Employee Handbook Section 3

Equal employment opportunity

The Office of Institutional Equity administers Western Michigan 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 Office of Institutional Equity's website.

Non-discrimination policy

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

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Office of Institutional Equity administers the Americans with Disabilities Act. For the full Western Michigan University ADA policy, please visit the Office of Institutional Equity's Disability page.

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. For more information, visit New Employee Orientation.

Probation period

All full-time and part-time employees (exempt and non-exempt) go through a six-month probation period immediately after starting their initial new job at WMU. 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 initial 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.

  • During probation, employees receive and may use University benefits, including annual leave and sick leave.
  • New University employees may apply for promotion or transfer under the job opportunity program only after they have successfully completed their six-month probation period in their current position.

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. 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:

  • Regular continuing full-time. Staff members whose positions have an full-time equivalency of at least .69; as such, these employees are scheduled to work at least 27.5 hours per week or 1,435 hours per year on a regular basis. These employees are eligible for all benefits.
  • Regular continuing part-time. Staff members whose positions have an FTE of less than .69; as such, these employees are scheduled to work less than 27.5 hours per week or 1,435 hours per year on a regular basis. Benefits eligibility depends on the position's FTE/number of hours the employee is regularly scheduled to work.
  • Regular terminal. A full-time or part-time staff member whose job holds a known ending date. Benefits eligibility is the same as for regular continuing full-time or part-time staff, based upon the number of hours regularly scheduled to work.
  • Temporary (non-instructional). A person scheduled to work 40 hours per week or less in a position that does not offer benefits, except legally required Social Security and retirement contributions and free parking while employed. Non-bargaining temporary employees are not eligible to bid on University jobs through the job opportunity program.

Your position's full time equivalency determines benefits eligibility:

  • FTE of .69 or greater. Regularly scheduled to work at least 27.5 hours per week or 1,435 hours per year.
    • Considered full-time and eligible for all benefits.
    • Sick leave accruals and annual leave lump sum allotments are prorated for employees in positions with less than 1.0 FTE (40 hours per week/2,080 hours per year).
  • FTE of at least .50 FTE but less than .69 FTE. Regular scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week or 1,040 hours per year but less than 27.5 hours per week or 1,435 hours per year.
    • Eligible for all benefits, except dependent tuition remission and retirement contributions.
    • Sick leave accruals and annual leave lump sum allotments are pro-rated.
    • Employee tuition discount at 50 percent of full-time employee benefit.
  • Less than .50 FTE. Regular scheduled to work less than 20 hours per week or 1,040 hours per year.
    • Not eligible for benefits, except legally required Social Security and retirement contributions, and free parking while employed.

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

  • Exempt. Employees (regular, terminal or temporary) who meet definition of "exempt" under the FLSA are exempt from the provisions of the Act—they are not paid extra for overtime work. These employees are paid on a salaried basis.
  • Non-exempt. Employees (regular, terminal or temporary) who meet the definition of "non-exempt" are eligible for overtime pay as required by federal and state laws or University policies. These employees are paid on an hourly basis.

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 on the Forms page. 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 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.

  • Every University employee has the right to review his or her file. Please contact Human Resources to make an appointment should you wish to review your file.
  • Files may not be removed from Human Resources nor may any materials be added to or removed from the official file by anyone other than a Human Resources staff member.
  • While files may not be removed from Human Resources, employees may request a copy of all or any portion of their personnel file. The University may charge a fee for the copying cost.
  • Employees who wish to add a document to their employee file may submit the document to Human Resources. Such documents may not be larger than 8 1/2 by 11 inches.

Bronco Card

Your Bronco Card identifies you as a WMU employee and is used for many campus activities and services. 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 Social Security Number Policy, Polices and Procedures Manual Section 21.

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