HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The organizational and
governmental policies of Alcorn State University and the Board of Trustees of State
Institutions of Higher Learning contained herein provide information to
employees regarding certain employment-related rights and responsibilities. It
is the responsibility of each employee to become familiar with the policies
that govern the institution.
Any policy, procedure or
statement which is found to be in conflict with the policies of the Board of
Trustees of the State of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, laws of
the state of Mississippi and federal laws and regulations is declared null and
Policies contained herein
are intended to provide employees with the information they need to maintain
compliance with institutional, state and federal regulations. Policies should not be misinterpreted as a
guarantee of continued employment or an assurance that a particular policy or
procedure will be followed in every case or circumstance.
14.2 KEY FEDERAL AND STATE
ASU complies with the
following federal and state regulations, including, but not limited to:
Americans with Disabilities Act: (ADA) Alcorn State University prohibits
discrimination based upon disabilities.
Disability is defined by the ADA as "a physical or mental
impairment that substantially limits a major life activity." If you need
special accommodations, please let your supervisor or the Office of Human
HIPAA, the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996: Alcorn State University complies with the regulations of this act,
which provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage
for employees and their families when they change or lose their jobs and requires
the protection and confidential handling of employees’ health information.
the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: Alcorn State University ensures compliance with this
act, which gives employees and their families who lose their health benefits
the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by the
Mississippi State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan for limited
periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job
loss; reduction in work hours; transition between jobs, death, divorce; and
other life events.
Qualifying individuals may be
required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost to the
FMLA, Family Medical Leave Act of 1993: Alcorn
State University complies with this act by providing unpaid family and medical
leave during the designated 12-month period to eligible employees, in
accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state
law. When an employee’s absence
qualifies as FMLA leave under both state and federal laws, the employee will
use his or her entitlement under each law at the same time to the extent
permitted by law. When one law provides
a greater benefit than the other, the employee will receive the greater
If an employee is not eligible for FMLA leave
benefits, uses up his or her FMLA leave or wishes to take leave for a purpose
that does not qualify for FMLA leave, the employee should refer to the University’s
other leave policies to determine if other leave might be available.
procedure is as follows:
- The University uses a calendar year to determine
the 12-month period which the 12 weeks of FMLA leave are available.
- Family Medical Leave may be taken continuously,
intermittently or at reduced hours.
- The University runs FML concurrently with sick
and vacation leave time.
- Health Insurance Premiums are paid for “employee
only coverage” by the University for the entire period of FMLA.
- The employee is responsible for payment of
dependent coverage premium and the entire life insurance premium while on FMLA.
- The employee may request donated leave while on
FMLA only if the illness or injury is deemed “catastrophic” by the healthcare
14.3 ASU CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
The University is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and secure environment for
all individuals, including children. Alcorn
has adopted this
child protection policy as an additional measure to ensure the safety and security of children. Violation
of this policy by any employee will result in strictest disciplinary action, up
to and including dismissal.
This policy applies to all
and activities hosted by or
connected to the University in which children participate. Further,
it applies to all programs
or activities located on campus or
property owned or leased by the University.
14.3.2 REPORTS OF ABUSE
No form of child abuse--whether
physical, emotional, or sexual--will be permitted
or tolerated under any circumstances.
the threat of harm to a child’s health or
welfare can occur through non-accidental physical or
mental injury/incident, sexual
misconduct, or attempted sexual misconduct. It can also occur
through negligent treatment or exploitation of a child, which would include the failure to provide adequate nourishment, medical treatment, supervision, clothing, or
Any faculty, staff, student, volunteer, or anyone else affiliated with the University having reasonable cause to suspect that a child is
neglected or abused must immediately report the activity to the Department of Human Services (DHS).
See Miss. Code Ann. § 43-21-353 (as amended 2012).
In addition to the legal requirement, the University requires
anyone who has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect to immediately report the suspected abuse or neglect to the Department of Human Resources at (601) 877-6188,
and the University Police Department either in person or by telephone at (601) 877-3000. In addition, an individual suspecting child
abuse or neglect should either file an EthicsPoint complaint or report the suspected child abuse or
neglect to the Office of Internal
department head, or a Vice President.
In deciding whether
not to report an incident or
situation of suspected abuse or neglect, it is not required that you have proof that abuse or
neglect has occurred.
Any uncertainty in deciding to report suspected abuse or neglect should be resolved in favor
making a good faith report.
14.3.3 BACKGROUND CHECKS
Alcorn State has in effect a policy requiring that
background checks be conducted on all
individuals who are hired to work
In addition, all employees who have contact with minors, regardless of their date of employment, should
have a background check. This
includes faculty, staff, student workers, graduate assistants, and rehired retirees. For more information please refer
to the Background Screening
who work with children on a continued or
reoccurring basis should have a background check on file with the department with which they are volunteering.
14.3.4 ACTIVITIES WITH INVOLVEMENT OF MINORS
Various University departments/units operate programs, host programs, or permit third parties
use University facilities for programs involving minors.
Each of these
entities should carefully review all programs which include participation by minors, or locations they control
that are frequented by minors, to determine whether additional training or protocols may be needed to help prevent child abuse.
should be in place to ensure the well being of children.
example, in all instances, units should prohibit or
strictly limit staff and volunteers
being alone with children, especially in a place that is isolated or
easily visible to others.
Any unit sponsoring a program involving children or allowing the use of its facilities by minors
training on preventing abuse
or additional procedures governing staffing patterns
and interactions between minors and adults is needed.
All University departments/units
entering contracts with outside
entities hosting events on campus should
require such entities to familiarize
themselves with Alcorn’s Child Protection Policy to ensure compliance.
This policy shall
be reviewed every three years by the Office of Human Resources.
The University assures to
all employees an atmosphere and work environment characterized by respect for
every individual’s right to not be subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical
conduct of a sexual nature. Such
behavior is forbidden between employees. Violation of this policy may result in
serious disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
harassment is especially prohibited where the offending employee is in a
position to affect the compensation or employment status of the person being harassed.
In all cases, Alcorn State University officials shall take prompt and
appropriate corrective action. This rule applies equally to sexual harassment
of both men and women. A charge of sexual harassment/ harassment, regardless of
an employee’s length of employment or classification, may be filed using the
grievance procedure. Sexual harassment/harassment is strictly prohibited at any
against any person complaining of harassment is prohibited. Alcorn State University will respond promptly
to all complaints of harassment and retaliation.
Sexual Harassment Policy Acknowledgement Form
It is the policy of Alcorn
State University to protect any employees or other members of the ASU community
(hereinafter "Individuals") who make a good faith disclosure of
suspected wrongful conduct. More specifically, ASU policy:
- Encourages Individuals to disclose violations of
law and serious breaches of conduct covered by University policies;
- Protects Individuals from reprisal by adverse
academic or employment action taken within the University as a result of
having disclosed wrongful conduct; and
- Provides Individuals who believe they have been
subject to reprisal with a process to seek relief from retaliatory acts
that fall within the authority of the University.
Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources
at (601) 877-6188 or the office of the Internal Audit Office at (601) 877-6318
to report any suspected wrongful conduct.
14.6 SUMMONS AND
summons or petition served on an employee as a result of an accident or
incident occurring in the course of or arising out of employment is handled by
the Office of Human Resources.
14.7 MISUSE OF UNIVERSITY ASSETS
The misuse of Alcorn State University assets is a
serious matter that affects compliance with the law as well as the honor and
integrity of the institution. Therefore, all University employees are expected
to avoid even the appearance of impropriety when fulfilling their
It is the policy of ASU to identify and promptly
investigate any misuse of University assets or dishonest or fraudulent
activities against ASU and, when appropriate, to pursue legal remedies.
ASU will take appropriate disciplinary and legal
actions against employees and/or entities, including but not limited to restitution,
the report of information to the appropriate authorities for criminal
prosecution and possible termination of employment.
University is committed to the principles of equal opportunity, affirmative
action and diversity.
State University is expressly committed to providing equal employment
opportunities without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin,
Vietnam era or disabled veteran status, physical and/or mental disability
and/or political affiliation. Further, the University will not tolerate any
conduct of harassment/sexual harassment. This policy applies to all employees
regardless of position; consultants; and applicants for employment.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of all persons making employment
decisions to support this policy.
University also is pledged to develop and support an environment of affirmative
action toward this policy. Alcorn State
University will not knowingly conduct business with any individual,
organization or entity that practices illegal discrimination. It is the
intention of Alcorn State to comply with all applicable federal and state laws
and regulations which prohibit unlawful discrimination.
personnel actions, programs, and facilities will be administered in accordance
with equal opportunity policies, including but not limited to, recruitment,
selection, assignment, classification, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff
and recall, termination, wage assignment, conditions of employment, selection
for training or retraining, and social and recreational program.
realize the declarations as set forth above, the University will, in all
solicitations and advertisements for employment vacancies placed by or on
behalf of the University, state its position as an equal
opportunity/affirmative action employer. In addition, the University will
consider through appropriate and designated procedures, the complaint or
grievance of any individual who has reason to feel that he or she has been
affected by discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national
origin, age, handicap, Vietnam era or disabled veteran status, physical or
mental disability, and/or political affiliation.
as an institution of higher education and in consonance with its policy of
equal employment opportunity, Alcorn State University hereby declares its
policy of equal opportunity.
regarding Equal Employment Opportunity may be directed to the Office of Human
Resources at (601) 877-6188 or contact the Office of Diversity and Equity
Engagement at (601) 877-6700 for any issues concerning diversity and
Alcorn State University fosters the posture and practice of equal
employment opportunities for current and potential employees; the University
will advertise vacancies and new positions as widely as is practical.
Consequently, all nonprofessional vacancies and new positions shall be posted
on the ASU website and advertised in at least 1 widely circulated publication
(if applicable). A minimum of 2 weeks shall be allowed from the time a vacancy
or new position is published until the deadline for the receipt of applications.
All professional vacancies and positions will be posted on the
University website at www.alcorn.edu, and shall also be advertised through the Mississippi Employment
Security Commission, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher
Education and other job posting venues (if applicable). The hiring manager
of the respective unit who has an open position or vacancy is responsible for
working with the Office of Human Resources to ensure appropriate posting and
advertising. All open positions will be advertised for a minimum of 2 weeks
before the deadline for applications. Current qualified employees who are in
good standing with the University are eligible and are encouraged to apply for
14.8.3 SCREENING AND
A search committee is required for all
Executive/Administrative/Managerial and regular Faculty positions. Search and screening committees are not
required for support staff positions; it is recommended that more than one
person take part in the interview process. The Office of Human Resources is
available to assist in the search process and conduct training for the search
committee or department.
14.8.4 EXCEPTIONS TO
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCEDURES
State University provides equal opportunity in employment. This is accomplished through nondiscriminatory
open recruitment and hiring practices. Occasionally, such factors as financial
constraints, program continuity, the unavailability of a practical number of
qualified applicants, or the existence of highly specialized qualifications and
requirements for a particular position, require making an exception to the
University's normal employee recruitment and selection procedures.
The types of exceptions
include the categories of Business Necessity and Internal Recruitment Only.
Alcorn State University, in order to increase safety, manage risks
and make informed hiring decisions, will conduct nondiscriminatory background
checks on applicants prior to an offer of employment. Further, applicants who indicate on their
employment applications that they have a prior felony conviction(s) or a
pending felony charge(s) will be subject to more extensive background checks if
the applicant is selected for interview and recommended for hire. The University
reserves the right to refuse to hire anyone convicted of a felony or
misdemeanor or anyone who has pending felony charges. No individual will be
hired to work at Alcorn State University who has ever been convicted of or has
pleaded guilty to a felony charge or malfeasance/theft.
Although a disqualification is possible, a previous conviction
does not automatically disqualify an applicant from consideration for
employment with the University. Depending
on certain factors, the applicant may still be eligible for employment with the
University. In determining suitability
for employment where there is a record of criminal activity and/or pending
criminal activity, consideration shall be given to issues such as requirements
of the position, the number of years ago that the conviction occurred, the
magnitude of the conviction and the number of offenses.
Background checks may be performed on current employees, with
prior written notice, for the following positions:
- Positions handling
cash and checks on a regular basis
- Positions having
contact with children and minors
- Positions having
contact with residence hall rooms
- Positions having
access to student or employee information
- Other positions as requested
University reserves the right to add positions to this list at any time.
Here is the procedure for background screenings:
- Applicants, upon notice,
will complete and sign a Background Screening Consent form.
- Applicants refusing to
consent to a background check, as required by the University, will not be
considered for employment.
- Current employees
having responsibilities as defined herein, upon written notice, may be subject
to a background check. Refusal by an
employee to sign the Background Screening Consent form, when written notice is
provided, may still be subject to a background check.
- If the background
check is used as a basis for not hiring an individual, the applicant will
receive a copy of the background report, the summary of rights document, the
contact information for the consumer reporting agency that furnished the report
and a statement that the consumer reporting agency did not make the adverse
decision and cannot explain why it was made.
The same notice shall also be provided to current employees who are
subject to a background check, and the results of the screening are used as a
basis for adverse action, including termination.
14.9 DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICY
is the policy of Alcorn State University to maintain a drug-free workplace,
workforce and campus consistent with federal laws set forth in the Drug-Free
Workplace Act of 1988, the Department of Defense Drug-Free Workforce Rule of
1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Consequently, all employees including faculty,
staff (part-time and full-time) and students are absolutely prohibited from the
unlawful possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale or any
involvement with controlled substances and alcohol on University property or as
part of any University activity.
ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS
State University has adopted this policy on drugs and alcohol for its employees
and others on University property to help ensure a safe, healthy, and
productive drug-free work environment; to protect University property and
assets; to maintain a favorable public image; and to ensure efficient
policy restricts certain items and substances from being brought on or being
present on University property including its parking areas and its vehicles;
prohibits University employees and all others from reporting to work, working
or being present on University property from having detectable levels or
identifiable trace quantities of certain drugs and other substances and prohibits
the unauthorized possession by employees or others of certain materials.
use, possession, sale, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, concealment,
receipt, transportation or being under the influence of any of the following
items or substances on University property (including the presence of
detectable levels or identifiable trace quantities), by employees is
- Illegal drugs, controlled substances, marijuana,
intoxicants (legal or illegal), “look-alike” substances, designer drugs,
counterfeit or synthetic drugs, inhalants and any other drugs or substances
that will, in any way, affect safety, work ability, alertness, coordination,
judgment, response or the safety of others on the job.
- Alcoholic beverages, except as specifically
authorized by University management. (Note: Moderate use of alcohol at
company-approved meetings or in an appropriate social setting is not prohibited
by this policy.) Consumption of alcoholic beverages while driving or driving
any vehicle for University business while intoxicated is prohibited. The
consumption of alcohol on University time or on any of Alcorn’s property is
- Drug paraphernalia.
- Prescription drugs and over-the-counter
medications, except under the following conditions:
drugs have been prescribed by an authorized medical practitioner for current
use (within the past 12 months) for the person in possession of the drugs.
drugs/medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter, are limited to a 1-day
supply or must be kept in their original container and must be taken in
accordance with the dosage recommendations and usage cautions and generally
must not affect the person’s ability to perform work safely.
University reserves the right to consult with a medical doctor to determine if
a drug or medication, whether prescribed, produces hazardous or non-safe
effects and may restrict the use of any such drug or medication accordingly on
University property. The University also reserves the right to require an
employee to undergo a fitness for duty medical examination by a physician of
its choosing. This may also include restricting or altering the individual’s
work activity or presence at the worksite.
of the importance of this policy, the University reserves the right, at all
times, while on Alcorn’s premises and property and when circumstances warrant,
to have University supervisors and/or authorized search and inspection specialists,
including scent-trained dogs, conduct searches and inspections of employees or
other persons and their personal property and effects, to include but not be
limited to lunch boxes, purses, briefcases, baggage, offices, desks, clothing
and vehicles (including trunks, glove compartments, etc.) for the purpose of
determining if such employees or other persons are using, possessing, selling,
manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, concealing, receiving or transporting
any of the prohibited items and substances contained in the policy.
employee’s supervisor and/or a senior University officer have the right to
conduct an on-the-spot search and inspection of employees or others and their
personal property and effects, as described, if said supervisor has a reason to
believe that employees or others are in direct violation of any part of this
policy. All searches and inspections
conducted by outside authorized specialists will be in the presence of a senior
company officer and/or the Human Resources Director.
employees are expected to cooperate with any investigation regarding this
policy. Failure to cooperate, provide false information or omit information may
subject any employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination of
employment. A search and inspection, as
defined herein, may also include and require employees and others present on University
property to submit to a urine drug screen test and/or blood test or other
be required under the following circumstances:
- During pre-employment examinations for certain
positions as identified by the University.
- When an employee’s supervisor has reason to believe
that an employee on University property is using or under the influence of
prohibited drugs, alcohol and substances or that there has been a violation of
- When an employee, or other person, is found in
possession of suspected illegal or prohibited drugs and substances, or when any
of these drugs and substances are found in an area controlled or used
exclusively by said employee or other person.
- When an employee returns to active employment after a
leave of absence of 30 or more days.
- Following an on-the-job injury requiring treatment from
a physician or following a serious or potentially serious accident or incident,
including near misses, in which safety precautions were violated, unsafe
instructions or orders were given, vehicles/equipment/property was damaged or
unusually careless acts were performed. All persons involved and within the
immediate vicinity of the incident may have their urine and blood tested. If it
is impossible or impractical, because of the physical condition of the
individual(s) involved in the accident, to give a urine and blood sample, and
if in subsequent medical treatment of the person or person’s blood will be
drawn, then the blood will be analyzed for drugs, alcohol and other prohibited
- Random testing, other than to meet current specific job
site requirements, will not commence until 30 days following the date of this
policy; however, applicants for employment shall be subject to testing as of
the date of this policy. The search,
inspection, urine and/or blood drug screening provisions herein will be
performed with concern for the personal privacy of each
employee or other person and will also apply to contract labor, when feasible.
persons shall have the opportunity, prior to testing, to list all prescription
and nonprescription drugs they have used in the last 30 days and to explain the
circumstances surrounding the use of such drugs. All records containing medical
information will be maintained in accordance with applicable law.
is a list of the drugs that are usually tested for and the levels of detection:
Drug or Metabolite in
Initial Test (Emit) (GC/MS)
(Marijuana, hashish) (carboxy THC)
Ethanol (Enzyme Assay) (GC/FID)
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF POLICY
employee found in violation of this policy or who refuses to submit to a search
or urine and/or blood analysis shall be removed from University property and be
subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
employee ordered to submit to urine and/or blood tests shall be informed of the
reasons why he or she is being ordered to submit the specimen. Any employee failing after a 3-hour period to
submit the specimen will be informed that this refusal constitutes failure to
obey a direct order and that this is grounds for termination.
employee who, as a result of drug testing and screening, is found to have
detectable levels or identifiable trace quantities of a prohibited drug or
substance in his or her system, regardless of when or where the drug or
substance entered that person’s system, without an explanation satisfactory to
University, will be considered in violation of this policy, will be removed
from University property and will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and
including termination of employment. Additionally, if employment is continued,
such employees may be required to submit
to random drug screens and/or to participate in and successfully complete a
substance abuse program.
findings of a policy violation may require that the employee be suspended,
without pay, pending the results of an internal investigation. If said investigation clears the employee of
any policy violation, then said employee would be fully reinstated, including
pay, to his or her job.
employee, or anyone else, who in any way alters, tampers with, or substitutes a
urine or blood specimen, will be considered a violator of this policy, and the
employee shall be discharged. A non-employee shall be removed and barred from University
premises. The company may take into custody any illegal, unauthorized, or
prohibited items or substances and may turn them over to the proper law
OFF THE JOB DRUG AND ALCOHOL SUBSTANCE USE AND ACTIVITY
who use drugs, alcohol or chemical substances off the job run the risk of
jeopardizing the safety of themselves, their family, the public and the University. Whenever such usage adversely affects public
trust in the University or otherwise interferes with the University’s ability
to carry out its responsibilities or increases potential liability for the University,
the University may be forced to take disciplinary action against the offending
employee(s), up to and including termination of employment. Employees who are convicted or plead guilty
or novo contend ere (no contest) because of off-the-job activities (drug
or alcohol related) may be considered in violation of this policy. In deciding
what action to take, the University will consider the nature of the charges and
other factors relative to the impact of the employee’s conviction or plea upon
the conduct of the University’s business.
policy supersedes any and all other University drug policies.
14.9.6 VIOLATION OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG
An employee may be found to use illegal
drugs on the basis of any appropriate evidence including, but not limited to:
- Direct observation
- Evidence obtained
from an arrest or criminal conviction
- A verified positive
- An employee’s
220.127.116.11 MANDATORY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS
The Supervisor may
refer an employee found to use illegal drugs to an Employee Assistance Program
(EAP), and, if the employee occupies a sensitive position, immediately remove
the employee from that position. At the discretion of the supervisor, however,
and as part of an EAP, an employee may return to duty in a sensitive position
if the employee’s return would not endanger public health or safety.
taken against an employee found to use illegal drugs may include the full range
of disciplinary actions, including termination. The severity of the action
chosen will depend on the circumstances of each case and will be consistent
with prior discipline under similar circumstances. The supervisor shall
initiate disciplinary action against any employee found to use illegal drugs,
provided that such action is not required for an employee who voluntarily
admits to illegal drug use and obtains counseling or rehabilitation and
thereafter refrains from using illegal drugs as long as such admission occurs
prior to illegal use or possession on the job.
Such disciplinary action may include any of the following measures, but
disciplinary action will be initiated if an employee is found in violation of
- Reprimanding the employee in writing.
- Placing the employee in an enforced
- Suspending the employee for 14 days or
less (with or without pay).
- Suspending the employee for 15 days or
more (with or without pay).
- Suspending the employee until the
employee successfully completes the EAP or until the supervisor determines
that action other than suspension is more appropriate.
- Terminating the employee.
supervisor shall terminate an employee for refusing to obtain counseling or
rehabilitation through an EAP as required by the drug policy after the employee
has been found to have used illegal drugs or does not refrain from illegal drug
use after a first finding of such use.
18.104.22.168 REFUSAL OF DRUG TEST
An employee who refuses to be tested when so required will be subject to
the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal. No applicant who
refuses to be tested shall be extended an offer of employment. Attempts to
alter or substitute the specimen provided will be deemed a refusal to take the
drug test required.
14.10 CONFLICTS OF
INTEREST/ OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT
It is the policy of Alcorn State University that its
employees conduct the affairs of the University in accordance with the highest
legal, ethical and moral standards. Conflicts of interest should be avoided where possible or otherwise disclosed and
managed. Further, employees shall not use their University position to secure
personal financial benefits for themselves or any member of their immediate
A conflict of interest arises whenever the employee has
the opportunity to influence University operations or business decisions in
ways that could result in a personal financial benefit to the employee or a
member of an employee’s immediate family. Although certain specific examples of
conflicts of interest are provided in this policy, they are meant only as
illustrations, and supervisors and employees are expected to use good judgment
to identify possible conflicts of interest and to manage such so as not to
adversely influence Alcorn State University operations.
Nothing in this policy shall be construed to permit,
even with disclosure, any activity that is prohibited by law. Violation of this
policy may be grounds for immediate dismissal.
External activities can lead to conflicts of interest
with regard to an employee’s University responsibilities. As such, this policy
is intended to provide a framework for recognizing and managing employee
conflicts of interest and, whenever possible, for preventing even the
appearance of conflicts of interest. While the primary goal of this policy is
to prevent an employee’s external activities from adversely influencing Alcorn
State University operations, this policy is also intended to protect employees
from undue suspicion that their external activities may improperly influence University
all employees must be available for and devote their full attention to their
assigned duties and responsibilities during scheduled working hours. Additionally,
employees having emergency response responsibilities must be reasonably
available during non-scheduled hours.
Each employee must ensure that his or her off-the-job activities do not
adversely affect job performance with and are not contrary to the interests of
following guidelines and rules are established for all employees:
- All employees are required to complete and sign
a Conflicts of Interest Policy Acknowledgement form upon hire.
- Employment with the University will be the
employee’s primary job responsibility and obligation; any other approved
employment will be deemed secondary.
- The demands or requirements of outside or
secondary employment may not be considered as excusable reasons for absences,
tardiness, poor performance or other areas of concern from a personnel
- Prior to seeking or accepting outside
employment, full-time employees must discuss a secondary job with the
supervisor and/or department head to determine whether or not the job is
considered a “conflict of interest” as previously defined herein.
- Current employees considering outside employment
must submit a request in writing for approval to the supervisor and/or
department head and complete the Conflicts of Interest Disclosure form prior to engaging in employment. The request must also be completed if an
outside activity exists at the time an employee is hired by the University.
- If the outside employment constitutes a conflict
of interest, detracts from the employee’s responsibilities, or has an
appearance of a “conflict of interest,” the request will be denied.
- If the supervisor and/or department head approves
the outside employment, the Conflicts ofInterest Disclosure form must be completed annually and placed on file in
the Office of Human Resources.
- Unit heads shall carefully evaluate all
circumstances relating to a potential conflict of interest before acting to
approve or disapprove the associated activities.
The following are examples of
conflicts of interest requiring employee disclosure. These examples are
illustrations only and are not meant to be exclusive:
- Employee or immediate family member owns, in
whole or in part, a business entity with which the University does or proposes
to do business, and the employee is in a decision-making role or otherwise is in
a position to influence the University’s business decisions regarding the
business entity. The following are examples of business entities for which an
employee disclosure is required:
- Finance or accounting services
- Athletic equipment services
- PC or other hardware services
- Architectural services
- Legal services
- Grant preparation
- Temporary personnel services
- Office or lab supplies
- Painting services
- Lawn and grounds services
- Employee holds or assumes an executive, officer
or director position in a for-profit or not-for-profit business or entity
engaged in commercial, educational, or research activities similar to those in
which the University engages.
- Employee participants in consultation activities
for a for-profit or not-for-profit business or entity engaged in commercial,
educational or research activities similar to those of the University.
See also reference to the
Mississippi Code Annotated, §25-4-105(1) and §25-4-105(3) (a) regarding
conflicts of interest.
14.11 EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY (FORM I9)
Alcorn State University requires all persons to complete Form I-9.
This shall be done within the first 3 days of employment. Proper credentials must be presented before
other employment forms are completed. A newly hired or rehired person must
complete the Form I-9 to be considered employed, and the date of completion is
the first date an individual is placed on the payroll.
The credentials needed for Form I-9 are the following: current
driver’s license, an original social security card or a current passport,
certified birth certificate, alien registration receipt card or employment
It is required that each new employee attend orientation. Employees are introduced to the University
through a general orientation session conducted by a designated member of the Office
of Human Resources staff. At the time of
employment, each employee is instructed to retrieve the required online
employment forms on the Human Resources webpage, and is informed of the
location and time of the orientation. Orientation for new hired employees will
occur on the 1st through the 20th of each month to ensure
timely processing of payroll and regulatory compliance.
All benefits are explained, and
completed enrollment forms are submitted during orientation. The employee must
also sign acknowledging receipt of instructions for retrieving the Policy
Handbook on the Internet.
Orientation by the department
supervisor follows and will include specific work hours, lunch time and so
forth. The supervisor will provide answers to questions the employee may
have. The departmental orientation may
also include a requirement for certain training the employee may need and will
have to complete in order to function efficiently in the position.
14.13 JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND INSTRUCTION
Immediate supervisors are required to
provide the Office of Human Resources with a detailed description of each
position within his/her department. The
job description will be placed on file in the Office of Human Resources. The
new employee will receive a copy of his or her job description from his or her
supervisor upon hire.
14.14 PROBATIONARY PERIOD
The first 6 months of employment for
non-contract, non-executive employees is considered an initial evaluation
(probationary) period. Any staff
employee, not having a binding contract, is required to serve on a probationary
basis that consists of 6 months of employment. All University policies and
conditions of employment, except the grievance procedure, shall be applicable during
the probationary period.
The University may terminate
probationary employees with or without notice if performance is not acceptable.
Supervisors are required to document any counseling efforts, as well as the
termination itself and the termination evaluation, and forward all applicable
information for inclusion in the personnel records.
The Director of Human Resources is
authorized, upon the recommendation of the department manager, to extend the 6-month
probationary period up to 3 additional months (90 days) to allow more time to
evaluate an employee’s work performance if necessary. The employee should be
made aware by the department head/supervisor that the probationary period is
being extended. An employee successfully
completing the 6-month probationary period remains employed “at will”
and is not entitled to any notification prior to termination.
14.15 EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATIONS
Employees are classified at the time of
employment as full-time regular, full-time temporary, part-time regular,
part-time temporary or seasonal. An employee whose work assignment is for less
than 4.5 months is not entitled to benefits. Employees working less than 20
hours per week, regardless of whether they are regular or temporary, are not
entitled to benefits.
Individuals hired to work at Alcorn
State as full-time (100% FTE) employees shall not be allowed to work another
100% FTE for any other public or private entity. The President/IEO, at his
discretion, may approve other employment under extraordinary circumstances.
Terms of employment shall be agreed upon in written contract (see also
Conflicts of Interest Policy).
14.16 EMPLOYMENT “AT-WILL”
Alcorn State University recognizes
Employment At-will. Employment
At-Will defines an employment relationship in which either party can break the
relationship with no liability, provided there was no express contract for a
definite term governing the employment relationship and that the employer does
not belong to a collective bargaining entity (i.e., has not recognized a
Under this rule, any hiring is
presumed to be “at will,” that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals
"for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all,” and the employee is
equally free to quit, strike or otherwise cease work.
14.17 EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS
All contracts of employment are subject
to the governing Policies and Procedures of IHL and of Alcorn State University
as each may be revised, amended or altered.
The contract delineates salary, position title, employment status,
causes for termination and reappointment rights, if any, and other materials as
the University or Board may elect to include in order to define the primary
elements of the contract of employment. The employee must acknowledge receipt
and acceptance of the terms of the contract by signing and returning a
copy. Failure or refusal of the employee
to sign and return the contract within a specified time period is deemed a
rejection of the offer of employment, unless both parties have agreed to extend
the time. If an employee refuses to sign
the employment contract, the University reserves the right to terminate
employment or extend another offer of employment.
Employment beyond the contract period
may not be legally presumed. Renewal of an employment contract is subject to
the discretion of the University President.
14.18 EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES
No relative (within the third degree
kinship) of an employee of Alcorn State University may be employed to work
under the general or direct supervision of that employee. No relative of a budget officer may be
employed and paid from any funds over which that budget officer has control.
employees are to hold “confidential” information in strict confidence, and not
to disclose, discard or distribute any University information/documents unless
a request is made in writing by an authorized legal entity. Violation of the
confidentiality policy may be grounds for termination.
employees, upon hire, shall sign an acknowledgment form regarding the
ETHICS OF WORKPLACE CONDUCT
Alcorn State University strives to be a
family-friendly workplace and is committed to maintaining an environment in
which members of the University community can work together to further
education, research and community service. The University requires that all
employees behave at all times in a professional manner and be committed to the
highest ethical standards to avoid any unlawful discrimination, including
harassment; conflict of interest; retaliation or risk of a claim or loss to the
University. This policy provides
guidelines for visitors in the workplace, family members working at Alcorn and
relationships at work.
14.21 WORKPLACE VISITATIONS
Children, family members, associates or friends of
employees are welcome for occasional, brief visits in the workplace. However, children may not visit the workplace
if their presence conflicts with department policy, federal or state law. Staff may bring children to appropriate
University-sponsored programs and activities.
Supervisors may approve non-routine visits that do not interfere with a
staff members’ ability to perform his or her work functions or the productivity
of a work unit.
14.22 FAMILY MEMBERS IN WORKPLACE
As a major employer in the Lorman, MS area, Alcorn
does have employees from the same family who work at the University. However, employment of family members in
situations where one family member has direct influence over the other’s
conditions of employment (i.e., salary, hours worked, shifts, etc.) is
forbidden. For the purpose of this
policy, family members are defined as spouse, domestic partner, daughter, son,
parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother, mother-in-law or
father-in-law (refer to Employment of Relatives Policy).
In some cases, a concern over conflicts of interest
may arise involving other close relatives such as aunts, uncles, cousins, or
relatives by marriage. In any case, when
employees are unsure about a potential conflict, they should fully disclose the
circumstances in writing to their supervisor (refer to Conflicts of Interest
If a supervisor or the Human Resources Director is
made aware that a family member has influence over another family member’s
conditions of employment, the following should occur. In collaboration with the
Office of Human Resources, the supervisor will be provided 10 days to make a
decision regarding a change. Options include but are not limited to the
employee being transferred to another area or the reporting structure in the
department may be revised so that the employee no longer has direct influence
over the family member’s conditions of employment.
If a decision is not reached by the end of the 10-day
period, the department head or next level of administration will resolve the
situation; this decision may include terminating the employment of one or both
employees (seniority considered).
14.23 RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK
Alcorn State University discourages romantic, dating
or sexual relationships in the workplace.
Employees who engage in personal relationships with other employees
(including romantic and sexual relationships) should be aware of their
professional responsibilities and will be responsible for assuring that the
relationship does not raise concerns about favoritism, bias, ethics and
conflict of interest. When in doubt,
advice and counsel should be sought from the next level of administration or
the Office of Human Resources.
Romantic or sexual relationships between employees
where one individual has influence or control over the other’s conditions of employment
are prohibited. These relationships include:
- A relationship between a supervisor and
subordinate, or any relationship in which one employee supervises or manages,
directly or indirectly, another employee or makes decisions concerning another
employee’s terms, conditions, or privileges of employment and/or
- An employee and a contractor, subcontractor,
potential employees or vendor when the employee has the capacity to influence,
directly or indirectly, the business relationship or potential employment.
These relationships, even if consensual, may
ultimately result in conflict or difficulties in the workplace. Additional
problems may occur in the workplace should the relationship cease.
14.24 RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS
When employees interact with students, they are in a
position of trust and power. These relationships must not jeopardize the
effective functioning of the University by the appearance of either favoritism
or unfairness in the exercise of professional judgment. In relationships with students, the employee
is expected to be aware of his or her professional responsibilities and to
avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism or bias.
Consensual sexual relationships are strictly
prohibited between a student and an employee who is in a position to exercise
power or authority over that student.
Efforts by an employee to initiate these relationships are also prohibited.
Violation of this policy by an employee is grounds for disciplinary action, up
to and including immediate discharge.
A consensual sexual relationship between a student and
an employee who is not in a position to exercise direct power or authority over
that student may also be inappropriate.
Any employee who engages in such a relationship must accept
responsibility for assuring that it does not result in a conflict of interest
or raise other issues of professionalism. In cases where doubt exists, advice
and counsel should be sought from the Director of Educational Equity and
Inclusion or the Director of Human Resources.
If a relationship is deemed to be inappropriate under
these guidelines, the appropriate department head or next level administrator,
after consultation with the Director of Human Resources and/or the Director of
Educational Equity and Inclusion, will take appropriate action. Actions taken may include, but are not
limited to, an agreed upon transfer; a change in shift; a change in reporting
structure; or discharge.
If the employee, whether or not involved in the
relationship, believes he or she has been, or is being adversely affected, he
or she is encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources.
When relationships develop into situations that may be
viewed as harassment or discrimination, employees should refer to the
Discrimination/Harassment Policy and/or the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative
Action Policy. If questions or concerns
arise regarding potential harassment or discrimination, the employee should
contact the Director of Human Resources.
Please refer to the Conflict
of Interest Policy in this manual for other workplace ethics guidelines
All permanent records of the employee
are maintained in the Office of Human Resources. Official payroll records are
maintained in the Payroll Office. The personnel file is the official employment
record of the employee and includes the application for employment,
documentation of the hiring or appointment, information from references,
relevant correspondence, position assignment documents, information on
transfers, promotions, evaluations, disciplinary notices, wage changes and
benefit enrollment and tax deduction information. All personnel files are
confidential, personal property of the University.
14.27 REVIEW OF PERSONNEL FILE
Employee Personnel Files are considered
University property, and the following guidelines are set to gain access to
Upon reasonable advance notice, employees may
review their own personnel file under the
supervision of a Human Resources representative
at any time during the normal office hours. No documents are to be taken from the personnel file by
employee; however, certain copies may
be obtained upon written request
at a rate of $.15 per page.
Terminated employees must make written
requests to obtain certain copies of his or her personnel files. Copies may be obtained at a rate of $.15 per
14.28 CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION
Employees should notify the Office of Human
Resources of any change in personal information: name, address, contact
information, marital status, number of dependents, beneficiaries or the name of
an emergency contact person. Failure to notify the Office of Human Resources
may cause a delay in receipt of important correspondence.
14.29 ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS
The University adopts the regulations
and procedures as set forth in the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 and
the policies of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning
(IHL) with respect to access to public records in the University’s
possession. Personnel records and
applications for employment are exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi
Public Records Act of 1983.
Other than exempt documents, the
following guidelines will be followed with regards to public records requests:
- Any entity wishing to inspect or copy
public records must make the request in writing to the university and must
clearly identify the specific information sought. Any response by the University will be
submitted to the requesting party within 7 working days after the request is
- Denial by the University of a request
to access copies of our public records shall be in writing and shall contain a
statement of the specific exemptions relied upon by the University for such
- Recipient(s) will be charged ($.15) per
page for standard black and white photocopies.
For all non-standard photocopies, actual costs of reproduction will be
assessed to recipient(s).
- Records will be available for
inspection and copying by appointment during regular working hours (8 a.m. to 5
p.m.) on Monday through Thursday, holidays excluded.
- Recipient(s) may be charged costs for
mailing in addition to reproduction fees.
14.30 WORKING HOURS AND ATTENDANCE
Employees are expected to report to
work on time daily and to remain on the job throughout the regular work
hours. The normal work week for
full-time, hourly wage employees is 40 hours measured from Sunday through
Saturday of a week; the normal work hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with one hour
for lunch, Monday through Friday.
Employees must have prior approval from
the supervisor/department head before taking personal leave. Failure to report to work after 3 days of
being absent is considered job abandonment and is sufficient cause for
Should an unforeseen emergency arise,
employees are required to call in to their immediate supervisor two hours prior
to their assigned shift. Violation of this policy could result in disciplinary
action up to and including termination.
14.31 TIMEKEEPING AND REPORTING
The time records are the basic source
of information for payroll purposes. Time records should reflect the actual
hours worked. Employees are not allowed to sign and/or punch in at times in
variance with their daily work schedule. Changes, alterations or notations are
not to be made on the time sheets except by approval and with the signature or
the department head and/or supervisor.
Hourly-paid employees are neither
permitted nor allowed to work before or after their scheduled time without
prior approval. Hourly-paid employees,
who arrive more than 7 minutes late or depart more than 7 minutes before the
established quitting time, can be docked for the exact period of time of such
lateness or early departure. Employees
are not permitted to clock in and/or out for another employee.
Only pre-approved overtime is allowed
for hourly-paid non-exempt employees.
14.32 COMPENSATORY TIME AND OVERTIME
It is the policy of Alcorn State
University that all hourly nonexempt employees work within the regular 40-hour
work week, unless additional work time is considered necessary by the
department manager/supervisor. Overtime
is permitted for hourly nonexempt employees only and must have the prior
approval of the department head.
All faculty, executive, highly-compensated
administrators and certain professional staff are exempt from the provisions of
the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act).
If an employee who is paid on an hourly basis works beyond
40 physical hours per week, the employee is paid overtime at 1.5 times his or
her regular hourly rate of pay.
Salaried nonexempt (making more than
$23,660 annually) and exempt employees will receive compensatory time (time in
lieu of pay) for work in excess of 40 physical hours per week. The compensatory time is given at the rate of
1.5 times for all hours worked during the week in which the overtime
occurs. After an employee has
accumulated a maximum of 240 hours (480 hours for police officers,
firefighters, computer and outside sales), the employee shall be paid overtime
for hours worked above the 240 hours at 1.5 times his or her regular rate of
14.33 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL AND REVIEW PROCESS
Alcorn State University adopts the IHL
Board policy numbered 407.01; Performance Appraisals. Performance appraisals shall be completed for
all staff members of the University on an annual basis and copies will be placed
in the personnel files in the Office of Human Resources. The appraisal will be administered by the
immediate supervisor (the rater) and will be reviewed at the next level of
supervision (the reviewer). Performance
Review Forms are available on the Department of Human Resources webpage and
assistance in completing and filing the form is also provided by the Human
Formal consideration of revisions to
the performance appraisal form shall occur at least once every three years.
14.34 PROMOTIONS AND TRANSFERS
It is the policy of Alcorn State
University to encourage and facilitate the professional development of staff
members and to encourage intra-departmental promotions of staff when
appropriate. Consequently, a staff
member is eligible to apply for any advertised position at the University in
which he or she is interested and qualified.
Probationary employees who apply for a
position and transfer on a lateral move from one position to another or who are
promoted to a higher classified position or are placed in a lower classification
level will resume a 6-month probationary period.
Transfers by employee request are not
allowed during the 6-month initial evaluation (probationary) period.
In all cases, it is the intention of
Alcorn State University to fill a vacant or new position with the most
qualified applicant; consequently, employee wishing to transfer or be promoted
to another job or department must apply and meet the written qualifications and
requirements for the open or vacant position (see also Advertising Positions Policy).
14.35 ANNIVERSARY DATE
The employee’s anniversary date is the
date that the employee was initially employed at Alcorn State University
provided there is no break in service.
For employees with a break in service, the anniversary is the most
recent date of employment. A total of 24 hours of separation constitutes a
break in service (weekends included).
14.36 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE /TUITION
ASU offers tuition remission to the employees and their dependents.
Regular full-time employees are eligible to have
tuition remitted for up to 6 undergraduate or graduate credit hours per
semester, with a maximum of 18 credit hours per calendar year. Dependent children (REN)
of regular full-time employees are eligible to receive undergraduate tuition
and required fees remission at 50%. In
cases where either parent or legal guardian(s) are eligible employees or
employee and retiree, a tuition waiver of 100% shall be provided to the
dependent children. A dependent may receive undergraduate tuition remission
until the requirements of one bachelor’s degree are met, as long as the parent
or guardian continues employment with ASU.
The University closes its
offices and ceases regular business functions and activities in observance of
certain holidays and at other times approved and announced by the President.
All regular employees
(except temporary employees, student employees, and rehired retirees) receive
their regular pay for scheduled holidays.
To be eligible for holiday
pay, employees must be present for work or in an approved paid leave status on
the last regularly scheduled day of work before the holiday and the first
scheduled work day after the holiday.
ASU employee holidays are:
- One day for Independence Day (4th of July)
- One day for Labor Day
- Two days for Thanksgiving
- Nine days for winter holiday (Christmas Break)
- One day for Dr. M. L. King Jr. birthday
- One day for Memorial Day
14.38 APPLICATION FOR LEAVE
Employees of the University who are
applying for leave are required to complete the Online Leave Request Process. If
an employee has no accrued vacation or sick leave, his or her pay may be docked
if leave is taken/approved. Exempt level employees may be docked for 8 or more
hours for each day absent if he or she has no accrued personal/compensatory or
sick leave available. Please see State
Leave Accrual Form.
14.39 LEAVES OF ABSENCE
employees with a year or more of continuous active service may request a leave
of absence, without pay, for justifiable reasons. Whenever a state employee is on leave without
pay, it is the employee’s responsibility to pay the employee and the employer
portion, if any, of all insurance premiums he or she wishes to continue. The
standard reasons and normal maximum allowable times for each category are as
Educational Leave: This type of leave is for
up to 12 months and must lead to increased job ability. The policy of the University
is to encourage the pursuit of higher education. For that purpose, leaves are granted for a
school year or less. Requests for this
type of leave of absence must be submitted through the supervisor to the Office
of Human Resources. Commitments to a program of education will not be made
until approval has been received from the university. Such leaves are without pay.
Personal Leave: This leave is for up to 3
months and is for justifiable reason. Normally, maternity leave should begin no
later than 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery and should extend to at
least 4 weeks (regular delivery) or 8 weeks (caesarean section) after the
delivery date. Such leave should be
requested 3 months (90 days) in advance. The department head and the Human
Resources officer must approve this leave. Employees starting maternity leave
are encouraged to conference with the Human Resources Director/Representative
before departure. Maternity leave may also be covered under the provisions of
Active Military Service Leave: This leave is
as required (a reservist may be called to active duty or a member is drafted). Employees
who are full-time employees with the University and who are called to active
military duty on short notice as a result of national emergencies may be
granted military leaves of absence beginning on the day of call to military
service. Such leaves of absence will be
without pay. The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act of 1994, a
federal law, requires employers to allow up to 5 years of unpaid leave to a
soldier who leaves employment to perform military duty, performs that duty
satisfactorily, and requests to be returned to his or her position (or a
comparable) position within the statutory time limits. The soldier must be re-employed
without regard to whether the military duty was voluntary or involuntary.
USERRA requires that the service member meet five
general criteria in order to establish eligibility for reemployment:
the service member be absent from a position of civilian employment by reason
of service in the uniformed services;
the service member’s employer be given in advance notice of the service;
the service member have 5 years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed
services with respect to a position of employment with a particular employer;
the service member return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner
after conclusion of service; and
the service member must not have separated from service with a disqualifying discharge
or under other that honorable conditions.
Family and Medical Leave: This leave involves
a serious health condition of the employee; a serious health condition
of the employee’s spouse, child or parent; or the birth or adoption of a child.
In compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees may be
granted up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for reasons
listed above. However, the University exercises its option to require the
employee to use any accumulated sick and/or vacation leave accruals to cover
some or all of the Family Medical Leave (FML).
Requests for family medical leave (FML) must be supported by a medical
certification provided by the health care provider. The employee is allowed 15 calendar days to
obtain the medical certification. The University
may, at its own expense, require the employee to obtain a second medical
certification from a health care provider chosen by the University. The
employer and the employee must approve a third health care provider jointly.
Other University Leave categories
include the following:
- Personal Leave with/without Pay
- Major Medical Leave with/without Pay
- Donated Leave for Catastrophic Illnesses or
- Leave for Death in the Immediate Family
- Administrative Leave
- Veteran’s Re-employment Rights
and Medical Leave (FMLA)
- Jury Duty
- General Leave of Absence
14.40 HEALTH BENEFITS
Benefits eligible employees may elect to participate
or make changes in the insurance plans due to the following events:
- Within 31 days of date of hire
- During Open Enrollment in October of each year for an
effective date of January 1 of the following year (dates for open enrollment
are announced prior to October of each year)
- Within 31 days of a family status change, as long as
the insurance change is consistent with the status change
Below is a list of available insurance products for
benefits eligible employees at ASU. Detailed information and rates are
available on the Human Resources webpage @ www.alcorn.edu/offices/hr
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment
- Intensive Care
- Pre-Tax Cafeteria Plan
Benefits eligible employees
must complete mandatory retirement plan forms within 30 days of date of hire.
All completed forms must be returned to Human Resources for processing.
Retirement Plan: All benefits eligible
employees must participate in a retirement plan. The retirement plans include the
Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS), or the Optional
Retirement Plan (ORP). However, participation in the ORP plan is only available
to employees holding specific positions as defined by state law.
- Supplemental Retirement Plan: All benefits eligible employees have the option to
invest in the supplemental retirement plans. Contributions for these plans are
made by the employee only and deducted with pre-tax dollars. There are limits
to the amount of contributions employees can make each year, and other
restrictions do apply. Enrollment is available at any time.
All letters of resignation must be addressed to the area
vice president, with copies to the applicable parties: the immediate supervisor
and dean/department head as well as the following offices: Office of Human
Resources, Payroll Office, CITS and Budget Office. Employees submitting resignations will be
paid through the last day worked and will receive their check on the first
payday following resignation. The full-time employee with at least 6 months of
service will be eligible for payment for vacation time earned but not taken at
the time of separation. An employee may be paid up to 30 days for accrued
vacation time. All terminating employees are required to contact the Office of
Human Resources to set up an exit interview.
Before the employee is given final clearance from his or her employment,
he or she must complete the Faculty/Staff Exit Clearance form which may be
retrieved online from the Office of Human Resources’ webpage.
- Dismissal: The
following is a listing of offenses, which subjects an employee to disciplinary
action up to, and including, termination.
Just cause for dismissal is not limited to those violations that follow,
as there may be other offenses committed that may warrant this action depending
on a number of factors. The University reserves the right to make changes to
- Falsification of personnel records,
including time cards and applications of employment;
- Inexcusable neglect of duty or
- Unauthorized possession or drinking of
any alcoholic beverage, or unauthorized use or possession of narcotics,
barbiturates, hallucinogenic, amphetamines or marijuana on University property;
- Unexcused absences of 3 days without
notification or reasonable cause;
- Theft, unauthorized use, removal or
destruction of University property;
- Unauthorized possession of firearms,
knives or explosives;
- Threatening, intimidating, coercing or
interfering with fellow employees, students or others on University property;
- Discourteous treatment of visitors,
co-workers and/or supervisors;
- Conviction of a criminal offense,
including, but not limited to: murder, armed robbery, arson or assault, whether
or not on University property;
- Tardiness or failure to report to work
- Failure to record time accurately;
- Negligence in performance of
duty-productivity not up to standards;
- Negligence or abuse in the use of University
property, equipment, materials or vehicles;
- Falsification of time records of
- Appearance for work under the influence
of alcohol—reporting to work under the influence of narcotics, barbiturates,
hallucinogens, amphetamines or marijuana; use of the aforementioned substances
while on the job;
- Unauthorized release of confidential or
- Failure to disclose a conflict of
interest or failure to eliminate a conflict of interest when so directed;
- Impedance of an internal investigation.
Where dismissal is brought about by a violation
of the civil law, the University may institute prosecution of employees or
When an employee decides to retire, the employee should
contact the Office of Human Resources within 90 days of the intended retirement
date to make arrangements for the completion of the required paperwork. The employee must send a letter to the
President of the university, stating his or her decision to retire and the
effective date of retirement. Copies of the letter should be sent to the employee’s
immediate supervisor, the area vice president, the Senior Vice President for
Administration and CFO, the Director of Human Resources, and the Payroll
14.43 TERMINATION NOTICES
recommending termination of a non-contract, non-tenured employee must provide
written notice to the dean/department head and the area Vice President for
approval. If the recommended termination
is approved, the area Vice President is responsible for providing the
Department of Human Resources with a copy of the approved termination. The Human Resources Director will draft the
final termination letter for forwarding to the employee, with copies to the
- For Cause: Employees
terminated for cause will be given 30-days written notice, unless the offense
requires immediate termination or if the employee is still in his/her
probationary period. In such cases,
written notice will be sent to the employee immediately following the
- Without Cause: 30-day
written notice is not required when terminating an “at-will” employee without
14.44 DUE PROCESS
All permanent contract employees, who
have successfully served 12 months in their respective position at the University,
are entitled to procedural due process of law prior to any employment action to
dismiss or otherwise adversely impact their compensation or employment
status. The employee shall receive
written notice of the proposed disciplinary action which states specifically what
charges or allegations are being made concerning the employee, the proposed
disciplinary action(s) which may be taken, and an opportunity for a hearing
with the Human Resources Director and an appointed committee of at least 3 of
his or her peers allowing the employee to respond and present a defense to the
allegations prior to final action by the University. The written notice shall be presented to the
employee at least 10 working days prior to the hearing.
Below are the elements of the due
process afforded contract employees of the University:
- The written notice presented to the
employee prior to a hearing shall list all of the reason(s) for the employer’s
consideration of the disciplinary action, and the written notice of the
employer’s final decision to take the adverse action must clearly restate all
of the reason(s) for such action. The reason(s) listed in these notices will be
the only items addressed throughout the appeals process.
- In extraordinary circumstances, the
President may place an employee on administrative leave with pay. Such employee must be provided an opportunity
for a hearing with the designated representative within 15 working days of the
suspension at which time the President may make a final decision. Written notice of the final decision will be
provided to the employee. Further, where the employee has been charged with a
felony, the President may suspend the employee without pay pending a
post-suspension hearing to be held within 15 working days from the first day of
the suspension. Extraordinary circumstances is defined as a situation in which,
based on the judgment of the designated representative, retention of the
employee could reasonably result in damage to University property, be
detrimental to the interests of the University or result in injury to the
employee, a fellow employee or the general public, including residents of the institution.
- If the employee waives his or her
rights to a hearing, the President may make a final decision after the waiver. The
waiver of the hearing shall be determined by an employee’s written statement of
waiver or by the employee’s failure to respond in writing or appear at the
hearing with the designated representative within 10 days from the date of
notice provided by the employer. The University will provide written notice to
the employee of its decision.
14.45 CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS
All employees must complete and submit
to the Office of Human Resources a Faculty/Staff Exit Clearance Form before the
final check will be released. This form
is available online on the Human Resources webpage and must accompany or be
preceded by a letter of resignation or termination, and a separation electronic
personnel action form (EPAF).
It is the responsibility of the
department to assure that the terminating employee reports to the Office of
Human Resources for out-processing prior to his or her last day of work. The Office
of Human Resources will discuss any questions the employee has concerning his
or her termination, including retirement refunds, continuation of insurance
coverage, forwarding address, etc. The
termination process will not be considered complete until the individual has
completed the out-processing form including payment or payment arrangements of
any and all outstanding debts to the University.
Final paychecks will be processed on
the following scheduled payroll date for the terminating employee. Payroll schedules prevent the payment of the
employee’s final paycheck on the day of departure unless that day coincides with
the scheduled payroll date. In rare instances, an employee who is discharged
for cause may receive payment on the day of departure. In these situations, a
minimum of 24 hours notice is required from the department head, and the
Department of Human Resources should be notified immediately.
14.46 UNUSED LEAVE ALLOWANCE
Upon termination of employment, each
employee shall be paid, upon request, for unused personal leave not to exceed 30
days/240 hours. All unused personal leave in excess of thirty 30 days/240 hours
shall be counted as creditable service for purposes of the retirement system.
Major medical leave is not available for payment to staff upon termination
unless termination is due to the employee's medical inability to proceed in
employment at the University. However,
major medical leave shall be counted as creditable service for purposes of the
Additionally, major medical leave up to
240 hours shall be paid to faculty only upon separation from active employment
under the rules established by PERS.
People hired to work under a grant, and
who are ineligible for state leave benefits, will accrue leave at the same rate
as regular University employees. Grant personnel are encouraged to take accrued
vacation leave during the grant year earned and prior to the end of the grant
year. Upon separation from employment at Alcorn, unless the authorizing grants
states otherwise, the employee will be paid up to 30 days/240 hours of unused
leave. Any remaining leave will be transferred to PERS and counted as
creditable service for retirement purposes. If the grant employee contributes
to an Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), the accumulated leave over 30 days will
14.47 TRANSFER OF ACCRUED LEAVE
All accrued leave, both personal and
major medical, is transferable between state institutions and agencies. Each institution or agency will be furnished
a statement of accrued leave at the time of an employee’s transfer. Employees
are responsible for informing the Office of Human Resources of their intent to
transfer to another state institution or agency.
A former employee seeking re-employment
with Alcorn State University is required to show previous employment with the University
on the application. Former employees whose separations were under satisfactory
circumstances may be re-employed in the same type of work or in another type of
work for which they are qualified.
However, when a period of employment has been terminated, the employee
forfeits previously accrued sick leave, length of service, vacation privileges,
eligibility for merit increases and other benefits as might be based upon
length of continuous service with the university. Such individuals will, upon
re-employment, be considered for benefits purposes on the same basis as a new
Temporary workers can be
assigned to University offices during staff shortages, peak workloads or for
any temporary staffing needs.
14.50 MANAGEMENT RIGHTS
The University seeks the opinions of
its employees, individually or through their department heads, about working
conditions, ways and means of getting their jobs done better and matters of
employee interest. From time to time, however, the University, just as any
organization, has to make decisions without prior consultation with its
employees. The University must, therefore, maintain exclusive discretion to
exercise the customary functions of management including but not limited to the
discretion to select, hire, promote, suspend, dismiss, assign, supervise and
discipline employees; to determine work schedules; to determine the size and
composition of the workforce; to change and abolish policies, procedures, rules
and regulations; to determine and modify job descriptions and job
classifications; and to assign duties to employees in accordance with the needs
and requirements determined by the University.
14.51 EMPLOYEE COMPLAINTS AND RESOLUTION
The goal of the Employee Complaint
Process is to attempt to resolve concerns and conflicts on the level nearest
the concern. You are encouraged to discuss your concerns with the person who
can best address them. However, if those efforts do not produce results that
are satisfactory to you, a formal complaint process is in place. This process
is provided to help you in formulating your complaint under provisions of
Alcorn State University’s Policy and Procedures.
There are some specific complaints that
are governed by other policies such as allegations of discrimination, disciplinary
actions, etc. that should not be addressed in this process. For a formal
complaint to be considered, the employee should retrieve an Employee Complaint
And Resolution form from the Human Resources webpage, and the complaint must be
filed within 10 days of the date the employee first knew (or with reasonable
diligence should have known) of the decision or action giving rise to the
complaint or grievance. Before filing a
formal complaint, the employee should discuss his or her concern(s) with the
lowest level administrator who has the authority to address the complaint.
Alcorn State University assures prompt
and impartial consideration to any complaints, which its employees may have within
the course of their work. When the circumstances require, employees are
permitted to submit complaints or grievances in accordance with the procedures
outlined below. Employees may use this procedure without penalty or fear of
reprisal. Particular attention must be
given to the time period shown for each step.
A grievance shall be considered to be
any complaint or dissatisfaction arising from an interpretation, application,
claim and/or violation of any provision of University policies, rules or
regulations (except salary or performance appraisals).
When employees have complaints or any
difficulty in their jobs or working relationships which cannot be resolved
during the employee complaint and resolution process, the grievance procedure
should be initiated within 5 work days following the conclusion of the employee
complaint and resolution process. This procedure is as follows:
- Submit a grievance in writing to the Human
Resource Director, who will have the matter studied by a committee established
for the case. This committee will be comprised of 3 full-time employees appointed
by the President of the University or the Human Resources Director.
- The committee will accumulate and study the
facts about the case and will submit a written report and recommendation to the
President who will review the recommendation to determine the legality and
practicality of the recommendation. The
President will make the final decision based upon review and information from
the Grievance Committee and will communicate the decision to the employee in
Should an employee grieve an alleged
discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
political affiliation, veteran status or handicap, it will be referred to the
Human Resources Director for a complete and thorough investigation.
14.53.1 WAGE AND SALARY POLICY
All positions are classified according
to relative technical requirements and responsibilities. Salary rates are
established for each classification based upon market demand. When funds are
available for salary increases, the amount of an individual salary increase
reflects recognition of evaluated individual’s merit and contribution to the department,
unit/school and the University in general.
New employees are usually hired at the rate of job
classification, education, experience and availability of funds.
14.53.2 MERIT INCREASES
Increases in pay rates are normally
approved annually based upon fund availability. The employee’s performance and
evaluation are taken into consideration for all merit increases.
14.53.3 PAY PERIODS AND RECEIPT OF CHECKS
All hourly-paid employees are paid by
check every 2 weeks. At the beginning of employment of these types of employees,
checks are normally paid at the end of their third week of employment: 1 week
is held back. All monthly employees are
paid on the last working day of the month.
Lost checks should be reported to the Payroll
Office immediately. If theft is suspected on University property, the University
Campus Police office should also be called. Paychecks may not be mailed to or
given to anyone other than the employee for whom the check is intended.
Exceptions may be made when the employee designates, in writing, another
individual to pick up the paycheck.
The paycheck stub shows gross earnings,
deductions, net pay and accumulated vacation and/or sick time. The employee should
discuss with his or her supervisor and/or department head any questions he or
she may have regarding time and/or hours worked, holiday pay or sick time pay.
If necessary, the Payroll Office may be consulted for clarification or
questions regarding salary and paychecks.
14.53.4 PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS
Required payroll deductions are (1)
federal income tax, (2) social security (FICA), (3) state retirement program
(full-time employees) and (4) state income tax. An employee may request these
additional deductions: (1) life and accident insurance and (2) certain approved
Vacation benefits are provided for the rest and relaxation of the
permanent employee after 1 year (12 months) of service with the approval of the
supervisor. Additionally, vacation time is not earned during leaves of absence
without pay. If a recognized holiday is
observed during an employee’s vacation, such time will not be charged against
accrued vacation time.
employee shall be allowed to take more than 30 consecutive days of vacation in a calendar year for personal time
off. Major medical (sick) leave should be used for absences due to illness or
There is no maximum accumulation for
the accrual of personal leave. Upon termination of employment, each employee (excepting
grant employees) shall be paid, upon written request, in a lump sum for
vacation time not to exceed 240 hours. If employees transfer to another state
agency within the state of Mississippi without a break in service, all earned
vacation and sick time may be transferred with the employee.
14.53.6 UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
The University provides unemployment
compensation benefits at no cost to the employees. This means that employees
qualified for these benefits will be protected against loss of salary for
reasons other than sickness or injury. Employees should be aware that voluntary
termination or discharge for cause is not normally covered by unemployment
State University provides payment of medical expenses and compensation to an
employee who is injured in a work-related accident or incurs an occupational disease
through the state Workers’ Compensation Plan.
An employee is paid two-thirds of his or her salary through workers’
compensation and the University pays one-third of the employee’s salary,
provided he or she has available sick and/or vacation leave.
procedure is as follows:
employee or supervisor must report any and all work-related illnesses or injuries
within 48 hours of the incident to the Office of Human Resources by calling
(601) 877-6188. The initial report is followed up by a University Related
Injury/Incident form that is completed by the university’s Health Services
Department, or a Supervisor’s Workplace Injury Investigation Report which must
be completed by the injured employee’s supervisor. The applicable form must be submitted to
Human Resources no later than five (5) business days after the occurrence. Failure of the supervisor to report the claim
within five (5) business days of being notified of an injury by the employee
could result in monetary fines by the State of Mississippi Legislature and
could adversely impact an employee’s right to worker’s compensation.
department heads/ supervisors will work closely with the Human Resources Office
to ensure that any absence relating to a worker’s compensation injury or
illness is immediately reported to the HR office. The initial report of injury will be followed
by the submission of a Request for Leave form by the employee or the supervisor
if the employee is absent. If the Third Party Administrator determines that the
injury qualifies the employee for worker’s compensation benefits, he or she may
use only the sick leave and/or vacation hours needed to cover one-third (1/3)
of wages earned in regular state service at the time of the injury.
Office of Human Resources will rely on MS Worker’s Compensation third party
administrator to provide the weekly report of employees who are receiving
benefits. Employees receiving indemnity payments will adhere to the
instructions that are listed on the back of the WC benefit check which directs
them to contact their Office of Human Resources immediately before signing the
check if they intend to use leave or are currently taking leave.
the employee be over-compensated through Worker’s Compensation Indemnity
Payments and 100% salary from ASU, the Office of Human Resources will work in
consortium with the Payroll Office to recoup the overpayment from the
employee’s next available payroll check(s) until the obligation has been
14.53.8 OTHER COMPENSATION BENEFITS
The university provides payment for leaves of absence under
the following categories:
- For jury duty, the University will pay
the full salary for full-time employees (official documentation is required).
- When a full-time employee is called as
a witness in a court case that is regarded as a civic responsibility, the
employee’s regular pay will be continued for a period not to exceed two weeks.
A copy of this notice must be provided.
- If a full-time employee is asked to
assist with a school district, municipal, county, state or federal election,
the employee may have time off with pay. It is expected, however, that the
employee will make the necessary arrangements with his or her supervisor in
advance. A copy of the notice must be provided.
- A leave of absence with pay shall not
exceed 15 work days annually. This type
of leave may be granted to a regular employee who is a member of the National
Guard or official militia of the State of Mississippi, or a member of any of
the reserve or functions of the armed forces when called to active duty.
14.54 CREDIT UNIONS
All University employees are eligible
to join the Old South Federal Credit Union in Natchez, MS and/or Citizens’
Choice Federal Credit Union in Natchez, MS.
Credit unions are non-profit financial organizations serving the savings
and borrowing needs of members. The Old
South Federal Credit Union may be contacted at (601) 442-4382) and Citizens’
Choice Federal Credit Union may be contacted at (601) 442-5888.
14.55 CODE OF CONDUCT
Alcorn State University has developed a
corrective discipline plan which indicates those offenses that normally warrant
disciplinary action. Action may include but
are not limited to reprimand, probation, suspension, downgrading,
administrative leave with pay and/or dismissal.
Please note that the University
President, pending an internal investigation or the outcome of a due process
hearing, will place Contract Employees, whose employment is recommended for
termination, on administrative leave with pay. Written notice will be provided
to the employee (see due process policy).
14.55.2 PERSONAL APPEARANCE
Personal neatness and appropriate
attire is left largely to the employee except when direct student or public
contact makes it necessary that specific standards be followed. All employees are expected to be careful of
their personal hygiene, neatness of attire and cleanliness of apparel. Flagrant
violations of standards of hygiene and cleanliness may be grounds for
Smoking is prohibited in any Alcorn
State University-owned or leased building and vehicle. This includes all
offices, classrooms, residential housing, hallways, dining facilities,
restrooms and athletic facilities. Smoking is prohibited in outdoor areas that
are shared in close proximity to the public. Smokers must maintain a distance
of 50 feet or more from any enclosed area where smoking is prohibited to insure
that secondhand smoke does not enter the area through entrances, windows,
ventilation systems or any other means. The use of tobacco products is
prohibited on any property owned, leased or controlled by the University. This
includes all on-campus and off campus facilities. All University workspace and
classroom areas under the University’s control shall be smoke-free even if the
building owner or lesser(s) does not prohibit smoking.
14.55.4 ABSENTEEISM OR TARDINESS
Employees are required to report for
duty at the time prescribed and be prepared for duty at the beginning of their
work period. Any employee who is repeatedly late for work jeopardizes his or
her merit evaluation, and such action is sufficient grounds for dismissal.
If your job requires that you wear a uniform, your department head
will advise you of the type of uniforms that are necessary. The University
usually furnishes uniforms. You are expected to keep the uniform neat and wear
it appropriately at all times. Uniforms are to be worn on duty only and are not
to be worn at other times. Employees
found in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action,
It is the desire of the University that all departments operate in
a professional manner. Loud noise or
inappropriate singing, whistling, arguing and other types of loud noise are not
tolerated in the workplace. Supervisors
are called upon to maintain the work environment and should use corrective
measures to ensure that employees comply.
Horseplay is not permitted on University premises. Tools or
equipment should never be used except for the specific purposes for which they
are designed. Horseplay is a serious matter that may result in injury to
SAFEGUARDS FOR UNIVERSITY EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
All employees who handle University equipment are responsible for
the care and security of such equipment while it is under their control.
Employees are not permitted to use university equipment for
personal reasons. Unauthorized use, removal or destruction of University
equipment or property may be cause for immediate dismissal.
Employees found guilty of carelessness or of mischievous,
malicious or willful destruction of university equipment or loss of property
may be required to pay for the repair, recovery or replacement of such
equipment or property. In addition, this may be a cause for immediate
14.55.9 USE OF
It is a violation of
University policy to employ the name of the University or any of its graphic
identification symbols in printed material intended to endorse or promote individual
enterprises or to otherwise enhance private gain without the written permission
of the University President.
14.55.10 ETIQUETTE DURING USE OF TELEPHONE
AND OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION INSTRUMENTS
Prompt, courteous answers to telephone
calls should be a self-imposed rule. An employee is a representative of the University;
therefore, it is good practice to identify yourself and your department when
answering or making a phone call. The telephone should be used for University
business. However emergency personal calls may be made. The University reserves
the right to monitor employees’ voice-mails, emails and Internet access as
deemed necessary and appropriate in order to protect the best interest of the
14.55.11 SOLICITATION ON THE JOB
It is strictly prohibited for anyone to
solicit employees or visitors on any matter while on University premises
without approval from the appropriate University official. Violation of this
policy will subject employees to disciplinary action. Employees who observe
persons making unauthorized solicitations should report this to their
supervisors immediately. All employees will always know administrative authority
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