Frequently Asked Questions
All approval types must be committed prior to submission. Who does what?
Look in the telephone directory for the name of the individual who is the Department Head and Dean/Vice President for the area involved. Select that person's name at the appropriate level.
I get a message that reads "Mass edit errors (5511 & 6502)." What do I do?
Log out and log back in again.
How do I change my address?
Go into Banner; Screen PPAIDEN. Select the Address icon. Select MA screen. If you want to have a record of the old address, check the "inactive" box & arrow down. If you don't want to keep the old address, simply enter in the new address. SAVE.
I am frozen out of Banner. What do I do?
Call the NCS help desk (435) 797-4357. There may been multiple people who have logged into the same site at the same time; or you may have multiple instances open.
I am a current benefited employee. Do I get a tuition waiver?
USU employees do not get a tuition waiver, but a 50% reduction in tuition. Benefited employees qualify for the 50% tuition reduction after three months of service working 75% time or more. The three month waiting time must be completed on or before the last eligible day that fees are due in the applicable semester.
How do I apply for the tuition reduction?
After you have been accepted and registered for a class(es), you need to fill out an Application for Tuition Reduction. That form is found on the HR website under Forms and is called Tuition Reduction Application Form.
Am I eligible for benefits?
Yes, IF you work at least 50% time for at least three months, and your department has agreed to provide benefits to you as part of your compensation.
How do I contact the Benefits department?
Contact Sharon Hislop at (435) 797-1814
How do I sign up for benefits?
All benefited employees will be invited to a "New Employee Orientation" which is held each month in the Merrill/Cazier Library Room 154. The Non-exempt Employees meet at 9:00 a.m.; the Exempt and Faculty Employees meet at 1:00 p.m.
What is Open Enrollment and when does it take place?
After an employee initially signs up for benefits, or within 30 days after a "life event" such as a marriage, birth/adoption, etc., it is the only time that changes can be made to a policy. This takes place from mid-May through mid-June each year.
When will my benefits take effect?
Your benefits begin the day of your appointment.
Can I use bereavement leave for my cousin's son?
The bereavement policy (USU Policy 369) covers only immediate family; defined as (including step-relatives): spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, foster child, parents, parents-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, grandchildren, or any person living in the employee's household.
How many days can I request for funeral leave?
Bereavement leave is for three days. See USU Policy 369.
What is FMLA?
Family and Medical Leave Act . An eligible employee may use paid leave (if available) and/or unpaid leave up to a maximum of 12 weeks during any 12-month period for specific reasons. (See USU Policy 351)
Can I use my sick and vacation leave while on FMLA?
Do I qualify for FMLA?
Yes, IF you have an ongoing appointment of 50% time or more, or you have worked 1,250 hours or more over the last 12-month period.
How do I apply for FMLA?
Complete an Family and Medical Leave request form.
What events qualify for FMLA?
1) The serious health condition of the employee, including continuing treatment
2) The birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care
3) The care of the employee's family member due to a serious health condition.
How do I add a dependent to my insurance?
Within 30 days of the date of birth or adoption or marriage with stepchildren, come into the HR Office to complete a form. This will add the child(ren) to the Basic Life Insurance coverage. In order to add the child(ren) to the Supplemental Life Insurance, you must wait until the Open Enrollment period (mid-May through mid-June of each year). See USU Policy 358.
How do I enroll in an FSA?
During Open Enrollment (mid-May through mid-June each year) for the following plan year which begins July 1.
How do I find out the balance of my Flexible Spending Account?
Contact ASIFlex by going to their website at www.asiflex.com or calling ASIFlex at (800) 659-3035.
How do I change the amount of money I contribute to my retirement account?
To change the amount of money you are contributing toward your retirement (increase, decrease, stop or start), please come to the HR Office to meet with Sharon Hislop. The amounts must be checked against maximum limits that vary depending on the age of the employee.
How do I make a change to my 401k?
For State Retirement participants, call (800) 365-8772 or log onto their website (www.urs.org) and obtain a pin number to make the changes online. Alternatively, the HR office has a form to complete and mail. For TIAA-CREF participants, call (800) 842-2733 or log onto their website (www.tiaa-cref.org) and obtain a pin number to make the changes online.
How do I make an appointment with TIAA-CREF or State Retirement?
Utah Retirement Systems: To make an appointment, call Sharon Hislop at (435) 797-0122.
TIAA-CREF: To schedule an appointment go to http://www.tiaa-cref.org/moc or call (866) 842-2907.
Fidelity: To schedule an appointment go to http://www.fidelity.com/atwork/reservations or call (800) 642-7131
After my termination from the University, how long does my health care coverage stay in effect?
Insurance coverages end on the 15th day of the month when an employee terminates on or before the 15th day of the month, and end on the last day of the month if the employee terminates on the 16th or after, except as otherwise provided by policy or special agreement authorized by the University President. (See Policy 399)
What is compensation?
Compensation is defined as the monetary value given to employees in exchange for work performed.
What is the salary structure?
The salary structure is a set of pay grades with associated salary ranges used to determine the market value of a job.
Who does the salary structure apply to?
The salary structure applies to staff positions at the University, excluding faculty and hourly positions.
How is the salary structure created?
USU uses relevant market data from various organizations to develop salary ranges.
What is a pay grade?
Every position is assigned a pay grade on the salary structure based on market data. Pay grades are characterized by letters A-O.
What is a salary range?
The salary range defines the minimum and maximum of each pay grade.
What is 'Market data'?
Utah State University purchases collections of salary data from various organizations to establish the market value of each job.
How is Market data defined?
USU uses local or state markets for non-exempt positions. USU uses regional and national markets as appropriate for exempt positions.
What is internal equity?
The process of comparing the USU job structure to external market data.
Who is responsible to set pay for employees?
Senior leadership is responsible to set the policy. HR provides tools, resources and guidelines for administering compensation and regularly updates competitive practices. Management will make final decisions with the advice and counsel from HR regarding the level of pay for individual employees.
What does it mean to be "red circled"?
Red circle rate, also known as being “Red circled”, is a compensation term that means a salary is above the maximum salary for that position. Red circle policies allow the market to catch up to the employee’s pay as the employee’s salary is generally frozen and they are not able to receive pay increases. Utah State University has a red circle policy. (Policy 384.2.6)
How do I apply for unemployment insurance?
Contact the Logan office of the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Unemployment section.
I work 20 hours per week in a non-benefited position. My boss just fired me. Can she do that?
Individuals who work 50% time or less in a non-benefited position are defined as "at-will" employees. USU Policy 390 (Employment-at-Will) states that "At-will positions are those where employment and compensation can be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice."
What does it mean to be "at-will?"
USU Policy 390 (Employment-at-Will) states that "At-will positions are those where employment and compensation can be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice.
I have a meeting with my boss to discuss my performance. Can I have someone from HR sit in on the meeting?
An HR person would be willing to sit in on the meeting, as long as the participants realize that he/she would be there only as an unbiased observer.
I was just issued a "letter of expectation" and do not agree with it. What can I do?
You have the right to respond to the letter.
Where can I find information about disciplining an employee?
USU Policy 311 (Disciplinary Procedures) contains information about a progressive disciplinary process.
I have applied for two positions at USU, and no one has contacted me for an interview yet. Why?
There are many answers to this question, depending on the circumstances. One scenario could be that perhaps you weren't minimally qualified for the positions, in which case the return application email would have said that your application was not among those that would be considered further. Another scenario could be that you were not selected for an interview because others had more related experience, in which case you can view that information by checking the status of the position.
Can I decide whether to get the compensatory time off or get paid for overtime?
The department head/supervisor will decide whether an employee will receive compensatory time off or overtime pay.
Can I eat my lunch at my desk?
Employees are encouraged to take this time away from the regular work station.
Can I save up my unused "break" time and leave work early?
Rest periods are not cumulative and should not be taken at the start or end of the work day.
How long is a "break" period?
Up to 15 minutes worth of rest periods can be taken within each four hour work segment.
How much is the overtime compensation?
Non-exempt employees earn at 1.5 times their regular rate.
I had to work on Thanksgiving. Don't I get overtime for that day?
If you actually worked only 40 hours in that work week, you would receive 40 hours of straight time, plus 8 additional hours at straight time for holiday pay. Overtime only occurs when an individual actually works more than 40 hours in a work week.
I worked more than 40 hours in a week, but my boss told me to move those hours to next week. Is that legal?
An accurate record of work hours must be signed by the employee and approved by the supervisor. Falsifying records to avoid compensating an employee for working more than 40 hours in a work week is, indeed, illegal.
I would like to make a little more money for Christmas. Can I work more hours in a week to get the overtime pay?
Overtime should be approved ahead of time by the department head/ supervisor.
I'm scheduled to work 20 hours per week. Do I get overtime for working more than 20 hours?
No. Overtime only goes into effect when an individual works more than 40 hours in a work week.
If my shift doesn't begin until 7:00 a.m., and my boss wants me to come in at 6:00 a.m. and work until the regular quitting time, do I have to come in early?
Yes. Agreeing to work overtime when requested is a condition of employment.
It is difficult to get to work on time when I have to take my kids to school. Can I work a flexible schedule?
The department head/supervisor can give approval for flexible working arrangements if they are compatible with the efficient and effective operation of the department.
My boss asked two other colleagues in our office to go with her to a conference; she drove. We didn't get back until 8:00 p.m. Don't we get compensated for those three hours of overtime?
The FLSA states that if the employee is not performing work for the benefit of the employer, the time outside of the employee's regular working hours is not compensable.
When does the overtime rate begin?
Any hour that is worked over the "normal" 40 hours in a work week.
When does USU's work week begin?
Saturday morning at 12:01 a.m.
When does USU's work week end?
The following Friday evening at midnight.
Who can be compensated for overtime?
Non-exempt employees (whether benefited or not) can earn overtime.
Why do I have to sign my time card every two weeks?
The FLSA requires that the employee sign and the supervisor approve the time sheet/card to verify that the hours worked are accurate. USU pays non-exempt wage hourly workers on a twice-per-month basis.
Can a hiring committee interview without the entire committee?
The recommendation is that a majority of committee members be present; and that the missing member(s) is given appropriate notes. The missing member does not have to abstain from voting.
Can other individuals see the applications?
We want any qualified individual to feel comfortable about applying for a position at Utah State University. We believe that respecting the privacy of those individuals is paramount. Hiring committees are given a charge of confidentiality. Individuals who are not official members of hiring committees should not have access to any pre-interview information. The administrator who selects the committee makes the final decision on the composition of the committee. However, additional committee members can be added/removed at the administrator’s discretion.
Often, colleagues and staff are asked for input to evaluate those who have been chosen as finalists for positions. At that time, interviewee information can be made available to others.
Can the committee ask different questions of the interviewees?
A structured interview protocol is highly recommended to prevent any appearance of discrimination. Each interviewee should have a similar interview procedure; meet with the same people, have the same logistical arrangements, be asked the same questions, etc. If one candidate’s answer necessitates a follow-up question, that question does not need to be asked of other candidates. Also, answer any questions that the interviewee asks of the committee.
Can we contact other references?
We suggest that if there are individuals not listed as references that would give valuable information, contact the candidate(s) to inform them of the committee’s intention to communicate with other references. The candidate then has the opportunity to 1) contact those references to let them know of the impending call, 2) explain the reason for the omission as a reference, or 3) withdraw from consideration.
How can networking be utilized in soliciting applications?
Collegial networking is a proven method of increasing the applicant pool. However, caution must be used in informing a prospective candidate about a job opening. Please do not use phrases which might lead an applicant to believe he/she has an advantage over other applicants. Phrases like the following would be appropriate: "A position is available at Utah State University in your area of expertise for which you may want to become an applicant. I would be happy to provide you with the job description or website information."
Also, this is a great opportunity to "sell" Utah State University as a great employer.
How can we narrow the search further?
The minimum and preferred qualifications should be evaluated in a quantitative way to the greatest extent possible. When additional information is needed from the candidate, it may be gathered in a number of ways: a phone call, email, or even discussions at national meetings. This communication is not deemed an interview (for our purposes, an "interview" is a more formal communication conducted on-campus). It is advisable to have at least two committee members who phone the candidate for this information.
How can you tell if a candidate can get work authorization?
Search committees should (and can, lawfully) ask interviewees if they have current U. S. work authorization. If the individual answers, "Yes," you may ask what visa the individual has. Usually, individuals finishing their PhDs in the United States have an F-1 visa. Often, individuals with J visas are required to return to their home country for a minimum of two years prior to accepting U.S. employment (sometimes the two year home stay is waived). An H (specialty) visa is temporary in nature (maximum of six  years at a time).
How many members constitute a hiring committee?
The Faculty Code (404.3.3) indicates a minimum of five committee members, with a majority of those from the faculty. For exempt positions, the minimum is three individuals. The minimum number for non-exempt positions is one.
How should unsolicited reference information (either phone call or personal conversation) be handled?
Information should be accepted, with thanks. We want as much valid information as possible to make an informed employment decision. The individual who receives the information should just take notes on the information given and submit it to the search committee. The person receiving the information should inquire as to the relationship the individual has with the candidate (i.e., colleague, friend, relative, ex-relative, etc.) and ask for a way to contact the reference for additional information or verification. Negative references must be corroborated by another reference, as positive references should be corroborated.
What is the cost to get an H visa?
The Human Resources Office is able to assist departments that need to get a sponsorship (H) visa for their prospective employees. An H visa will cost the department $800 for a single individual; $1000 for an employee with dependents. The federal approval process is currently taking about 4.5 months. However, "premium processing" (a decision is made within a 15 day period) is available for an additional $1000.
What is the difference between a “Search” committee and a “Selection” committee?
Both "search" and "selection" committees evaluate each of the applications submitted for the position and they determine acceptable interviewees. The separation between the two definitions is distinct. A Search committee forwards the names of acceptable candidates (either ranked or unranked, as the Department Head decides) to the Department Head or Dean/Vice President who then makes the hiring decision. On the hand, a Selection committee and the Department Head make a joint hiring selction.
What questions can you ask a “foreign national” candidate?
The applications for foreign nationals must be evaluated exactly the same as for all other candidates. Interviewees should all (U.S. citizens included) be asked a question such as "If you are offered this position, will you be able to get employment authorization?" The only time that discrimination against a "foreign national" is lawful, is if there are two equally well qualified finalists: one is a U.S. citizen and the other is a foreign national. An offer can be made to the U.S. citizen without prejudice.
Who can be a member of a Hiring Committee?
The administrator needs to consider the efficacy of each prospective member’s contribution to the committee. A potential committee member should be selected for the candid and thoughtful perspective he/she can bring. Students, non-USU employees, the exiting employee, etc. can certainly be included if those individuals are capable of ascertaining minimum and preferred qualifications. Each committee member’s vote will have equal value. Diversity in gender and ethnicity among the committee members is preferred.
Will an H visa suffice for a tenure-track position?
An H visa is only a bridge for a tenure-track position. A foreign national must apply for "permanent resident" status within the initial 18 months of employment. USU currently is not prepared to handle "permanent resident – green card" petitions. There are immigration attorneys who can assist in that process. Currently, this process takes about 2.5 – 3 years, and costs about $5,000.00 USD.
The ACA Variable form says hours will be monitored for a 12-month period (“initial measurement period”?), if at the end of this period they are determined eligible they are offered coverage. It has been stated in several meetings and on the HR ACA FAQ memo dated September 30, 2014 that the period is 3 months and if eligible must be offered the first date of the fourth month. This memo also defines the Initial/Standard Measurement and the Standard Stability periods as 12 months.
Which is it, 12 months or 3 months?
There are 2 ways a person qualifies for ACA medical.
- Hours tracked: the hours a person works for a year (measurement period) is tracked to see if they have worked more than 1560 hours. If they did, we must offer them the medical (as long as they are working at USU) for the next 12 months (stability period).
- Expectation of the job:
- Expectation A: we hire a person with the expectation from the start that they would be working 30 or more hours a week all the time. We must offer the insurance immediately but they are only eligible as long as they stay working over 30 hours (extremely hard to manage).
- Expectation B: we hired the person as variable, but then let them work 12 or more weeks straight over the 30 hours (they call this promoting the hours). This is where the 3 month rule is in play. We hired them saying they would be under 30 and only sometimes over 30, but our records show we promoted them to full time. We must offer insurance no later than the 1st day of the fourth month. (this is also a nightmare to manage)
If the “initial measurement period is actually 3 months, why are they asked to sign a form that says 12 months? You are looking at the variable form. If a person is truly variable, then they would only qualify under the rule of tracking them for a year and they worked more than 1560 hours (rule i above).
Are there any plans for reports that can be run on current employees and/or potential hires to see whether or not they are trending eligible? We do have access to a reporting tool that can assist with this, but we struggle on campus getting hours recorded by employees in a timely manner. Some positions do not pay by the hour, but by a set amount. Set amount employees are required to enter their hours in AggieTime, but many departments are not monitoring if that is happening. We also have students who don’t turn in timecards for months. These kinds of behaviors impact our reporting abilities. Someone does not look like they are trending, but once they enter 6 months’ worth of “past” hours, they are suddenly over the amount.
If an hourly employee has multiple active jobs in the same department and is working one of the jobs but not the other, is the employee still credited ACA hours for the job they are not working on top of the hours they are working on the other job?
No. A person is only credited hours when they have no hours at all turned in for longer than 4 weeks but less than 26 weeks). An example would be: a student works for USU for the academic year and then leaves for the summer to work an internship for another company. She is gone 14 weeks (the summer) and is then rehired. We have to credit her the average hours she worked 3 months prior to leaving for the internship for those 14 weeks.
We have employees that have 2 active positions in the same department, just different responsibilities. They may go for several months not working in one but working in the other. Do I need to terminate the one they are not working if the break is going to be more the 4 weeks?
Leaving paying positions active for longer than 2 months is not a good business practice. USU has a huge issue of hours being dropped on the wrong positon number that then overpay or underpay employees. Fixing these issues with both the employee and the IRS costs the University time and money. We also verify employment for past employees for such things as employment verifications for other jobs, mortgage loans, security clearances, etc. When our data shows they are still here in an active position and the person is saying they have not been here for months or even years, outside agencies do not have reliable data to work with. There are other reasons why jobs need to be closed, but for this email just know that after two months of not paying on a position, it needs to be ended.
If a former hourly employee is re-hired after a “break in service” do they need to fill out all the forms again (ACA Variable hour notice, MOA, W-4, direct deposit) in addition to the I-9 requirements and a new EPAF?
We now have an electronic I-9 system that will allow the re-hiring department to just update section 3 of the I-9 and the employee does not need to do anything (as long as none of their earlier ID documents have expired). They will have to sign a new ACA form (what is the new jobs expectation). MOA, W-4, and direct deposits are in our files, so unless they want to change something we don’t need those.
If a variable hour employee is going to be moved to a full-time hourly employee, what is the procedure to “reclassify” them? A new EPAF and new Position number, new job posting, just an ACA Full-Time Employee Notice form?
If you decide to “promote the hours” of an employee, then you must have the employee sign the ACA full-time form and send it to our office so we can get them signed up for medical ASAP if they choose to take it. When you demote their hours another ACA variable form needs to be signed so we have that on record as well.
The ACA Variable form states that if they take insurance they must keep if for 12-months unless they are terminated. Is there any indicator in Banner that will tell us if a potential hire is currently on ACA insurance or Cobra?
We do have this marked in Banner, but the law would not permit you to “not” hire someone because they were on insurance. It would be seen as discrimination under the law.