, contact the Human Resources Office regarding benefit status during the leave.
A performance appraisal provides a basis for both assessing job performance and establishing communication between the supervisor and employee. Periodic discussions in this framework are helpful in the development of mutual understanding between the employee and supervisor with regard to job duties and responsibilities. These discussions and the feedback they include provide an opportunity for an employee to assess how he/she is doing and to set new objectives for the future.
Employee Wage and Salary Administration
Cornell is committed to a total compensation program, which includes salaries, wages, and benefits. The goal of the salary administration process is to provide each employee with a salary that is internally equitable and externally competitive. In addition, the compensation program provides a basis for job comparison both within and outside of the College which will aid in recruiting and provide a rationale for salary decisions.
The compensation program at Cornell, incorporating the institution's goals,
has the following objectives:
· To provide employees with compensation that is externally competitive, so as to attract and retain qualified employees;
· To provide a wage and salary program that is internally equitable;
· To ensure that the compensation program has a high priority in the planning and building of the College's budget;
· To provide a compensation program that, as appropriate, assists supervisors and administrators in encouraging staff members to maximize their job performance; and
· To ensure that wages and salaries are periodically reviewed and appropriately revised to reflect changing conditions.
Further information regarding compensation can be obtained from the Human Resources Office.
If a dispute arises between employees, Cornell's policy is to encourage the parties to resolve the dispute through discussion between the parties. If resolution is not obtained at this level, then the parties should contact their immediate supervisor to assist in the resolution of the matter. If the dispute involves allegations of sexual harassment or other discriminatory actions, then the procedures set forth in the Anti-Discrimination Policy should be followed.
Employees may leave the employment of the College for a variety of reasons. Normally, when an employee resigns, a written notice outlining the anticipated last day of employment is given to the immediate supervisor and a copy sent to the Director of Human Resources. A minimum two-week notice is expected. If the College terminates an employee, the same minimum notification will normally be given. The College may provide no notice to those employees for whom there are serious performance or misconduct issues.
Practices relating to resignation or termination of employment of faculty members are detailed in the Faculty Handbook.
Employees terminating for any reason will be paid vacation earned but not yet taken as of the last day of work. Holidays which follow the last day of work will not be paid. Group health, life, and disability insurance will be continued through the end of the month in which the termination occurs. Specific information on insurance continuation and conversion will be made available to departing employees during their exit interview.
The termination process includes an exit interview with the Director of Human Resources, the return of I.D. card, keys, library books, College credit card, gas card, parking pass and any other College property, and consultation with the Office of Human Resources about benefits, paid vacation time, and network and email privileges.
Insurance benefits are governed by the detailed language in the insurance contracts and Summary Plan Descriptions. Cornell reserves the right to add, change, or terminate any provisions addressed in the benefits listed below. All regular employees working at least 1,000 hours per year, are eligible for fringe benefits. Regular employees working full-time 9 months or more are eligible for full-time benefits. Vacation and sick time benefits are prorated for employees working less than 12 months full-time. Part-time regular employees are eligible for benefits on a prorated basis. Part-time employees working less than 20 hours a week (less than 1,000 hours per year) and temporary employees are eligible for worker compensation and social security benefits. Benefits begin the first of each month, unless noted otherwise.
An employee is eligible to participate in the College's group health insurance on the first day of the month following the employee's date of hire. When the first day of employment falls on the first day of a month, the employee is eligible to participate in the plan on that date. The Cornell College Health Care Plan (Jan. 1, 2006) is administered through First Administrators, Inc. The monthly premium will be deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee's regularly scheduled paychecks. Pre-tax deductions are subject to IRS regulations which restrict changes during the plan year, with exception to those caused by a qualifying event, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, death of a dependent, employment change of the insured or their spouse, or open enrollment offered by the spouse's employer. An outline of the current health care plans and their costs can be found at: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/human-resources/benefits. Contact the Human Resources Office for further information and current costs.
Employees may change their health coverage election on an annual basis through open enrollment that is effective with the plan year beginning January 1. If you waive coverage for yourself and/or your eligible dependent(s) and later wish to apply for coverage at a time other than the annual open enrollment period, you must have experienced a qualifying event.
Group health insurance will terminate at the end of the month following the termination date from the College, unless COBRA is elected. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) ensures continuation of group health insurance coverage up to 18 or 36 months for most employees who are longer eligible for coverage under the group plan. COBRA coverage also applies to employees' spouses/domestic partners and dependents who are actively covered at time of coverage termination. Employees are given a copy of their rights under this Act at the time of employment. Information regarding COBRA can be obtained from the Human Resources Office.
The Human Resources Office should be notified within 31 days of any qualifying event that can affect the group health insurance coverage, such as divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status. Employees or family members have 31 days from the date of the event or the date on which coverage under the plan would end because of the event, whichever is later. If the employee or dependent loses eligibility under Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), then the employee must request enrollment into this Plan not later than 60 days after the event.
Dental Insurance (added to benefit package Jan. 1,
An employee is eligible to participate in voluntary dental insurance on the first day of the month following the employee’s date of hire. When the first day of employment falls on the first day of a month, the employee is eligible to participate in the plan on that date. Delta Dental insures this plan, and 20% annual participation is required to offer this benefit plan. The monthly premium will be deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee’s regularly scheduled paychecks. Pre-tax deductions are subject to IRS regulations which restrict changes during the plan year, with exceptions for those caused by a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, death of a dependent, employment change of the insured or their spouse, or open enrollment offered by the spouse's employer. Information regarding the dental plan can be found at: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/human-resources/benefits. Contact the Human Resources Office for further information.
Vision Plan (added to benefits package
Jan. 1, 2007)
An employee is eligible to participate in voluntary vision plan on the first day of the month following the employee’s date of hire. When the first day of employment falls on the first day of a month, the employee is eligible to participate in the plan on that date. Avesis administers this plan and a minimum of 10 employees must participate in order to offer this benefit. This plans assists with the retail cost incurred when purchasing glasses or contact lenses. The monthly premium will be deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee’s regularly scheduled paychecks. Pre-tax deductions are subject to IRS regulations which restrict changes during the plan year, with exceptions for those caused by a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, death of a dependent, employment change of the insured or their spouse, or open enrollment offered by the spouse's employer. Information regarding the vision plan can be found at: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/human-resources/benefits. Contact the Human Resources Office for further information.
Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical and Dependent Care) (Revised Jan. 04)
All employees eligible for fringe benefits may choose to have pre-tax money deducted from their regular paychecks and deposited into one or both of the reimbursement accounts. Under the current IRS rules, any money deposited into a reimbursement account for which the employee has not incurred an eligible expense during the plan year (January 1 - December 31) cannot be returned and is forfeited. Claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses may be submitted at any time during the plan year or during the 90 days following the end of the plan year.
In order to be reimbursed for eligible expenses, the employee must complete a Flexible Benefits Request for Reimbursement form. Reimbursements are processed weekly. Further information and the Flexible Benefits Request for Reimbursement form can be found at http://www.cornellcollege.edu/human-resources/benefits, or contact the Human Resources Office for further information.
Medical Reimbursement Account
Eligible employees may begin participation in this program on the first day of the month following initial employment. When the first day of employment falls on the first day of a month, the employee is eligible to participate in the plan on that date. Employees may deposit up to $7,000 per plan year (effective January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012) and use the money to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs for themselves and/or their dependents. The total annual amount deposited by the employee will be deducted in equal monthly installments from their paychecks. Examples of eligible expenses are: dental expenses, vision and hearing exams, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and deductibles.
Dependent Care Reimbursement Account
Eligible employees may begin participation in this program on the first day of the month following initial employment. When the first day of employment falls on the first day of a month, the employee is eligible to participate in the plan on that date. Employees may deposit up to $5,000 per plan year (up to $2,500 for married participants filing separately) and use the money to cover work-related child care expenses for children under the age of 13 who qualify as dependents on the employee's federal income tax return or for other dependents who qualify as federal tax dependents who are physically or mentally incapable of self-care, regardless of age, such as elderly parents whom the employee supports.
Note: If the daycare facility's enrollment is more than six, the facility must be licensed in order to qualify for the dependent care reimbursement account.
The College provides group term life insurance for eligible employees equal to 100% of their annual base salary. This coverage amount will decrease to 50% of the annual base salary when the employee reaches age 70, to 30% at age 75, and to 20% at age 80. This insurance may be converted to an individual policy upon termination.
Supplemental group life insurance is available to qualified employees. Information regarding this benefit can be obtained from the Human Resources Office.
Long Term Disability Insurance
The College provides long term disability insurance for all eligible employees. Benefit eligible employees are automatically enrolled the first of the month following a 90 day waiting period from the date of hire. This benefit provides up to 60% of basic monthly earnings not to exceed the maximum monthly benefit of $7,000, less other sources of income. Other income benefits include, but are not limited to: Worker's Compensation, other group disability insurance plan benefits, government benefits act or law, and Social Security.
While receiving disability benefits, the insurance carrier will continue to make contributions to the employee's retirement plan, provided that
a) the contributions are being paid at the time the disability starts;
b) the insured does not elect to receive retirement benefits during disability.
After satisfying the 90-day elimination period, all claims are filed through the Human Resources Office. This requires completion of forms by the employer, employee, and physician.
All employees of the College are covered under the Iowa Worker's Compensation Act for accidents and occupational diseases that are caused by, arise out of, or occur in the course of employment at Cornell, including medical expenses and compensation as provided by statute. Cornell employee benefits will continue uninterrupted until the employee has reached Maximum Medical Improvement and an assessment of ability to return to work has been made.
If you are injured or think you have been injured while working, no matter how slight, you must report the injury immediately to your supervisor and to the Human Resources Office in order to protect your eligibility for compensation. You will also need to fill out a work injury report with the Human Resources Office.
Business Travel Accidental Death Insurance
All employees are covered by a College-paid Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance policy for any accident that occurs on official college travel outside Mount Vernon. The coverage is based on two times the annual base salary, not to exceed $300,000. If annual pay is less than $25,000, the coverage is rounded up to $50,000.
Additional Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance is available to eligible employees. Information regarding this insurance can be obtained from the Human Resources Office.
Effective September 1, 2012, the College will contribute 6% of compensation (less overtime, vacation pay-out and cell phone allowances) earned after September 1, 2012, contingent on the employee contributing 2.5% of compensation. All contributions are fully and immediately vested.
All employees are also eligible to participate in the supplemental retirement plan (GSRA) through TIAA-CREF. There is no waiting period, and all contributions are made by the participant. Participants may contribute any amount up to the limit governed by the Internal Revenue Code. If a particpant wishes to contribute the maximum amount allowed, the Human Resources Office will request a calculation from TIAA-CREF of an individual's salary reduction limit. Further information can be obtained from the Human Resources Office.
Additional information on TIAA-CREF can be found at: www.tiaa-cref.org.
Holidays (updated May 2012)
Cornell College observes the following holidays each year:
New Year's Day
Thanksgiving (1/2 day prior to Thanksgiving Day and full day on Thursday)
Friday after Thanksgiving
Winter Break (dates determined annually)
Holidays that fall on a Saturday or Sunday will be observed on the same day as the state and federal government offices observe the holiday.
In order to best serve students, the college will not observe holidays when classes are in session.
For the 2012-2013 year, the college will observe 11.5 holidays and two personal holidays, for a total of 13.5.
Personal holidays will not be considered work time for purposes of overtime calculations, cannot be carried forward from year-to-year, and must be taken in full-day increments.
Vacation benefits are available for employees who work 1000 or more hours per year. Vacations are an important respite for all employees, and employees are encouraged to use their accumulated vacation annually.
All vacation time needs to be approved by an employee's supervisor. Whenever possible, the College will grant earned vacation at the convenience of the employee. However, departmental needs must be met, and vacation time should not be scheduled nor taken without prior request and approval.
New employees who begin working on or before the 15th of the month will receive vacation time credit for that month. Employees hired on or after the 16th of the month will not accrue vacation time for that month.
Vacation time is accrued on a monthly basis through payroll. The maximum amount of vacation time will not accrue beyond one and one-half times the employee's applicable yearly accrual amount. When this maximum is reached, no vacation will be accrued until the total amount has been reduced below the maximum.
Employees terminating for any reason will be paid their remaining accrued vacation. This will include vacation time credit for the month in which they are terminated only if the termination date falls on or after the 15th of the month.
Hourly, Non-Exempt Staff Accrual Rate Schedule0-2 years 6.88 hours/month
3-4 years 7.50 hours/month
5-9 years 11.25 hours/month
10 years or more 14.38 hours/month
Salaried, Exempt Staff Accrual Rate Schedule
0-9 years 13.33 hours/month
10 years or more 15.33 hours/month
Note: If you work full-time but less than 12 months, you will accrue vacation only during the months you work.
Part-time employees (those that work less than 40 hours/week for exempt employees and 37.5 hours/week for non-exempt employees), will accrue pro-rated vacation hours during the months in which they work. For example, if working 80%-time, vacation would be accrued at 80% of the monthly accrual rate during the months worked.
The College provides a sick leave benefit to protect the employee's income during periods of personal illness, injury, or medical appointment. Non-exempt regular full-time staff earn paid sick leave at the rate of one day per month up to a maximum accumulation of 90 days. Non-exempt regular part-time staff earn sick leave on a pro-rated rate. Exempt employees are covered for a period of up to 90 days per calendar year for personal illness. Employees who become sick or disabled for 90 consecutive days become eligible to apply for long term disability insurance. Sick leave may be used for illness, injury, or medical appointment of a family member. (See Family Medical Leave on following page.) Accrued sick leave is not paid to an employee upon termination.
Family and Medical Leave (Revised October 2008)
Because employees may find it necessary to take a temporary leave from their jobs to address certain family medical responsibilities or their own serious health condition, and in order to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the College has established the following family and medical leave policy and procedures.
To be eligible, employees must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the start of the leave. Leaves of absence will be granted for the following reasons:
- Employee's serious health condition that renders him/her unable to perform his/her essential job functions.
- The birth, adoption, foster care placement, or first-year care of a child.
- To care for a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent of the employee if that individual has a serious health condition.
Service Member Leave
- A qualifying exigency arising out of a covered family member's active duty or call to active duty in the Armed Forces.
- To care for a covered family member who has incurred an injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces provided that such injury or illness may render the family member medically unfit to perform duties of the member's office, grade, rand or rating.
If the leave is for birth, adoption, or foster care placement, the leave must be completed within 12 months of the date of birth or placement.
*All employees, regardless of hours worked or tenure, are elgible for 8 weeks of unpaid leave for disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, or legal abortion under Iowa Code 216.6.
Procedures for Requesting Leave
Employees must give the College 30 days advance notice for foreseeable family or medical leaves. If the need for family or medical leave is not foreseeable, notice must be given by the employee as soon as possible and practicable. Except in cases of extreme medical emergencies, the employee is expected to advise his/her supervisor as soon as he/she knows of the need for and expected duration of the leave.
Employees requesting leave must complete a Family and Medical Leave Request Form from the Human Resources Office and provide copies to his/her supervisor and the Human Resources Office.
Any request for leave based on a serious health condition, whether it involves the employee or a family member, must be supported by the appropriate medical certification. In all cases of leave for a serious health condition, the College reserves the right to request another medical opinion at the College's expense.
For service member leave arising out of exigency, the College reserves the right to request supporting documentation showing that the service member has been called to active duty.
Employees will be notified in writing by the Human Resources Office of the terms and conditions of their leave. This written notice will reflect the decision of the division head and the supervisor in consultation with the Director of Human Resources.
Length of Leave
Employees can take up to twelve weeks of leave under this policy during any twelve-month period. This leave may be taken intermittently or applied to a reduced work-week or work-day schedule. The leave will be measured as a rolling twelve month period measured backwards from the date any leave was taken under this policy. When both husband and wife work for the College, they are limited to a combined total of 12 weeks for birth or placement of a child, the care of a parent with a serious health condition, or for exigency leave for a service member.
Substituting Paid Leave
Sick time will run concurrently with leave taken under FMLA and wil be used to cover the missed pay in full until the sick leave runs out, or the employee returns from leave, whichever occurs first. In the case of exhausted sick time, an employee is required to substitute at least 50% of his/her available accrued vacation for any part of leave granted under this policy which would otherwise be unpaid. The employee may elect to use up to 100% of his/her accrued vacation. The election to use additional vacation beyond the required 50% substitution as paid leave that is substituted for unpaid leave must be made before the leave ends.
An hourly-paid employee has 40 hours of accrued vacation, no sick time and takes one day off under FMLA. This employee has to use 3.75 hours of vacation, but may elect to use 7.5 hours. If this same employee has been off work for FMLA for three weeks with no sick time, they would be required to use all 40 hours of accrued vacation time. They would be paid 18.75 hours (50%) for the first week off and 18.75 hours (50%) for the second week off; then the balance of their vacation time, or 2.5 hours for the third week off. Additional FMLA time would be unpaid.
Employees on leave to care for a family member may only use up to 20 days of sick time.
Where other College policies provide a greater leave benefit than the Family and Medical Leave, the other policy will prevail. However, any leave under the FMLA will run concurrently with such leave until exhausted.
Workers' Compensation Medical Leave
An employee who is injured on the job will receive workers' compensation following 3 days off from work as provided under state compensation law. The workers' compensation leave and FMLA will run concurrently.
Benefits During Leave
Group Health Insurance: During an approved leave the College will maintain the employee's group health insurance. The employee is required to continue to pay his/her contribution for medical insurance cost. The contribution will be deducted from the employee's paycheck during the leave if the employee is being paid. If the employee is on unpaid leave, the contribution will be billed to his/her Cornell account which is payable upon receipt of the statement.
Other Benefits: Other benefits normally provided to an employee will be provided to the employee only if permitted by the plan document governing the provision of benefits.
Upon return from FMLA, an employee may be returned to the same participant
status in those employee benefit plans in which the employee participated prior
to the FMLA leave.
In the event that an employee fails to return from family or medical leave, or returns but stays less than 30 days, the employee will owe the College the cost of any benefits provided during the entire duration of the leave, including the employer's contribution to the employee's group health benefits. No such amount will be owed if there is a recurrence or onset of a serious health condition, or, in the opinion of the College, there is a change of circumstance beyond the employee's control.
Return from Leave
Employees returning from leave will be reinstated to the same or equivalent position. If the employee was on medical leave, medical certification may be required verifying ability to return to work.
Failure to return to work after the expiration of the leave will result in termination of employment and benefits, with the exception of COBRA benefits.
When death occurs in the immediate family of an employee, such employee shall be entitled up to a maximum of five (5) work days emergency leave with pay to make arrangements for and/or attend the funeral. An employee's immediate family shall be considered as husband, wife, domestic partner, child, mother, father, or grandchild, and similar in-law family members. An employee shall be entitled up to a maximum of three (3) days for any death of a grandparent, sibling, one (1) day for the death of an uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin, (3) hours for local funeral of friend. The employee must notify the personnel office of the funeral. The College may request proof of relationship.
Employee Assistant Program (EAP)
Cornell recognizes that at times employees experience problems that may benefit from professional consultation. These problems might include financial difficulties, drug or alcohol abuse, emotional stress, legal concerns, or other family problems. Resolution of such problems should be beneficial to all involved; improving family life, work performance, and overall productivity. The Cornell Employee Assistance Program has been established to insure that employees have an effective means of resolving problems.
This program is available to all College regular part-time and full-time employees who qualify for benefits and health insurance coverage through Cornell. The EAP coverage is also available to immediate family members of employees. The basic policy is to insure employees and dependents receive counseling and guidance for any personal problem that may affect quality of life and/or work performance.
The Human Resources Office is responsible for the administration of the Cornell Employee Assistance Program. Mercy Hospital Employee Assistance Program from Cedar Rapids will provide the counseling and guidance services. Employees are assured of strict confidentiality. Clients' records are considered to be Mercy EAP property and will not be available to Cornell without release of information form signed by the client.
At no cost to the employee or dependent, the Mercy Employee Assistance Program counselor will provide any counseling or assistance which is necessary. During these counseling sessions, the counselor will evaluate the situation and may outline alternative solutions and community resources available to help the person with his/her problem. With client consent, the counselor will make the necessary arrangements for alternative resources. Such referrals may incur a cost to the employee which may or may not be covered through medical insurance or the medical reimbursement spending account.
Cornell encourages employees and family members to seek assistance on their own initiative. The first step is to call the EAP at Mercy, 398-6694 or 800-383-6694, and arrange a personal visit to the Mercy Center.
Time away from work for treatment will be calculated in the same manner as any other absence due to illness, injury, or other personal reasons.
Hilltop Fitness Club Membership
Employees and their immediate family members are welcome to use the athletic facilities at no cost. Individual membership cards for immediate family members of employees are available upon request from the Hilltop Fitness Club. Employees may use their Cornell ID card for access. The policies governing use of the facility for Hilltop Fitness Club members will apply to all staff and their families.
Eligibility: Qualified dependents of full-time employees and retirees (as defined below).
Benefit Waiting Period: Time which must elapse, commencing upon employee’s full-time start date, before employee’s dependent may apply for tuition remission or tuition exchange.
Dependent Children: Natural and adopted children of the employee and
- Claimed as a dependent on either the employee’s or the custodial parent’s income tax return during each year of the employee’s participation in the tuition remission program, or
- Stepchildren, over half of whose support is received from the employee
during each year of the employee’s participation in the program,
- Less than twenty-three (23) years of age by December 31 st of each academic
year in which the dependent participates in the program,
- Dependent must meet the criteria outlined in the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. All of the following must be answered no in
order for the student to qualify as a dependent:
- As of today, is the student married?
- Does the student have children whom they support at least 50%?
- Does the student have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with her/him and for whom she/he provides more than 50% of their support?
- Is the student a veteran?
Disabled: an employee who has applied for long-term disability benefits through the Cornell LTD program and subsequently receives benefits at the end of the ninety (90)-day elimination period, or who is receiving social security disability benefits.
Full-time employee : those working a minimum of thirty seven and one-half (37.5) hours per week, nine (9) months per calendar year.
Qualified dependent : Dependent children less than twenty three (23) years of age, spouse or domestic partner.
Retiree: an employee who has retired from Cornell with a minimum of fifteen (15) years of full-time service, having earned seventy-five (75) points as calculated by years of service + age
Tuition Exchange: Upon meeting the school’s admission requirements, the ability to receive all or partial waiver of tuition at a school participating in either the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) remission exchange program, or the National Tuition Exchange program.
Tuition Remission: The waiver of tuition fees for attendance at Cornell College.
Benefit Waiting Periods for Qualified Dependents of Employees
- Employee hired prior to July 1, 2003: Dependent Children, Spouse or Domestic Partner; two (2) years for Tuition Remission or Tuition Exchange (dependent children only)
- Employee hired on or after July 1, 2003:
- Dependent Children: two (2) years for Tuition Remission; four (4) years for Tuition Exchange
- Spouse or Domestic Partner: one (1) year for Tuition Remission; Tuition Exchange is not available
- New Employees hired on or after July 1, 2003, with at least six (6) years of continuous service at another institution of higher education: immediate eligibility for Dependent Children, Spouse, or Domestic Partner
Death or Disability Dependents (children/spouse/domestic partner) of employees who become disabled, or die while a dependent is actively receiving benefits under the Tuition Remission or Exchange program will continue to receive benefits in accordance with the plan, as though the employee remained actively employed.
Tuition Remission Program (attending college at Cornell) Qualified dependents/spouse/domestic partner may enroll at Cornell College on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Length of time for participation: four (4) years, thirty-two (32) course credits or graduation, whichever comes first.
Application of other sources of aid: any grants received through federal or state sources, as well as any merit scholarship received from the college will be deducted from the tuition remission benefit.
Student Loan Eligibility: may be included in a financial assistance package, but will be applied only towards room, board and fees.
Withdrawals: Students who withdraw from Cornell must reapply for tuition remission if they want to continue in the program. First-year and returning students are given priority consideration.
Termination of Employment: If an employee’s employment terminates while a dependent is on tuition remission, benefits will cease at the end of the semester in which the student was enrolled, following date of termination.
Tuition Exchange programs through ACM or the National
Length of participation: Benefits are available for a cumulative total of eight (8) semesters, or upon graduation, whichever occurs first.
Program Parameters: The ACM schools have committed to a general set of rules detailed below. Schools participating in the National exchange program have a right to set their own policies governing the administration of tuition grants, academic scholarships, and outside grants and scholarships to the tuition remission or exchange award. It is advisable to clarify with each institution whether or not tuition remission applies to study abroad or off-campus programs.
ACM Tuition Remission Exchange Program (TREP)
Qualified, degree-seeking dependents may make application to schools participating in the ACM Tuition Remission program (participating schools detailed at: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/financial_assistance/exchange.shtml), and must meet admission requirements as determined by the school.
Benefits Available :
Beginning Fall 2007 the ACM has revised their tuition remission program, with a three (3) year phase-in plan.
- Current participants: Benefits will continue at the level granted for Fall 2006, throughout the duration of participation in the program.
- New participants beginning Fall 2007: The participating ACM college will grant 75% tuition remission, with Cornell College providing an additional 25%, for a total of 100% tuition remission for the duration of participation in the program.
- New participants beginning Fall 2008: The participating ACM college will grant 60% tuition remission, with Cornell College providing a minimum of an additional 20%, for a total of 80% tuition remission for the duration of participation in the program.
- New participants commencing in the Fall 2009 and future years: The participating ACM college will grant 50% tuition remission, with Cornell College providing a minimum of an additional 30%, for a total of 80% tuition remission for the duration of participation in the program.
Beginning in Fall 2008, Cornell will annually conduct a cost-benefit analysis of its level of participation in the ACM tuition exchange program. The College reserves the right to make adjustments based upon a comparison of tuition dollars received versus tuition dollars expended through the program, with employees receiving a minimum of 80% tuition remission (50% ACM + 30% Cornell). Students will be grandfathered in at the commitment level of their initial year of participation. For the 2011-2012 and 2012-13 academic years, Cornell will pay 50% of the tuition of the ACM school where the student attends, resulting in 100% tuition remission.
Off-Campus Study Colleges will provide the Tuition Remission benefit for students participating in off-campus programs sponsored by the college in which the student is enrolled. “Sponsored by” means the ACM school’s own college professor must be teaching the off-campus program.
Outside Financial Aid Participating students will be required to apply for all aid for which they might qualify. State and Federal aid ordinarily will be credited to the tuition or educational costs paid for by the family.
External aid will be credited in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Students may receive state aid combined with benefits under this program up to the cost of the tuition, as is allowed, even in excess of need in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.
- Students may receive Federal Pell Grant(s) combined with benefits under this program, up to federal financial need or the cost of tuition, whichever is greater.
- Taking into account numbers one (1) and two (2) above, the participating ACM college will administer private scholarships and other aid according to its usual institutional policies which factor in family contribution, cost of education and other relevant issues. Additionally, institutional merit or need-based aid may be awarded.
Maximum Number of Students Admitted Participating ACM colleges will not place a limit on the number of students to be admitted under this program.
National Tuition Exchange Program
Cornell is one of approximately four hundred (400) institutions of higher education (detailed at http://www.cornellcollege.edu/financial_assistance/exchange.shtml) that participate in this program. Each participating school decides whether or not to grant tuition remission. Participating schools are charged with the responsibility of maintaining an overall balance of “imported students” versus “exported students”, resulting in variance from year-to-year in the number of students who can utilize this program. Since the participating institutions vary so greatly in size and type, tuition exchange policies differ from one school to another. It is necessary to contact each institution directly to determine whether tuition remission is available and, if yes, to what extent. In general, eligible participants should submit a “Tuition Exchange Certification Form” (available in the Financial Assistance Office at Cornell) to the participating school at the same time they make application for admission.
According to its balance of “imports” versus “exports”, Cornell may find it necessary to limit its number of “exports”. Priority for participation in the program may be set by the employee’s number of eligible years of service. If there is a waiting list for participation, an employee will be limited to one (1) participating dependent at a time.
Questions: Questions, requests for information about participating schools, or application forms should be directed to the Director of Financial Assistance x4216.Anti-Discrimination Statement (Updated Feb. 2012)
Cornell College affirms the right of its students, faculty, and staff to live, work, and study in an environment free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, or disability. Discriminatory behavior is a serious violation of community standards and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.
This policy shall not be construed to discourage legitimate intellectual inquiry, debate, discussion or advocacy on the Cornell campus consistent with principles of academic freedom and free speech rights.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited conduct.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, physical, or other conduct of a sexual nature when:
submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or
condition of an individual's academic, extracurricular or employment status;
b. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic,
grades, academic assignments, promotions, tenure, performance evaluations, pay adjustments, discipline, work assignments, or receipt of education- or employment-related benefits; or
c. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's
academic, extracurricular or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or working environment.
In addition to sexual harassment, other types of harassment and discriminatory conduct are also prohibited. Prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, physical, or other conduct relating to an individual's race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, or disability, which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or participation in College-sponsored programs or activities, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, learning, social or residential environment.
Discriminatory and harassing conduct will not be tolerated and must not be ignored by victims or witnesses. Any such conduct should be reported promptly to the Dean of Students, the Dean of the College, or the Director of Human Resources, or via a phone hotline at 866-943-5787. If using the phone hotline a third party external to Cornell College will answer the call, assign the employee’s concern a case number and report it to the Vice President for Business Affairs and the Director of Human Resources for follow-up. An Appropriate investigation into the complaint will be conducted.
Any retaliation against a person who reports alleged harassment or discrimination, or against a witness or other participant in an investigation, is strictly prohibited and will be considered a violation of this policy.
Personal Relationships in the Professional
Romantic or sexual relationships in which one person has professional responsibility for another are inherently problematic and should be avoided, even when the relationship is a consensual one. In the collegiate setting such relationships may have the effect of undermining the atmosphere of trust on which educational or institutional activities depends and may disrupt the professional environment. It is therefore inappropriate for members of the College staff to participate in romantic or sexual relationships with students or others for whom they have direct educational, advisory, or supervisory responsibility. If a complaint against any member of the College staff related to such a romantic or sexual involvement is found to be justified, that staff member will be held responsible and will face appropriate disciplinary action.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The College is committed to providing for the needs of all staff, faculty, and students with qualified disabilities under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Acts of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Staff requesting accommodation for disabilities should contact their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources. Reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities will be provided in as timely a fashion as possible. Documentation of the disability may be requested.
Cornell's Technology Policy covers the following areas:
Inquiries about this policy and requests for changes to the policy should be made to the chair of the Information Technology Advisory Committee.
Cornell College Nepotism Policy (Added July 2002)
The College may employ relatives of employees as long as they work in different offices and departments. Temporary employment of a relative in the same office may be allowed in unusual circumstances. The President, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources, must approve any exceptions to this policy. The President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the College must approve exceptions as they involve faculty members.
Whistleblower Policy (Updated Feb. 2012)
Cornell College affirms its dedication to the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, and high quality in our education and administration. The College welcomes and encourages the reporting of policy and compliance concerns. Reporting assists us in our obligation to maintain compliance with governmental laws and regulations and college policies. This policy applies to all employees, students, and volunteers.
Fraudulent or dishonest conduct is a deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining a material unauthorized benefit. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- violation of law or government regulation;
- forgery or alteration of documents;
- unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files;
- fraudulent financial reporting;
- fraudulent or improper expense account reporting, for example, manipulation of reimbursement expense forms for business transportation, meals and lodging;
- misappropriation or misuse of Cornell’s resources;
- authorizing or receiving payment for goods not received or services not performed;
- authorizing or receiving compensation not earned.
A whistleblower is a Cornell employee who reports an activity that he/she considers to be illegal or dishonest to one or more of the parties detailed in this policy. The employee is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures.
In order for the college to take necessary internal corrective action, an employee is encouraged to report, in writing, a disclosure of any activity described above as follows:
1) If a student or group of students is accused, the matter should be reported to the Dean of Students.
2) If a faculty member is accused, the Subcommittee on Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion should be notified. They shall hear the case and make appropriate recommendations to the Dean of the College and the President.
3) If a maintenance person is accused, the Vice President for Business Affairs will investigate the matter, with a union steward present during any questioning of the
accused. If any disciplinary measures are taken, the accused may follow the grievance and/or disciplinary procedures in the union contract.
4) If a member of the administrative or hourly staff is accused, the matter should be reported to the Director of Human Resources.
5) If the Director of Human Resources is accused, the matter should be reported to the Vice President for Business Affairs.
6) If a Vice President is accused, the matter should be reported to the President.
7) If the President is accused, the matter will be referred to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
8) If members of contracted organizations employed by the College, e.g., security services, dining services, book store, are accused, contractual procedures will be followed.
The disclosure should be factual and contain as much specific information as possible. If an employee is unwilling or unable to put a disclosure in writing, he/she should report the activity orally to the appropriate college official who will prepare a written summary of the individual’s disclosure, and provide a copy to the individual for accuracy and completeness.
Another reporting alternative is use of a 3rd party phone hotline available through Educational and Institutional Administrators, Inc. (EIIA). Employees may call 866-943-5787 and either use their name or report anonymously. When an employee calls, a trained specialist will guide them through the details of their concern. They will be given a case number for reference. Using the case number the employee can call the hotline at any time to check on the status of the investigation and learn of any actions taken.
Reports will be sent to the Vice President of Business Affairs and the Director of Human Resources for follow-up.
All allegations will be investigated by the appropriate college official. All college employees are expected to fully cooperate in the investigation of the allegations. The appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination, will be administered if the investigation finds that an employee engaged in activity as described above.
The employee must exercise sound judgment to avoid making baseless allegations. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
Whistleblower protections are provided in two important areas – confidentiality and retaliation. Insofar as possible, the confidentiality of the individual providing a written report will be maintained. However, identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law, and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense. If identity disclosure becomes necessary, the reporting individual will be notified. Employees who elect to use the phone hotline on an anonymous basis will stay anonymous unless they elect to reveal their identity. Cornell will not retaliate against a whistleblower. This commitment includes, but is not limited to, protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as termination, reduction in compensation, poor work assignments, or threats of physical harm. Any reporting individual who believes he/she is experiencing retaliation must contact the Director of Human Resources immediately. All complaints will be investigated promptly and with discretion, and all information obtained will be handled on a “need to know” basis. Any individual found to be retaliating will be disciplined, up to and including termination in accordance with established procedures. The right of a reporting individual for protection against retaliation does not include immunity vis-à-vis any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated.
Questions should be directed to the Director of Human Resources (895-4243).
All employees of Cornell College shall
1. Conduct College business with honesty and integrity, striving for excellence in all aspects of their work
2. Maintain the highest level of personal conduct and ethics, including
a. Respecting the rights and views of students and fellow employees
b. Presenting information honestly and accurately, never plagiarizing or falsely representing personal or professional information
c. Maintaining the confidentiality of information to which they have access and using it only in the discharge of official duties
3. Be familiar with and uphold laws and regulations related to their jobs and the College's activities, and adhere to all College policies and procedures
4. Report unethical, illegal, or fraudulent activities either directly to one's division head or the Director of Human Resources or through the Whistleblower Policy
In an effort to preserve institutional integrity, accountability, and fairness, it is appropriate that institutions have conflict of interest policies and procedures. It is the policy of Cornell College that all its employees avoid both conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest whenever possible. This policy establishes a process that assures conflicts of interest are avoided or appropriately disclosed.
A conflict of interest exists when the institution's employees have an outside interest that has the potential of being at variance with the best interests of the institution. This includes, but is not limited to,
- conflicting financial interests
- use of, or unauthorized disclosure of, confidential information for personal gain
- use of institutional time, facilities, or equipment for personal purposes
- supervision of family members or those with whom one has romantic relationships: supervision includes, but is not limited to, the ability to make compensation, hiring, discipline, and termination decisions
If you are unclear about whether any particular behavior would constitute a conflict of interest, consult with
- your direct supervisor or
- your division head or
- the director of human resources
These persons can also offer advice on how to avoid a conflict or, if unavoidable, how to recuse oneself from a conflict of interest situation.
Apparent conflicts should be reported to the director of human resources, who shall confer with the appropriate supervisor or division head or, in the case of the president, with the chair of the board of trustees while preparing to investigate the reported conflict. If conflicts of interest are verified, appropriate actions shall then be taken.
The college will not retaliate against employees for reporting actual or possible violations of the policy and, consistent with the college's Whistleblower Policy, the identity of those providing information about possible violations will be protected within legal limits. Individuals who take retaliatory action may be subject to discipline, consistent with applicable college regulations and processes. The College also may take appropriate disciplinary action if it is found that an employee attempts to discredit another by reporting a conflict of interest that is found to be intentionally fabricated.
Persons found to have violated the Conflict of Interest Policy may appeal the decision following the grievance procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook or Employee Handbook, as relevant.
Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to the director of human resources (x4243), who is also responsible for updating this policy.
PolicyCornell College will provide a reasonable break time for a female employee to express breast milk for her child for one year after the child’s birth. Said break time will be available during the day each time an employee has a need to express milk. A place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free of intrusion will be provided. Employees in need of breaks for milk expression should contact the Human Resources Office with details of when breaks are needed. Human Resources will assist in locating an appropriate space. This policy complies with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amended under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to
your supervisor, division vice-president, or director of human resources
(x4243). It is the responsibility of the
director of human resources to keep this policy up-to-date in conjunction with
any changes in legal requirements.
This policy applies to faculty and staff.
The College affirms that the safety and protection of students and employees is one of our greatest concerns. Cornell complies with the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) and all other applicable regulations. Safety is a priority at the College. We make every effort to keep work areas safe and free from hazards. Supervisors are to assist employees with safety and health requirements. Employees are expected to observe all applicable safety requirements and to promptly report any unsafe or hazardous conditions to their immediate supervisor.
Work related injuries should be reported immediately to the supervisor and the Human Resources Office. A work injury report will need to be completed and filed with the insurance company within twenty-four hours of the injury, whenever possible. The Human Resources Office should be contacted prior to seeking medical care if it is a non-emergency situation. For additional information refer to Worker's Compensation in the Employment section of this Handbook.
Cornell is concerned about the safety and well-being of all students, staff, faculty and their guests. The cooperation and involvement of all community members is essential for making the campus safe. Students and employees are encouraged to be responsible for their own security and the security of others and to take responsibility for reporting to the proper authorities any criminal activity occurring on campus.
Some of the crime prevention programs and projects employed by Cornell include emergency telephones, crime prevention presentations, printed crime prevention materials, and sexual violence education and prevention. The Cornell College Campus Safety & Security Report is distributed annually and is available upon request from the Dean of Student's Office.
Cornell College prohibits the unlawful possession, use and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol, and expects that students, faculty, and staff members of the College community will conduct themselves in a responsible manner that shows respect for others and the community at large. This prohibition applies to all activities sponsored by the College whether on college owned property or at other locations. The same behavioral standards apply to all individuals: students, faculty, staff, and guests of the College community. As part of the larger community, Cornell is subject to, abides by, and supports Iowa state statutes and local ordinances.
The College is committed to complying with the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989. The requirements for compliance are addressed in the alcohol policy which is distributed electronically each year to students and employees.
The Residence Life Office is responsible for distributing and collecting campus keys. A Key Request Form may be picked up at the Residence Life Office. This form requires the supervisor's signature in order to obtain building and office keys.
The key policy specifies that keys are not to be duplicated, loaned, or used for any purpose other than that approved in advance by the authorizing person. Lost keys are to be reported immediately to the Residence Life Office. If locks need to be rekeyed because of a lost key, a rekeying charge of $50.00 or more per key may be assessed. Failure to return keys when employment ends will result in a $100.00 fine.
This policy outlines Cornell College's compliance with the Iowa Smokefree Air Act of July 1, 2008.
Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to your supervisor, division vice-president, or director of human resources (x4243). It is the responsibility of the director of human resources to keep this policy up-to-date in conjunction with any changes in the legal requirements.
This policy applies to employees, students, volunteers and anyone visiting the Cornell College campus.
In accordance with the Smokefree Air Act, smoking is defined as inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other tobacco product in any manner or in any form. "Smoking" does not include smoking that is associated with a recognized religious ceremony, ritual, or activity, including but not limited to burning of incense.
Where can smokers go to smoke?
Smoking is allowed on city sidewalks and streets. You can smoke on sidewalks that run parallel with city streets including First Street, Fifth Avenue, and 10th Avenue. You can also smoke on McGregor Lane near Pauley-Rorem. Please ask a campus safety officer if you are unsure if a street or sidewalk is city or college property. We strongly encourage all employees to remember to be good citizens and neighbors by properly disposing used cigarettes.
What areas are prohibited to smokers?
Any college owned property or vehicles. This includes inside and outside of buildings, sports venues, rental housing, college owned vehicles, or personal vehicles parked on college owned property and any outdoor space owned by the College.
Procedures and Guidelines
We encourage each person to feel comfortable addressing someone who is smoking in an improper place by asking them kindly to stop. If you are not comfortable with this, or the person doesn't respond kindly to you, then feel free to contact Campus Safety at 895-4299.
In order for the college to take necessary internal corrective action, an employee is encouraged to report, preferably in writing, a disclosure of the prohibited smoking as follows:
1) If a student or group of students is accused, the matter should be reported to the Dean of Students.
2) If a faculty member is accused, the matter should be reported to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.
3) If a member of the staff or administration is accused, the matter should be reported to the Director of Human Resources.
4) If members of contracted organizations employed by the College, e.g., security services, dining services, book store, are accused, the matter should be reported to the Director of Human Resources. Working in conjunction with the divisional vice-president, contractual procedures will be followed.
The disclosure should be factual and contain as much specific information as possible. If an employee is unwilling or unable to put a disclosure in writing, he/she should report the activity orally to the appropriate college official. It is important to note the date, the time and the place that prohibited smoking occurred.
The employee must exercise sound judgment to avoid making baseless allegations. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing may be subject to discipline up to and including termination, in accordance with established disciplinary procedures.
Current medical evidence indicates that the actual safety risks created for the transmission of the Hepatitis B (HBV) or HIV (AIDS) viruses are low in the College's normal academic and employment setting. Any employee who may be exposed to body fluids in the course of employment duties will be given protective wear in order to minimize the risk of transmission of communicable disease. The College will make available the Hepatitis B vaccination series to all employees who have the potential for occupational exposure.
Training is provided annually. For more information, contact the Director of Human Resources.
Cornell College has an infectious waste management plan. The plan is designed to ensure that all infectious waste is disposed of in a safe manner, avoiding any risk to employees. For more information, contact the Director of Facilities Management.
Admission to College Events
Employees, along with their immediate families, are admitted free to all athletic events, the lecture-artists series, and theatre performances with the Cornell ID card. Cost of admission to Performing Arts and Activities Council (PAAC) events varies with each performer or performing group. Employees and immediate family members will receive the discounted student rate.
All faculty and staff who operate or park their vehicle on College property must register their vehicle. Faculty and staff may use the designated parking facilities available at the following lots: Scott Alumni, McWethy, Sports Center, lot behind the Commons, Library, West Science, South Hall, Norton, Baldwin House and Collin House. Parking is limited and restricted at McWethy, Sports Center and Library lots.
Parking permits must be displayed at all times; including evening hours, weekends, breaks, and during the summer.
The parking permit fee is $35.00. An employee whose annual salary falls below the median salary ($32,500) will pay one-half of the annual fee, $17.50. Staff employees working less than full-time during the academic year will pay a $10.00 fee.
The parking permit hanging tags must be displayed on the rearview mirror of vehicles. Online registration must be completed prior to picking up the permit at the Campus Safety Office. Employees may also request to have the parking permit fee deducted from their payroll check.
A full description of all parking regulations is available on the campus safety web site and the Campus Safety Office in Ebersole.
The Cornell College Bookstore is located on the lower level of The Commons. Office supplies, Cornell memorabilia, books, candy, and notions are available at the Bookstore. Employees receive a 10% discount on personal purchases.
The Campus e-Newsletter is distributed by e-mail weekly during the academic year and once a month and/or on an as-needed basis during the summer months by the Office of Marketing and Communications. This newsletter serves as the official document of record for Cornell College and contains announcements from academic and administrative offices, personnel news, information on upcoming events, and a calendar. Calendar information is taken from the master calendar on the Cornell Web site. All employees are encouraged to read the Cornell Campus Newsletter on a regular basis.
The Newsletter is sent by e-mail to all faculty, staff, and students on Wednesdays. Items for the Newsletter must be sent in writing or by e-mail to the Office of College Communications no later than 4:00 p.m. Monday the week of publication. Contributions of news items are welcome. All submissions are subject to editing.
Today@Cornell is a weekday supplement of the Campus e-Newsletter. Today@Cornell feeds automatically from the master calendar and is updated hourly on the Faculty/Staff, Student, and Parent gateways. The feed reflects the current and following day’s events, and at 4 p.m. each day the subsequent day is published, along with announcements submitted online here. Everyone is encouraged to check the site daily and it is recommended that faculty set the Faculty/Staff gateway as their web homepage.
A master calendar is maintained on the Cornell Web site at http://www.cornellcollege.edu/calendar/ . The Office of Marketing and Communications is the administrator but the calendar is maintained by several offices on campus. Every effort is made to keep the calendar up-to-date and it should be checked when scheduling an event to avoid conflicts. The calendars for the Newsletter and Today are taken from the master calendar.
Personal checks up to $100.00 may be cashed at the Business Services desk on 1st floor of Old Sem. An automatic teller machine is also available in The Commons for withdrawals, balance inquiries, and deposits.
All employees are encouraged to have a photo identification card. Identification cards may be obtained at the Business Services desk on 1st floor of Old Sem. In addition to identifying your association with Cornell, the card is used to gain access to the Hilltop Fitness Center, admission to athletic and cultural events, use of print and copy machines, and the magnetic bar code is used for checking out books at the Cole Library and purchasing food service.
Cornell contracts with Bon Appétit to provide dining service on campus. Employees may purchase meals and snacks at the Rathskeller Snackbar or the student scramble dining area. Bon Apetit offers a "munch money" plan which allows employees to purchase snacks or meals at a discounted rate with their I.D. card.
All services at the Russell D. College Library are available to employees. Books may be checked out with an I.D. card.
The Service Center, located in the lower level of The Commons, offers many postal services including collection and distribution of interdepartmental mail, delivery of incoming mail, and processing of outgoing mail and parcels by the U.S. Postal Service and UPS. The service center offers printing, folding, inserting, tabbing, sealing, metering, and labeling services. Employees may also purchase postage stamps at the service center.
Employees are encouraged to keep personal phone calls to a minimum during College work hours. Monthly phone bills are sent to all employees who have a direct phone extension. Each employee is responsible for auditing his/her itemized monthly phone bill and reimbursing the College for any personal long distance calls. Payments can be made at the Business Services desk on the 1st floor of Old Sem.
Business Expense Reimbursement Policy (updated August 2012)
This policy establishes the extent to which the College may subsidize, through a cell phone allowance, personally owned cell phones used in the conduct of College business and establishes rules for cell phone use.
The College provides access to College-owned communication devices based upon an employee’s job responsibilities. Those communication devices may include computers with e-mail capabilities, and desk phones for transacting College business. Some positions may require that the employee be readily available via cell phone throughout the work period or during non-work hours. College-owned cell phones are provided only by exception as delineated below. If an employee’s position responsibilities fall into any one or more of the following three categories, the College may subsidize the employee’s personal cell phone service with a cell phone allowance.
- Employees with job responsibilities that require them to make or receive calls on a frequent (daily) basis outside of their normal working hours.
- Maintenance and campus safety employees who need to make and receive calls outside of an office setting.
- Employees who have an assigned office but who spend a significant amount of time away from that office and who need to make or receive calls during these periods.
Cell phone allowances will be paid through Payroll. Cell phone allowances are exempt from taxes.
Where a justification can be established, exceptions may be granted to the policy allowing for the purchase of College-owned cell phones. Generally, this will occur in the case of a cell phone that passes from person to person at shift change. All exceptions to policy must be approved by the Director of Information Technology.
Employees using a cell phone for College business will not use their phone while driving for texting, reading or sending email. Safety must come before all other concerns. Regardless of the circumstances, including slow or stopped traffic, employees must pull off to the side of the road and safely stop the vehicle before sending/reading a text or email. Employees must use hands-free options for making/receiving calls. Special care should be taken in situations where there is traffic or inclement weather or when the employee is driving in an unfamiliar area.
Policy Questions - Questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to your supervisor, division head, or the director of human resources. It is the responsibility of the President’s Council to approve and modify this policy.
Scope - This policy applies to staff and administration at Cornell College. The policy applies to both unrestricted and restricted sources of funds.
To obtain a Cell phone allowance, the employee:
- Completes an Allowance Request Form
- Obtains the required Division Head and Information Technology approvals
- Submits the form to Payroll for processing.
Division Heads, in conjunction with the Director of Information Technology, will determine the level of the cell phone allowance, based on the amount of time an employee is anticipated to use voice and data service for his/her job requirements.
The monthly cell phone allowances are:
- Voice use only $30.00
- Voice and text $40.00
- Full voice/text/data functionality $50.00
Cell phone allowances are assumed to subsidize the cost of a personal cell phone. The College is not responsible for purchasing or replacing cell phone devices. Any damage or loss of cell phone devices is the responsibility of the employee.
Cell phone allowances and this policy will be reviewed annually.