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Employee Handbook Section 3 - Employment

Equal employment opportunity

Institutional Equity administers the University's equal opportunity policies and practices. Please contact Institutional Equity should you have a concern related to any form of prohibited discrimination.

The WMU equal opportunity statement is located on the Institutional Equity Web page.

Non-discrimination policy

The non-discrimination policy is located on the Western Michigan University Policies Web page.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Institutional Equity administers the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For the full Western Michigan University ADA policy, please visit Institutional Equity's Disability page.

WMU supports and complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act. WMU prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in hiring, promotion, and other terms of employment provided that individual is otherwise qualified for the position and able to perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation for that disability.

Please contact Institutional Equity should you have a concern related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

New employee orientation

All new employees are invited to attend orientation sessions which will be offered each Monday and will include important information about working at WMU. New employees will receive an invitation from Human Resources via email. The employee's supervisor is copied on this email.

In addition, all benefits-eligible employees are asked to participate in the online benefits enrollment presentation as a condition of employment. This online presentation gives an overview of employee benefits and enrollment in group insurance plans and retirement programs. You may access this process via Benefits Enrollment.

Probation period

All full- and part-time employees (exempt and non-exempt) go through a six-month probation period immediately after starting a new job, whether as a new University employee or as a current employee who moves to a new position by promotion, transfer or demotion. Probation is a working test period and also provides an opportunity for employees to learn their new jobs and related duties and responsibilities. During probation, management may release the employee with or without cause, and with or without notice, at management's sole discretion.

Your supervisor will complete a written Probation Evaluation Report and review it with you at two months, four months and six months after beginning your new job. These evaluations provide an opportunity to discuss your strengths and weaknesses, and serve as a basis for maintaining or terminating your employment.

After successfully completing probation, employees achieve "regular" status. Regular status employees may only be released for just cause. Release for just cause is subject to the grievance procedure.

Employment security

Western tries to provide job security for its employees. However, changes in programming or finances sometimes create the need for staff reductions. If this is required, it will be done through attrition if possible.

If staff must be laid off, there is an established order for determining which employees will be laid off. Details regarding these policies can be found in the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM). Human Resources will be glad to answer any questions.

Should your University employment end for any reason, there is no guarantee of future employment.

Employment status

Each position at the University has an employment status that indicates if the position is full-time or part-time, and continuing, terminal or temporary. Each position also has an Fair Labor Standards Act status. The Fair Labor Standards Act is federal legislation that establishes labor and compensation standards, including provisions for overtime pay. Under the FLSA, employees are either considered "non-exempt" or "exempt" for overtime payment. It is important that employees understand their employment and FLSA status and their benefits eligibility. The University uses the following terms and definitions.

Your position falls into one of these categories:

Your position's full time equivalency determines benefits eligibility:

Your position also has an FLSA status of exempt or non-exempt:

Performance management

Every year, you and your supervisor will work together to develop and write a performance management plan, using the performance management form which is available at Forms. Your annual performance management plan will include target objectives and competencies for the assessment period. These target objectives and competencies serve as criteria for your annual performance appraisal and also help you develop a plan for your ongoing success, growth and development. You and your supervisor will meet to discuss your performance and make written appraisals on the form at mid-year and year-end. Complete instructions and definitions are included on the performance management form.

Employee files

Human Resources Information Systems maintains and houses the University's official employee files. These files contain the official records of employment, such as hiring, transfers, wage changes, performance management, disciplinary action, benefits selection, etc.

Bronco Card

Your Bronco Card identifies you as a WMU employee and is used for many campus activities and services. You can obtain your Bronco Card at the Bronco Card Center, located in the Bernhard Center. For details about obtaining and, if necessary, replacing your Bronco Card please visit Faculty and Staff Bronco Cards.

Employees who separate from the University must return their Bronco Card to Human Resources during an exit interview.

Social Security number policy

The Michigan Social Security Number Privacy Act (MCL §445.81 et seq.) requires that universities institute a policy that protects the privacy of Social Security numbers. Western Michigan University recognizes the importance and sensitivity of an individual's private and personal information, including an individual's Social Security number. The University, in its capacity as an employer and an educational institution, collects a variety of personal and private information, including Social Security numbers. The University strives to ensure the proper handling of all private, personal information, including compliance with all legal requirements regarding such information.

For more information see PPM Section 21 - Social Security Number Policy.