Table of Contents

Mission Statement of the College

Purpose

About Amherst College 

    I.  Employment Policies 

     II. Salary Administration Program

    III.  Employee Benefits

IV.  Leave Provisions

V.  College Facilities and Services

Appendix

  

Alphabetical Contents

 

The Mission of Amherst College

Terras irradient
“Let them give light to the world.”
1821

Amherst College educates men and women of exceptional potential from all backgrounds so that they may seek, value, and advance knowledge, engage the world around them, and lead principled lives of consequence.

Amherst brings together the most promising students, whatever their financial need, in order to promote diversity of experience and ideas within a purposefully small residential community. Working with faculty, staff, and administrators dedicated to intellectual freedom and the highest standards of instruction in the liberal arts, Amherst undergraduates assume substantial responsibility for undertaking inquiry and for shaping their education within and beyond the curriculum.

Amherst College is committed to learning through close colloquy and to expanding the realm of knowledge through scholarly research and artistic creation at the highest level. Its graduates link learning with leadership—in service to the College, to their communities, and to the world beyond.
 

 

Purpose

The purpose of this Handbook is to explain Amherst College's (the College's) general employment policies, salary administration program, leave provisions and benefit programs for trustee-appointed employees. Trustee-appointees are those members of the administrative and professional staff of Amherst College who are appointed by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the President to serve at the pleasure of the President. Several criteria are used in determining which administrative and professional positions are trustee-appointed. These criteria, which are subject to revision by the President and the Trustees, include the level at which a position is located; the impact of a position on the entire College community; and the academic or other degree requirements of a position. The provisions of this handbook do not cover designated officers of the College, including the President, Chief Financial Officer, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Dean of Students, Chief Advancement Officer and such other officers as the Board may appoint from time to time. The Handbook is designed to provide guidance on our overall philosophy, operations and benefits. While it in no way represents an employment contract, it does serve as a vehicle to communicate the general guidelines and work rules under which you are employed. Employment with the College is on an at-will basis and can be terminated, at any time, at the option of either the employee or the College. The College reserves the right to amend, eliminate and modify these policies from time to time at its discretion without prior notice. As information is revised, updated materials will be distributed to you as soon as possible.

This Handbook supersedes the Trustee-Appointed Administrative and Professional Staff Handbook published in 1981.

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About Amherst College

Founded in 1821 as a non-sectarian institution, Amherst College today is an independent, undergraduate, residential, liberal arts college for men and women with a reputation for being one of the finest in the nation. Its approximately 1,600 students come from most of the 50 states and many foreign countries. Amherst is joined with Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts in a consortium that sponsors a variety of cooperative programs and enterprises. The goal of cooperation among the five colleges is to enrich the educational opportunities available to students by providing them with access to the resources of all five institutions.

The College has enjoyed a long and close association with the area and its residents, who have included such poets and writers as Emily Dickinson, Helen Hunt Jackson, David Grayson (Ray Stannard Baker) and Robert Frost. The beauty of the Pioneer Valley and its quality of life are matters of pride and commitment to the people of the College community.

The Trustees who oversee the welfare and development of the College also serve as Trustees of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., which houses a world-famous collection of books and manuscripts related to William Shakespeare and Shakespeare's era and the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA, which includes the Evergreens and the Homestead.

Amherst College has long premised its employment policies on the concept of equal opportunity, that is, the selection and promotion of employees on the basis of their intrinsic merits. This policy entails that there be no discrimination in selection, treatment and promotion on factors such as race, sex, sexual orientation, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, membership in the uniformed services or veteran status.

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Employment Policies

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The College is committed to equal employment and opportunity and the principles of affirmative action, and complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

Respect for Persons

Respect for the rights, dignity and integrity of others is essential for the well being of a community. Actions by any person that do not reflect such respect for others are damaging to each member of the community and hence damaging to Amherst College. Each member of the community should be free from interference, intimidation or disparagement in the work place, the classroom and the social, recreational and residential environment.

Harassment

Amherst College does not condone harassment of any kind, against any group or individual, because of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy and genetic testing, ethnic identification, age, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Such harassment is clearly in conflict with the interests of the College as an educational community and in many cases with provisions of law.

Sexual Harassment

It is the goal of Amherst College to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of employees occurring in the workplace or in other settings in which employees may find themselves in connection with their employment is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the College. Further, retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or who has cooperated with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.

To achieve the College's goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, inappropriate conduct described in this policy will be dealt with using the established informal and formal procedures of the College, including disciplinary action, where appropriate.

Amherst College takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously and will respond promptly to complaints. Where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, the College will act promptly to eliminate the conduct.

See the Appendix for the complete Sexual Harassment Policy.

Americans with Disabilities Act

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Amherst College will provide reasonable accommodations to an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability to enable such person to perform essential job functions and/or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment, so long as such accommodation does not imposed an undue burden on the College.

To be eligible for reasonable accommodations under the ADA, an employee must have a "disability," as defined below, and must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. A disability is defined under the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A disability also includes having a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing and standing.

If you think you need a reasonable accommodation for a permanent or temporary disability, please contact the Office of Human Resources. A representative from Human Resources will provide you an overview of the required documentation. This documentation should be completed by the employee and the employee’s medical provider. Once the completed documentation has been received, the Office of Human Resources will conduct an assessment of the documentation and the ability of the College to provide reasonable accommodations, and will guide the employee on next steps.

If you are a prospective employee or candidate and would like to learn about accessibility on Campus, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 413-542-2372, or the Department of Public Safety at 413-542-2291.

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Employment Requirements

Medical Examination

Any employee may be required to undergo a medical examination at the College's expense if it is in the interest of the College and consistent with business necessity.

Immigration

According to federal law, all new employees and those rehired after a break of three years or more are required to present proof of identity and employment eligibility to the Office of Human Resources within three days after beginning employment. A list of acceptable documents is included in the Appendix.

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Employee Orientation

It is College policy to acquaint new employees with their duties and make them feel a part of the College as quickly as possible.

It is the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources to provide an in-depth review of employment, salary and benefit policies to new employees. New employees should contact the Office of Human Resources during their first week of employment to complete payroll forms and arrange for an employment orientation. It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor and department head to acquaint each employee with the job itself, and with individual work standards, performance evaluation policies, department policies and procedures, and to train new employees as necessary.

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Employment Categories

Exempt Staff

Employees who occupy positions that are determined to be exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act do not receive overtime pay. Employees in this classification are paid on the last working day of the month. Trustee-appointed employees are exempt staff. Faculty and some staff employees are also exempt.

Non-Exempt Staff

Employees who occupy positions that are determined to be non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act are eligible for overtime for hours actually worked in excess of 40 hours during the College-defined workweek or for work in excess of eight hours in a day. Employees in this classification are paid weekly and are required to complete weekly time reports.

Within the major employment categories defined above, employees are further designated as having either a regular or temporary (casual) appointment.

Regular Employment

Employees are considered to have regular employment if (1) they hold a position that is part of the regular staff of their department (sometimes referred to as holding a "regular budgeted position within the department") and (2) at the time of hire there is no ending date to their employment in the position. Employees who occupy regular positions are entitled to benefits. Regular employment is at-will and may be terminated, at any time, at the option of either the employee or the College.

Introductory Period

All new regular employees and any employee promoted or transferred to a new regular position will be considered on introductory status for a minimum of the first six months of employment. This period provides an opportunity for the new employee and the College to evaluate the employment relationship. The employee or the supervisor, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, may terminate employment during this period or after without notice if the employment situation proves to be less than satisfactory.

Employees in the introductory period accrue vacation, floating holidayssick/family care and excused days from the beginning of employment. Vacation leave is not available for use during the introductory period.

Introductory employees are paid for official College holidays that occur during the introductory period. Transfers to other departments generally do not occur during the introductory period.

Casual Employment

An employee is considered to have casual employment if (1) the individual has been hired only for a specific period of time, or (2) the individual occupies a temporary casual position. Casual positions are defined as those which at the time they are established are not expected to be part of the regular staff of the department. Casual employees are not covered under the guidelines of the Handbook and are not entitled to employee benefits, with the exception of Workers Compensation Insurance and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act). Typically, casual employees hold their positions as substitutes for employees on extended leave, to assist in completion of a special project or when there are delays in filling vacancies. Casual employees are usually employed for a specific period of time, and work less than 20 hours per week. Casual employment is at-will and may be terminated, at any time, at the option of either the employee or the College.

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Annual Work Schedules

The operation of the College requires varied annual work schedules based on the needs of each department. Regular, full-time appointees are those appointed for either a 12-month or academic year. The following describes the usual annual work schedules:

Fiscal Year Schedule

Most employees in this category are expected to work 12 months. The College's fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

Academic Year Schedule

Employees on an academic year schedule work less than 12 months during a fiscal year but a minimum of 39 weeks, generally while the College is in session. The academic year is defined as beginning prior to the first day of classes in the fall and ending after Commencement.

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Weekly Work Schedules

Regular Full-Time Schedule

Most trustee-appointed employees work a minimum of 35 hours per week over 12 months. Academic year employees work a minimum of nine months. A full-time appointee must be employed at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for full employer contributions for health and dental insurance.  Other benefits such as Grant-In-Aid and Educational Assistance are prorated based on the scheduled hours worked relative to a full-time schedule for the applicable position.  Compensation-related benefits are based on the eligible compensation received as defined by respective benefit plan.  Academic year employees accrue paid leave on a prorated basis.

Regular Part-Time Schedule

Employees in this category work regular schedules of at least 20 hours but less than 30 hours in a work week and are entitled to most benefits on a prorated basis.

Employees working less than 20 hours a week or less than 39 weeks a year, or who hold casual positions, are not eligible for benefits.

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Attendance

Employees who are unable to report for work or who will be delayed are responsible for personally notifying their immediate supervisor well in advance of the regularly scheduled starting time or, in an emergency situation, as soon as is practical. Each department head has the discretion of setting minimum notice requirements based on operational needs or requirements. Supervisors should notify the Office of Human Resources if an employee is absent for three or more days. Employees who are absent due to illness for five or more consecutive workdays may be required to submit a physician's certification to the Office of Human Resources.

In cases of continued, undocumented employee absence or tardiness, the immediate supervisor will issue a written warning to the employee with a copy to the Office of Human Resources. Further incidents of lateness or absence will be grounds for further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

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Lunch Periods

There is a daily unpaid lunch period, to be scheduled as determined by the needs of the office or department.
 

 

Service Dates

A regular employee's seniority date is based on the length of continuous full-time service with the College since the most recent date of hire. Regular part-time service that is continuous from the most recent date of hire is computed on the basis of full-time service i.e., two years of half-time service is equal to one year's service.

A regular employee's service date is based on total length of regular service with the College and may be adjusted to reflect interruptions of service.

Temporary or casual employees do not have service dates.

Employees who leave the College and are rehired within five (5) years of the employment termination date will be credited with previous service upon the rehire date. Employees returning after more than five (5) years will begin employment as a new employee, without credit for previous service.

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Standards of Conduct

It is essential that all employees accept personal responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct and job performance, including the observance of College rules and policies.

In dealing with deficiencies in conduct and work performance, the College tries to be fair and consistent in its treatment of employees. Many factors are taken into consideration if it becomes necessary to discipline an employee, including the nature and seriousness of the offense, the employee's past record, the total impact on the employee's department and on the College, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. The College's full disciplinary policy may be found in the Appendix.

Introductory employees are not eligible to use the grievance procedure outlined in the Appendix.

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Drugs and Alcohol Policy

Amherst College recognizes substance abuse as a widespread problem that not only can seriously affect an individual's work performance but may also pose potential health, safety and security risks. Our policy, as stated below, is designed to provide a drug-free, healthy, safe and secure work environment.

The intent of this policy is to establish and maintain effective methods for providing assistance to all personnel who have impairments of varying natures due to drug and alcohol abuse and dependence and to provide a healthy, safe and productive working environment at the College.

The possession, transfer, sale or use of alcohol or substances of abuse, legal or illegal, while on College premises or during work hours or while on College business, is prohibited except as specifically permitted by this policy. The condition of being under the influence of such substances is also prohibited.

For purposes of this policy, substances of abuse include over-the-counter medications, prescribed medication not used as indicated or prescribed, illegal drugs, chemical substances not used for their intended purpose and any alcoholic beverages.

The following are exceptions:

  • The use of prescription drugs or other medications in the manner, quantity or combination prescribed is not prohibited by this policy.
  • Alcoholic beverages may be served at College functions, but the provisions of this policy otherwise apply to such functions.
  • When prescribed or over-the-counter drugs may affect behavior and/or performance, employees should advise their supervisors that they are taking such drugs for medical reasons, and reasonable accommodations will be made which are in the best interest of the employee and the College.

Anyone who observes any sale or use of drugs or alcohol on College premises or during work hours or while on College business is to report such an instance immediately to their supervisor or another manager.

In the event an employee appears to be unfit for work, the supervisor will attempt to verify his or her observation(s) with another manager; however, a supervisor may remove an employee from the workplace if health, safety or similar considerations warrant such action.

The College recognizes that alcohol and/or substance abuse may occur as a result of a physical or psychological dependency on alcohol or chemical substances. In such cases, the purpose of a disciplinary action may be to correct a possible problem and to motivate the employee to seek or accept help as appropriate, and referral to rehabilitation or Employee Assistance Program may be required of the employee. An employee's failure or refusal to participate in a rehabilitation or employee assistance program following referral to such a program by the College will subject the employee to termination of employment.

Where there is a reasonable belief that a violation of this policy has occurred, the College reserves the right to conduct searches of desks, lockers and other employee areas. Failure or refusal to permit a requested search may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Law enforcement officials may be notified when appropriate.

Any person who violates the Drug and Alcohol Policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Any person who violates any criminal laws in connection with the distribution or use of illegal drugs shall be subject to discipline or other action by Amherst College.

Also see the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Policy in the Appendix.

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Termination of Employment

Voluntary Termination

A voluntary termination of employment is a termination initiated by the employee. A voluntary termination may occur:

  • by written resignation;
  • as a result of an absence from work for three or more consecutive workdays without notifying the College, barring any unusual circumstances that preclude timely notification to the immediate supervisor or department; or
  • as a result of a failure to return to work at the expiration of an approved leave of absence or any extension of leave granted by the College.

Trustee-appointed employees are requested to provide a three-month notice, although the College realizes this is not practical in all cases. In some cases, the College may accept an employee's resignation effective immediately or as of another date prior to the end of the notice period. In those cases, the College may compensate the employee at his or her usual salary rate for the notice period (or for any remaining portion of the period) to a maximum of three months salary, unless the employee's resignation is accepted early due to the employee's poor conduct or performance during the notice period.

Retirement

The retirement policy of the College is consistent with federal law. There is no established mandatory retirement age.

Employees wishing to discuss retirement options should begin discussion with the Office of Human Resources at least three months before their projected retirement date.

Involuntary Termination

An involuntary termination is any termination of employment initiated by the College. An involuntary termination may occur as a result of an employee's unsatisfactory job performance or misconduct, or it may result from other reason(s) or circumstances, such as reduction in staffing levels or reorganization. Where practicable, the College will give three months notice in the case of a reduction in force or reorganization.

Reduction in Force

Should circumstances occur that require a reduction in force, criteria used to determine which employees to retain include, in the following order: (1) operational needs of the College, (2) demonstrated ability, and (3) seniority. Seniority may take precedence when the demonstrated ability to perform the required tasks is determined to be equal by the College. The determination of qualifications and ability will be made by the College.

Separation Interview and Final Pay

If an employee leaves employment with the College through resignation or retirement, or because of an involuntary termination, he or she is encouraged to schedule a termination interview with the Office of Human Resources. During this meeting, the employee will be informed of any termination benefits to which he or she may be entitled and any continuing obligations he or she may have, such as loans. Keys, books, ID cards, credit cards, and other College property must be returned at this time.

In cases of an involuntary termination, final pay is issued on the date of termination. In cases of voluntary termination or retirement, final paychecks will usually be issued on the next regular payday and mailed to the employee's home. Final pay includes payment for all hours worked since the employee's last payday and payment for any earned but unused vacation time. Final pay is reduced by taxes and other required legal deductions, authorized deductions (such as employee contributions to the premium cost of the group health plan) and the outstanding balance of any advance of salary (including vacation) or loan. Upon separation from employment, all debts payable to the College must be settled.

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Personnel Records

Amherst College protects the privacy of its employees by restricting personnel data to that needed for business purposes, by limiting internal access of personnel data to those with a need to know, and by releasing information from the personnel files externally only with the employee's consent or to meet legal or contractual requirements. If an employee wishes to see his or her personnel file, an appointment or written request should be made with the Office of Human Resources.

For purposes of payroll, insurance coverage, mailings and emergency contacts, all changes in name, address, telephone, dependents, marital status, etc. should be reported to the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible.

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Payroll Processing

Compensation/Pay Periods

Exempt employees are paid monthly on the last business day of the month for the current month. Individual departments maintain records for exempt employees on such matters as attendance, vacation eligibility and sick/family care days. Accrued time records are forwarded to the Office of Human Resources after the end of each fiscal year and upon termination of employment.

Payroll Deductions

The following are required federal and state payroll deductions:

Federal Withholding Tax

This deduction is computed from Internal Revenue tax tables, based on marital status and the number of exemptions claimed on Form W-4. If an employee wishes to change the number of exemptions, Form W-4 is available in the Office of Human Resources and on the Human Resources website under Commonly Used Forms, Form W-4.

Social Security and Medicare Tax (FICA)

The deductions for Social Security tax and Medicare tax are computed at the rate prescribed by law and are matched by the College.

Massachusetts Withholding Tax

This deduction is computed from wage-bracket tables on the number of exemptions claimed on Form M-4. If an employee wishes to change the number of exemptions, Form M-4 is available in the Office of Human Resources and on the Human Resources website under Commonly Used Forms, form M-4Form M-4.

The following are optional deductions:

Health and Dental Insurance

A deduction may be made for the employee's share of the cost of health and dental plans. The cost of health and dental plans may be withheld on a pre-tax or after-tax basis under the Amherst Plan.

Amherst College Retirement Plan

Eligible participants may elect to make basic contributions to the Retirement Plan as a pre-tax or after-tax deduction from their paychecks. Employees may also elect to have supplemental pre-tax contributions deducted. (Elected amounts must be within prescribed federal tax deferred annuity limits.)

Life Insurance

Employees who elect additional life insurance and/or dependent insurance coverage will have a deduction taken at each pay period.

Amherst Plan

Establishment of a reimbursement account for out-of-pocket medical/dental or dependent care expenses may be arranged through payroll deduction at the time of hire or each year during the annual open enrollment period. You may also elect to pay your share of medical and dental premiums on a pre-tax basis.

Direct Deposit Banking

Checks may be automatically deposited in most banks and credit unions. Funds are available on the last banking day of the month.

Computer Loan

Regular payroll deductions will occur for employees who have taken advantage of the computer loan program. (See College Facilities and Services)

Dining Services

Regular employees may use their ID cards to charge meals against their pay at any of the dining facilities. Charges will be deducted from their salary check for that month.

Other

Other deductions may be allowed from time to time, such as United Way, additional annuity contributions, College mortgage payments, etc.

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Salary Administration

The salary administration program for trustee-appointed employees is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • provide for the continued retention and attraction of competent employees
  • enhance employee's motivation to perform effectively
  • assure equitable salary administration throughout the College
  • provide guidelines for salary recommendations

Every regular trustee-appointed position should have a job description (prepared and approved by the supervisor and department head) that communicates information about the duties, responsibilities and minimum qualifications for the position.

Salaries of administrative employees are determined by both internal equity and comparative market levels for comparable positions. July 1st is the normal date for adjustments to salary. Department heads make recommendations to the President based on the achievement of goals and communicated performance expectations within a budget set by the Board of Trustees.

When a position becomes vacant, the department head is expected to review the current description before recruitment begins. Normally search committees are formed and a member of the Office of Human Resources outlines the approved process. The Office of Human Resources will arrange for advertising and remit resumes to departments.

Promotions may result in a salary adjustment for an employee. Decisions are made by the department head in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources and the appropriate Senior Administrator.

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Performance Evaluation Program

The formal Performance Evaluation Program for administrative employees provides an opportunity for open communication between employees and supervisors. Evaluations are done on a calendar year basis. Goal-setting and documentation of performance should be done early in the year. Copies should be received by the Office of Human Resources by April 1st. If there is a need to address areas of improvement, a performance plan will be developed by the supervisor and approved by the Director of Human Resources.  All performance management forms or letters are recorded and placed in the personnel files.

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Employee Benefits

This section provides an overview of the many benefits available to Amherst College employees. Complete and detailed information about insurance and retirement plans, as well as other benefit programs described in this handbook, are available in the Office of Human Resources. All employees are encouraged to seek advice or assistance whenever questions arise. When information on file in the Office of Human Resources varies from that contained in this handbook, the former will govern in all cases. The College reserves the right to add, change or eliminate any of these benefits, with or without notice.

Eligibility

Most College employees' regular schedules are at least 35 hours per week.

Full-time employees work a minimum of 30 hours per week and are eligible for full employer contributions for health and dental insurance. Other benefits such as Grant-In-Aid and Educational Assistance are prorated based on the scheduled hours worked compared to a full-time schedule in that position, for example 35 or 40 hours.  Compensation-related benefits are based on the eligible compensation received as defined by the respective benefit plan.  Academic year employees work a minimum of nine months and accrue paid leave on a prorated basis.

Employees who work a regular part-time schedule of at least 20 hours but less than 30 hours in a workweek are entitled to most benefits on a prorated basis.

Employees working less than 20 hours a week or less than 39 weeks a year, or who hold casual positions, are not eligible for benefits.

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Retirement Income

An employee's retirement income may be derived from at least three sources:

  • the benefit received under the terms of the Amherst College retirement plans;
  • the benefit received through the Social Security Administration;
  • the income derived from personal saving and investment.

Amherst College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

The Amherst College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (the Plan) is a 403(b) defined contribution plan administered by the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association and College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF).

All regular full-time and part-time employees will participate in the Plan after two years of service and attainment of age 21. The waiting period may be waived in cases where the employee has satisfied the waiting period through immediate prior employment at an educational institution. In addition, for employees hired on or after November 1, 1999, service credit will be given to anyone who has participated in a plan under Code Section 401(a) or Code Section 403(b) maintained by the employee's immediately preceding employer, provided that the employee was 1) employed by the prior employer within six months of the date of hire by Amherst and 2) was a covered participant in the employer's plan for at least two years and up to the time employment ended.

For eligible employees the College contributes Core contributions of 6% of base salary received up to a salary integration level, and 9% of base salary after the salary integration level has been exceeded during the fiscal year. This level of College contribution is made regardless of whether or not the employee contributes any funds to the Plan. If the eligible employee makes a Basic contribution of 1%, 2% or 3% of base salary to the plan, the College makes an equal Matching contribution.

The employee may elect to make Basic contributions on a before-tax or after-tax basis. All College contributions and earnings on investments are tax sheltered until benefits are received. Employees direct the investment of these contributions among the options offered by the College. The employee immediately and fully owns all contributions to the Plan, there is no vesting period.

Regardless of eligibility for Core or Matching contributions, all employees may contribute Elective contributions, up to certain IRS determined limits, on a tax-deferred basis. Such salary reductions generally are not subject to federal and state income tax until they are received as benefits.

For specific plan information, please refer to the Summary Plan Description for the Amherst College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, or contact the Office of Human Resources.

Former Amherst College Staff Retirement Plan

Certain trustee-appointed employees were participants in the Staff Retirement Plan (a defined benefit plan) as regular staff employees, and later moved to a trustee-appointed position. The provisions of that plan will apply to benefits received.

Social Security

Employees and the College contribute to the Social Security program as required by federal law. Benefits are payable for death, total disability, retirement and Medicare, provided the employee has been covered by Social Security for a sufficient period of time to be eligible. These benefits are separate from retirement income received from the Amherst College Defined Contribution and Staff Retirement Plans.

All employees should receive periodic earnings statements from the Social Security Administration. This is to assure that full credit is received for annual earnings. Social Security benefits are not payable automatically. Application for benefits should be made a minimum of three months prior to the desired start date.

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Group Health and Dental Insurance

All regular employees are eligible to elect coverage under a health plan offered by the College. Enrollment must occur within 30 days of hire and is effective the first of the month following or coincident with the date of hire. Employees may select individual or family coverage. Employees may enroll in a health care plan and a dental plan independently in an individual or family contract. Specific plan details, current premium information and enrollment forms are available in the Office of Human Resources.

Family coverage may include a legal spouse or same sex domestic partner, and dependents up to age 26 regardless of the dependent’s Internal Revenue Service tax qualification status, marital status, student status, or employment status.The Office of Human Resources will require confirmation of dependent status each year.

The College pays 80% of the total projected cost of the individual premiums and 70% of the total projected family premiums. The amount that the College contributes to each of the premiums is determined through the use of a weighted-average formula. The College then contributes an equal dollar amount to the HMO Blue and Blue Choice Plans.

The College will pay 85% - 90% of the total projected individual premium and 75% - 80% of the total projected family premium through the weighted-average formulas for employees at certain levels of household income. The income levels at which higher contributions are made are subject to periodic review.

Details are available in the Office of Human Resources.

Changes in plan participation, other than within 30 days following a change in family status, may be made only during the annual open enrollment period held each spring for the plan year beginning July 1. During this period, employees may change health insurance carriers and/or enroll otherwise eligible dependents.

Health insurance for active employees over age 65 and their spouses generally remains the same as it was prior to age 65. Those employees eligible for Medicare may elect to have either Medicare or the College health insurance plan as their primary insurer. It is usually advisable to elect the College coverage as primary. The College recommends that employees contact the Office of Human Resources three months before turning 65 to discuss Medicare coverage.

In certain instances where coverage under the group health plans would otherwise end (such as death of the covered employee, termination of employment or reduction of work hours, divorce or legal separation of the employee, or loss of dependent student status), the College is required, under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA), to offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage at group rates with the employee paying the full cost of coverage. The employee or family member must inform the Office of Human Resources of a divorce, legal separation or loss of child's dependent status within 60 days of the qualifying event in order to ensure continuation of coverage. Upon notification to the Office of Human Resources of the above event by the employee, or in case of other qualifying circumstances known to the employer, the Office of Human Resources will furnish notification of COBRA Continuation Rights and Responsibilities. Further information about continuation of coverage (under COBRA) is available in the Office of Human Resources.

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Group Health Insurance for Retiring Employees

Employees Hired on or After July 1, 2003

The College provides eligible employees with a defined contribution retiree health program.  An eligible employee is defined as a person who is age 40 or older and who holds a regular benefited position with the College.  At the end of the fiscal year, for each month of credited service at or after age 40, a participant will be credited with 66.7% of the monthly premium for the College sponsored Medicare supplement policy.  Contributions are made for a maximum of 25 years.  At the beginning of each fiscal year, an interest rate based on the yield of a 5-year certificate of deposit with a designated bank will be documented and used to determine the amount of interest credited for next fiscal year.

Upon retirement from the College at age 62 or older with 10 years of regular service, a retired employee will have the accumulated account value deposited into a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) in his or her name. Funds in an HRA may be used on a tax-favored basis to be reimbursed for eligible medical expenses, including health plan premiums.

Retired employees and spouses may purchase coverage at full cost under the College sponsored plans.

Employees Hired Before July 1, 2003

Each employee covered by the retiree health program in effect prior to July 1, 2003 has received a personalized letter detailing his or her benefits.  Since there are varying levels of benefits please contact the Office of Human Resources if there are questions.

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Employee Assistance Plan

The Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is a confidential resource and referral service that the College makes available to all Amherst College employees, their spouses and dependents. e4 Health provides a number of services including consultation, problem assessment, referral and follow-up services for a wide variety of personal and health-related problems.  Visit e4 Health for information on a variety of topics.

Employees and their families may call (800) 828-6025 to speak with a professional counselor, or to schedule an appointment . Sick/Family Care days can be used by an employee for EAP appointments.

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Group Life Insurance

On the first of the month coincident with or following three consecutive full months of employment, regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible for College-paid basic term life insurance coverage. To age 65 the insurance coverage is equal to 1.5 times the amount of an employee's base annual salary. Upon attainment of age 65, the amount of insurance is equal to 1 times the base annual salary and at age 70 it is 67%. In addition, optional insurance is available to employees at low group rates. An employee may purchase additional coverage of 1 to 5 times his or her annual base salary. An employee may also purchase $10,000 of dependent life insurance coverage on his or her spouse/same-sex domestic partner and child(ren).

In all cases, if the amount of insurance is not an even multiple of $1,000 it is raised to the next higher $1,000 multiple. The maximum amount of insurance is $750,000, for basic term life and optional life combined.

An employee leaving the College may convert this insurance to a private non-group plan within 31 days and continue it at his or her own expense. To do so, he or she should consult the Office of Human Resources.

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Housing

Certain administrators, coaches and lecturers are eligible for College housing benefits. Please contact the Office of Rental Housing for details.
 

 

Moving Expenses

Newly hired trustee-appointed employees are eligible for assistance with expenses incurred in the transportation of household goods and personal effects to the Amherst area within a reasonable time period after initial employment and in accordance with a schedule based on miles. Additional details are available in the Office of Human Resources. Arrangements for reimbursement are made through the Office of Human Resources.
 

 

 

Long Term Disability

Long Term Disability Insurance

On the first day of the month coincident with or following three consecutive full months of employment, the College provides all regular employees with Long Term Disability Insurance coverage. Employees who were covered within three months before hire under a similar plan may have the waiting period waived. Under this plan, employees are assured of replacement of a substantial portion of income when faced with long-term illness or injury of six months or more. Please see Short-Term Disability section for illnesses or injuries of less than six months. The plan provides benefits for both partial and full disability. A disability is defined as an injury or illness that prevents an employee from performing the substantial duties of his or her own occupation. Benefits are payable for up to 24 months. After 24 months, benefits may be available to employees fully disabled, or unable to perform the substantial duties of any occupation for which they may be qualified by education, training or experience. After certification of the disability by the insurance carriers, the Plan provides the following benefits after 180 days of disability:

  • A monthly income of 60% of basic annual salary as of the date of disability (less any income from other sources), to a maximum benefit of $15,000 monthly. The minimum benefit is $50/month, regardless of other sources of income.
  • If eligible, service credit toward the calculation of benefits from Staff Retirement Plan for trustee-appointed employees with a vested frozen benefit.

Other Disability Insurance Protection

  • The continuation of core, basic and matching contributions to a TIAA-CREF annuity in accordance with the terms of the retirement plan.
  • Continuation of life insurance benefits at the level of coverage at the time of disability until age 70 with insurance company approval.

The above benefits continue during such disability until age 65 or, for disabilities beginning after age 60 but less than age 65, for a period of 4.5 years; at age 65 but less than 68.5, until age 70; or, if age 68.5 or older, a maximum of 12 months.

Except when a reasonable accommodation to extend leave may be warranted, normally an employee will be separated from the College after six months of absence. Therefore, employees who are partially or fully disabled should also apply for Social Security benefits during the fourth month of disability if it is anticipated that the disability will last for more than six months.

Health insurance benefits may be continued in the same manner as active employees for up to two years from the date of the first disability payment or until the person is no longer disabled, whichever comes first. After two years of disability payments, the individual becomes eligible for Medicare.

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Professional Development

As an institution of learning committed to academic achievement and lifelong learning, Amherst College supports the educational pursuits of its employees. The Educational Assistance Plan benefits are available to regular full-time and part-time employees on a pro-rated basis. There is a $3,000 maximum benefit per fiscal year for Educational Assistance benefits. It is strongly recommended that the Office of Human Resouces review an application for benefits prior to course or program commencement in order to verify the amount of approved reimbursement.

There are three types of educational assistance plans offered. Job-related educational assistance is generally defined as a degree-granting educational program or courses for credit that specifically enhance skills used in the employee's current position. After on (1) year of continuous employment Regular full-time and part-time employees on a pro-rated basis, are eligible for up to $3,000 per fiscal year for tuition and fees upon satisfactory completion of the course(s). Documentation of course completion and cost must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources in order to receive reimbursement. Job-related courses are normally taken during non-working hours.

Non job-related educational assistance is generally defined as a degree-granting educational program or courses for credit not directly related to an employee's current position, but related to potential future career opportunities at the College. After three (3) years of continuous employment Regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible for up to 50%, to a maximum of $1,500 per fiscal year, for tuition and fees upon satisfactory completion of the course(s). Applicants must consult with the Office of Human Resources on an annual basis. Documentation of course completion and cost must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources in order to receive reimbursement. Non job-related courses are normally taken during non-working hours.

Effective July 1, 2010, applicants may receive an advance payment of 75% of the eligible costs of a course upon receipt of a notice of course enrollment and approval of an application for advance payment. The remaining 25% of eligible costs will be paid upon successful completion of the course.

Employees leaving the College within one year of receiving educational assistance must reimburse the College for its payments in accordance with the following schedule:

Within one month of completion: ½ the amount

Between one to twelve months: a proportional share of ½ the amount

Educational assistance benefits may be viewed by the IRS as a taxable benefit. Please see the Office of Human Resources for information. Educational assistance benefits are offset by any Training and Development reimbursements the employee receives from the College.

Training and development educational assistance is defined as professional development workshops/seminars/conferences, or courses for which no credits are granted, that are relevant to an employee's current position. There is no length of service requirement. Employees are allowed $150 per fiscal year for registration and/or tuition only. Workshops/seminars/conferences are normally, but not always, held during working hours. Training and development benefits apply toward the $3,000 annual limit for educational assistance benefits.

The College also reimburses expenses incurred in attending professional meetings or seminars that complement or enhance the appointee's position and that have been approved by the department head. Expenses to be reimbursed are determined by the department head and may be partially or fully covered, depending on how much money has been budgeted by the department for such purposes.

Employees may audit courses at the College with permission of the Instructor. Courses that are audited carry no credit. In addition, all regular full and part-time employees of Amherst College who have completed one full year of service may enroll in one Amherst College course for credit each semester at no cost. Such course credits do not count toward an Amherst degree because of various degree requirements. Employees must receive prior written approval of the course faculty member, the Director of Human Resources and that of their supervisor or Chair. Once the appropriate signatures have been secured and the form completed, the form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

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Grant-In-Aid Program

Dependent children of all regular full and part time employees with the equivalent of five years of continuous regular status employment are eligible for the Grant-In-Aid Program. The benefit for a regular part-time employee is prorated. If the College employs both parents, only one grant per child shall apply.

Grant recipients must be legal dependents as defined by federal or state income tax purposes and must be enrolled as full-time undergraduates in an accredited four year college or university, an accredited two-year college, or program of training at an accredited institution that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation (i.e. vocational technical school, culinary school, etc.). Grants are made annually for a maximum of four academic years or eight academic semesters, or the equivalent, and are limited to a grant of $10,000 per fiscal year per child or the tuition of the institution attended, whichever is lower. Board, room and other special fees are not covered by this grant. Some state institutions list certain costs and fees that are typically included in tuition charges. These charges are evaluated and may be included in the grant payment.

Employees should be aware that the college the dependent is attending might consider this grant in calculating financial awards.

Applications, one per child, along with a copy of current tuition charges, should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources not later than August 1 for the full academic year. Payments will be made directly to the college or university attended in equal installments based on the semester structure of the institution attended. No more than $5,000 will be paid in a given semester (less if the school has more than a two-semester structure). Payment for subsequent semesters will be made after submission of that semester's bill.

Children of eligible staff employees who retire or die while employed will continue to receive the grant if the eligible dependent is enrolled at an eligible institution or program at the time of death or retirement of the parent. Employees who otherwise separate from the College prior to the start of the semester will not be eligible to participate in the Grant-In-Aid program. Employees who otherwise separate from the College during the semester will be responsible for refunding to the College a prorated share of the value of the Grant-In-Aid payment as determined by the College.

For more information about the current program details/application, please visit this page. Applications are also available in the Office of Human Resources, and on-line in the “Forms” section of the HR webpage.

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Worker's Compensation Insurance and Benefits

In accordance with state law, the College carries Workers' Compensation Insurance for all employees. It is important that any injury or illness, however slight, incurred by an employee while on the job be reported immediately to the department head and the Office of Human Resources in order to comply with the provisions of the law.

When the insurance company makes compensation payments, the College will make up the difference between the compensation amount and the employee's regular salary check. Absence due to a certified work-related injury or illness will not be charged to sick leave, but will be charged against leave entitlement under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Extended absence due to injury or illness on the job that may be expected to exceed six months will prompt the College to send an application for long-term disability insurance benefits to the employee following three full months of absence. Supplemental salary payments made by the College will cease upon determination of eligibility for long term disability benefits or six months' absence from the job, if earlier. At this time, unless reasonable accommodation to extend the leave is warranted, an employee will be separated from the College. Subsequent re-employment is contingent upon the availability of a position for which the employee is reasonably suited and the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

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Unemployment Compensation

All employees of Amherst College are covered by the provisions of the Massachusetts Employment Security Law (commonly referred to as "Unemployment Compensation") and therefore are eligible for all applicable benefits under the law. This program provides weekly income benefits to all eligible individuals during periods of full or partial unemployment.

Employees on approved leaves of absence are not eligible for unemployment compensation.

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Amherst Plan

The Amherst Plan is a flexible spending plan established under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code. All regular employees may elect annually to pay for certain eligible expenses with before-tax salary dollars. By excluding these dollars from income for federal, state and Social Security tax purposes, less income tax is due at year-end. When eligible expenses for medical care or dependent care are submitted, the employee is reimbursed from his or her account.

Employees may choose to make before-tax deductions for any health insurance premiums they pay and/or set aside salary dollars to cover qualified out-of-pocket health and dependent care expenses. Up to $6,500 per year may be set aside for medical expenses and in accordance with IRS limits, $5,000 may be allocated for dependent care. Expenses incurred during a Plan year will be reimbursed up to the amount set aside in the related account. The IRS requires that any money remaining in an employee's account at the end of a Plan year will be forfeited, so it is important to estimate carefully. Fiscal year elections are irrevocable except in the event of a qualified change in family status. Any change in election must occur within 30 days of the qualifying event.

Otherwise, participation is on a fiscal year basis (July 1 - June 30) with an annual open enrollment period. New employees may enroll in the Plan within 90 days of hire date. Specific plan details and enrollment information are available in the Office of Human Resources.

 

 

Travel & Sojourn Insurance

Amherst College provides insurance coverage for an employee who is killed or totally disabled as a result of accidental circumstances while traveling on College business away from the normal place of work. The coverage provides for $300,000 death benefit per individual with a catastrophic limit of $1,500,000 for any one accident. The employee's estate receives the death benefit.

These are only the essential features of the plan; details are available at the Office of Human Resources.

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Death in Service Benefit

In case of death of a regular trustee-appointed employee, in addition to TIAA-CREF Retirement benefits, if applicable, and life insurance benefits, the College will give to his or her spouse or partner or if none, his or her dependent(s), a sum equal to one month's pay if the deceased was employed by the College for less than five years; three months' pay if employed between five and ten years; and six months' pay if employed ten years or longer. Only time in regular employment at the College will be counted towards this benefit.

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Second Mortgage Plan

For full-time regular trustee-appointed employees, Amherst College will make available a second mortgage for a primary residence equal to 20% of the purchase price or $30,000, whichever is less, at 6% interest for up to 20 years. In accordance with the Internal Revenue Code, whenever the interest rate is less than the "applicable Federal rate", the difference in interest is deemed to be taxable as ordinary income and is added as imputed income for tax purposes although no tax is actually withheld.

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Vacation

The College believes that periods of rest from employees' duties and responsibilities are necessary and provides time off for vacations with pay. All regular employees are eligible for paid vacation leave. Regular part-time employees who work a minimum of 20 hours per week, academic year employees, and new hires with less than one year of employment are eligible for vacation leave on a prorated basis.

Accrual

A maximum of one year's accrual may be carried over from one fiscal year to the next at July 1 of each year. Vacation accrues on a monthly basis.

Vacation for full-time exempt employees is earned as follows:

Length of Service Vacation Benefit
1 month but less than 10 years 20 days
10 years or more 25 days

Employees are encouraged to cooperate with each other in arranging for vacation leave, recognizing that there may be administrative or minimum coverage requirements necessitating the scheduling of vacation leave at certain periods of time. Requests for vacation leave are subject to the approval of the supervisor and should be made as far in advance as possible. Vacation is not normally taken during the introductory period.

Employees hired on or before the 15th of the month, or separated on or after the 15th of the month, will be given vacation credit for a month's service in computing service dates for vacation eligibility. Academic year employees earn vacation based on the number of weeks worked during the year.

Employees on unpaid leaves of absence do not accrue credit for vacation leave. Except for employees separated during their introductory period, accrued but unused vacation pay is paid to employees at the time of separation.

Vacation pay is computed by multiplying the employee's daily base pay rate by the number of vacation days accrued.

An employee may request a salary advance from the payroll office if necessary when leaving on vacation.

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Holidays

Scheduled College Holidays

Amherst College officially observes a number of holidays throughout the year. All regular full-time employees are eligible for holiday pay based on their standard workday. Regular employees working less than full-time, or on an academic year schedule, are eligible for holiday pay on a prorated basis.

The College recognizes the following days as paid holidays:

  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day (Includes one-half day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day

When a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed as the paid holiday. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be observed.

The holiday schedule may be modified depending on the actual day the holiday falls. For example, if Christmas or July 4 falls on a Tuesday, the preceding Monday will also be a paid holiday. In all cases at least 7.5 holidays will be scheduled.

An employee on an approved unpaid leave of absence or completing a terminal vacation period is not eligible for holiday pay benefits. No payment will be made for holidays (including "floating holidays") not taken at the time of termination.

Floating Holidays

Employees receive 4.5 "Floating Holidays" which may be used with advance authorization at the employee's discretion for personal, religious or other reasons.

The accrual rate for "floating holidays" during the first fiscal year of employment will be prorated based on date of hire. Thereafter, they become available at the start of each fiscal year. Floating holidays do not accumulate from year to year. They are forfeited if not used.

Amherst College respects the rights of all members of the community to observe their religious holidays and practices and will make reasonable accommodation to enable employees to do so, so long as such accommodation does not impose an undue burden on the College.

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Sick/Family Care Days

In order to provide protection against worry and financial problems when an employee is ill or the employee's presence is needed for the care of an ill family member, paid sick/family care days accumulate at the rate of one day per month of service to a maximum of 130 working days.

A regular employee working less than full-time or an academic year schedule is eligible for sick/family care days on a prorated basis. A new employee hired on or before the 15th of the month will be given credit for a month's service in computing paid sick/family care days. Exempt employees are expected to calculate and track their own time along with their supervisor. Forms for tracking time used are available through the employee's supervisor and/or the Office of Human Resources.

If an employee uses some or all of his or her paid sick/family care days during a fiscal year, he or she must accrue new sick/family care days to replace those used. The College reserves the right to require the employee to obtain a statement from his or her physician, or to ask for a physical examination by a College-designated physician, prior to the employee's return to work.

Department heads are responsible for the administration of the sick/family care day policy. Employees who are absent due to their own illness or that of a family member for five or more consecutive work days are required to submit a physician's certification upon request. Patterns of absence that indicate abuse of the policy can be reason for requiring a second medical opinion at College expense, requiring a medical certification for each absence and/or for taking disciplinary action. Extended absence due to illness and/or inability to meet the requirements of the job can be reason to initiate application for disability benefits or prompt other action as deemed necessary by the department and/or the College.

Unused accumulated sick/family care days are not paid at the time of separation and are not restored at the time of re-employment.

Sick/Family Care days may be used for the employee's illness, illness of a family member, birth or adoption of a child, physician's appointment, or to supplement Short Term Disability (STD). Family members for the purpose of sick/family care leave usage include spouse/domestic partner, child, parent or other family member for whom the employee is the primary caregiver. If possible, the use of sick/family care days for foreseeable absences should be arranged in advance for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) record keeping.

See also the Family and Medical Leave Act policy and the Small Necessities Leave Act policy.

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Reserve Bank

Trustee-appointees who were employed at the College as of June 31, 2001 received a reserve bank of 130 sick days from the former sick day accrual policy, to be used for their own illness. These days are not replenished once drawn down. Unused reserve bank days are not paid at the time of separation. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2001 do not have reserve bank days.

Department heads are responsible for the administration of the reserve bank day policy. Employees who are absent due to their own illness for five or more consecutive work days are required to submit a physician's certification upon request. Patterns of absence that indicate abuse of the policy can be reason for requiring a second medical opinion at College expense, requiring a medical certification for each absence and/or for taking disciplinary action. Extended absence due to illness and/or inability to meet the requirements of the job can be reason to initiate application for disability benefits or prompt other action as deemed necessary by the department and/or the College.

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Extended Family Leave

Employees are eligible for extended family leave after one consecutive year of employment. Extended family leave provides for four weeks at 100% pay in a rolling calendar year, after a two-week waiting period.

Extended family leave may be used within the first 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious illness of a family member when the employee is the primary caregiver. The employee must be needed to provide care for more than 10 consecutive workdays. "Family member" includes spouse/domestic partner, child, parent or other family member for whom the employee is the primary caregiver.

When the College also employs the employee's spouse or partner, combined leave under this policy will not exceed 4 weeks for any one reason. If the two-week wait has been met for any one reason, the second partner does not need to serve it. Extended family leave runs concurrently with FMLA Leave, if applicable.

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Excused Absences

With reasonable advance notice and the approval of the department head, an employee may be given time off for reasons of a personal nature. Examples are personal emergencies or scheduled business such as a mortgage closing or other necessary personal business that must be conducted during business hours.

Regular full-time employees are eligible for up to two paid days during the fiscal year. Regular employees who work a minimum of 20 hours a week or on an academic year basis are eligible for excused time pay benefits on a prorated basis.

Excused time during the first fiscal year of employment is prorated at the rate of .67 days for each four-month period worked. Excused time is not carried over to the next fiscal year.

See also the Small Necessities Leave Act policy.

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Short Term Disability

Short Term Disability pay is available when an employee has been unable to work for more than ten working days because of extended illness. After one year of service working a minimum of 20 hours per week, time is paid according to the following schedule:

1 - 3 years = 70% pay
4 - 6 years = 80% pay
7 - 9 years = 90% pay
10+ years = 100% pay

Proper medical certification must accompany a request for Short Term Disability pay. Payments continue until the employee is: no longer disabled, eligible for long term disability benefits, and/or has been unable to work for six months.

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Funeral/Bereavement Leave

In the event of the death of a spouse, domestic partner or child, the employee is allowed up to a maximum of five days funeral leave with pay. In the event of the death of a parent, sister, brother, grandchild, grandparent, parent-in-law or relative living in the same household, the employee is allowed up to a maximum of three days funeral leave with pay. In the event of the death of other members of the family, one day funeral leave with pay is allowed. Regular employees who work a minimum of 20 hours per week are allowed funeral leave pay benefits on a prorated basis.

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Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month "rolling" period for certain family and medical reasons. 

The 12-month period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.  To be eligible, an employee must have worked at the College for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the leave.  Leave is available for birth or care of a newborn, for placement of a child for adoption or foster care, for the care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a qualifying serious health condition; or in the event of a qualifying serious health condition that prevents the employee from working.  In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008 provides up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty.  The aggregate amount of FMLA time available in a 12-month period cannot exceed 26 weeks.  The request for a foreseeable FMLA leave should be made to the department head and Office of Human Resources.

An employee requesting FMLA Leave must provide at least 30-days’ notice before the date the leave is to begin if the leave is foreseeable.  If at least 30-days’ notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable (which ordinarily means at least verbal notice within one or two business days of when the employee becomes aware of the need for leave).  The leave request must indicate that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the job, or that a covered family member is unable to participate in regular daily activities, the anticipated duration of the absence, and whether the employee (or family member) intends to visit a health care provider or is receiving continuing treatment.  Periodic recertification of extended leaves will be required.

If an employee is requesting FMLA Leave for his/her own serious health condition or to care for a child, spouse, service member, or parent with a serious health condition, the Certification of Health Care Provider form must be completed by the health care provider and returned to the Office of Human Resources within 15 days to verify a qualifying serious health condition.  If an employee fails to provide the requested medical certification within the required time, or if the certification is incomplete and is not remedied, FMLA Leave may be delayed or denied. 

FMLA Leave may be taken intermittently; however, an employee who takes an intermittent leave may be required to transfer temporarily to another position with equivalent pay and benefits if that position better accommodates the recurring periods of leave.  An employee may also take the leave in the form of reduced hours, or reduced work days during the week, until the days off add up to 12 work weeks (26 weeks for a service member).  Periodic recertification of extended leaves will be required.

FMLA leaves are generally unpaid. However, an employee taking FMLA Leave will be permitted to designate any earned, unused paid vacation or sick/family care time as part of the leave. In addition, if you are eligible for short-term disability or workers' compensation insurance benefits, you may be eligible to receive such benefits during FMLA Leave. Amherst College leave time will be deemed to run concurrently with the leave available under FMLA.

During FMLA Leave, the College will continue to provide health care coverage on the same basis as is normally provided.  If an employee contributes to his/her health care coverage, the employee is required to continue to make payments during the leave period.  If an employee does not return to work after FMLA Leave, the employee is responsible for repaying the cost of health benefits provided during the leave, unless the reason for not returning is due to a serious health condition or other circumstance beyond the employee’s control.

Any employee who takes approved FMLA Leave will be reinstated to the position held when the leave began or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status and other terms and conditions of employment, unless a job elimination or other change in circumstance has occurred during the leave period.  Certain “key employees” (as defined under the FMLA) may be denied job restoration.

An employee returning from FMLA Leave which is taken for the employee’s own serious health condition must obtain and provide the College with certification from the employee’s health care provider, indicating that the employee is able to resume work.

In most cases, Amherst College leave policies equal or exceed FMLA provisions.  However, at no time will FMLA be used to limit already existing rights under College policies and protections provided under any other statutory provisions.

An example of the use of paid time by an employee with at least one year of service, for a twelve-week leave in the case of childbirth would be:

  Two weeks Sick/Family Care days
  Six weeks Short Term Disability (which may be supplemented by reserve bank time or vacation or medical family if sufficient time has accrued)
  Four weeks Extended Family Leave

Or in the case of an adoption, the primary caregiver with at least one year of service could access the following:

  Eight weeks Sick/Family Care days, floating holiday or vacation if sufficient time has accrued
  Four weeks Extended Family Leave (may be used after two weeks wait)

Specific details and requirements of FMLA are available in the Office of Human Resources.

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Jury Duty

Amherst College acknowledges the importance of participating in civic affairs. Employees called to serve as jurors and regular employees called as a subpoenaed witness in an action in which they are not a party, will receive their regular pay for the first three days of jury duty and thereafter will receive the difference between their regular compensation and that which is received from the courts for time actually served. Contact the Office of Human Resources for details on reimbursement.

A certificate of attendance, which can be obtained from the Clerk of the Courts, should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources upon return to work. Employees excused from jury duty by noon on any given day should report to work for the remainder of their workday.

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Military Leave

Amherst College complies with all federal and state laws concerning military leave for active duty. Employees called for active duty should contact the Office of Human Resources for further information.

Regular employees who are members of the National Guard or organized reserves are eligible to be paid the difference between their military duty training pay and their regular compensation, not to exceed 14 calendar days in each year. Upon returning to work from duty, the employees should forward a statement of military pay to the Office of Human Resources so that an adjustment in earnings can be arranged. Should the employee choose to take this time as vacation, no differential pay will be paid.

Employees who are required to take time off for uniformed services in the military will be automatically granted a leave of absence for the duration of such service, provided the total duration of such leave and all previous military leave(s) from the College does not exceed five years, and provided the employee presents his or her written orders in advance to the Office of Human Resources.

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), upon the employee's return from uniformed services he/she will be eligible for reemployment in the position that would have been attained through continued employment, including all benefits in which the employee had been a participant or would have participated had he or she remained employed with the College. USERRA also provides for the temporary continuation of health care coverage during military leave. Benefits, including health care coverage, will continue as usual during the first two weeks, after which the benefits continuation provisions for unpaid leaves of absence will apply.

For these purposes, "uniformed services" includes the U.S. Armed Services (including the Coast Guard), the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard (when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training or fulltime National Guard duty), and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.

Please see the Office of Human Resources for further details regarding USERRA.

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Personal Leaves of Absence

Regular employees may be granted leaves of absence without pay for such reasons as compelling personal circumstances, illness beyond sick-leave benefit periods and absences due to academic year appointment conditions. Each request, which must be in writing, is subject to approval by the department head and the Director of Human Resources on the basis of the type of leave, length of employment and the needs of the College. Reasonable advance notice is important so that arrangements can be made to cover the duties of the employee during the leave. A stated intention about returning to work must be given when the leave is requested.

Leaves of absence may be approved for reasonable periods of time, up to three months. Extensions of leaves of absence may be granted in appropriate cases depending on individual circumstances and the business needs of the College. Extensions must be requested in writing and approved by the department head, Director of Human Resources, Treasurer and Dean of the Faculty if applicable.

Vacation, medical leave and other benefits related to service time will be prorated according to the time actually worked during the benefit year. Retirement plan contributions are suspended for any period of unpaid personal leave. Employees on unpaid leaves of absence are not eligible for holiday pay for If, while on an authorized personal leave of absence, an employee engages in other employment without the consent of the College, he or she may be subject to termination. If an employee on such leave fails to report for work at the beginning of the first regular day of employment after such leave, he or she may be subject to termination. Upon return to work after a leave of absence, the College will attempt to restore the employee to his or her original position, or to a position of similar status and pay, without loss of seniority.

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Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month "rolling" period for certain family and medical reasons. 

The 12-month period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.  To be eligible, an employee must have worked at the College for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the leave.  Leave is available for birth or care of a newborn, for placement of a child for adoption or foster care, for the care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a qualifying serious health condition; or in the event of a qualifying serious health condition that prevents the employee from working.  In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008 provides up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty.  The aggregate amount of FMLA time available in a 12-month period cannot exceed 26 weeks.  The request for a foreseeable FMLA leave should be made to the department head and Office of Human Resources.

An employee requesting FMLA Leave must provide at least 30-days’ notice before the date the leave is to begin if the leave is foreseeable.  If at least 30-days’ notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable (which ordinarily means at least verbal notice within one or two business days of when the employee becomes aware of the need for leave).  The leave request must indicate that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the job, or that a covered family member is unable to participate in regular daily activities, the anticipated duration of the absence, and whether the employee (or family member) intends to visit a health care provider or is receiving continuing treatment.  Periodic recertification of extended leaves will be required.

If an employee is requesting FMLA Leave for his/her own serious health condition or to care for a child, spouse, service member, or parent with a serious health condition, the Certification of Health Care Provider form must be completed by the health care provider and returned to the Office of Human Resources within 15 days to verify a qualifying serious health condition.  If an employee fails to provide the requested medical certification within the required time, or if the certification is incomplete and is not remedied, FMLA Leave may be delayed or denied. 

FMLA Leave may be taken intermittently; however, an employee who takes an intermittent leave may be required to transfer temporarily to another position with equivalent pay and benefits if that position better accommodates the recurring periods of leave.  An employee may also take the leave in the form of reduced hours, or reduced work days during the week, until the days off add up to 12 work weeks (26 weeks for a service member).  Periodic recertification of extended leaves will be required.

FMLA leaves are generally unpaid. However, an employee taking FMLA Leave will be permitted to designate any earned, unused paid vacation or sick/family care time as part of the leave. In addition, if you are eligible for short-term disability or workers' compensation insurance benefits, you may be eligible to receive such benefits during FMLA Leave. Amherst College leave time will be deemed to run concurrently with the leave available under FMLA.

During FMLA Leave, the College will continue to provide health care coverage on the same basis as is normally provided.  If an employee contributes to his/her health care coverage, the employee is required to continue to make payments during the leave period.  If an employee does not return to work after FMLA Leave, the employee is responsible for repaying the cost of health benefits provided during the leave, unless the reason for not returning is due to a serious health condition or other circumstance beyond the employee’s control.

Any employee who takes approved FMLA Leave will be reinstated to the position held when the leave began or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status and other terms and conditions of employment, unless a job elimination or other change in circumstance has occurred during the leave period.  Certain “key employees” (as defined under the FMLA) may be denied job restoration.

An employee returning from FMLA Leave which is taken for the employee’s own serious health condition must obtain and provide the College with certification from the employee’s health care provider, indicating that the employee is able to resume work.

In most cases, Amherst College leave policies equal or exceed FMLA provisions.  However, at no time will FMLA be used to limit already existing rights under College policies and protections provided under any other statutory provisions.

An example of the use of paid time by an employee with at least one year of service, for a twelve-week leave in the case of childbirth would be:

  Two weeks Medical Family days
  Six weeks Short Term Disability (which may be supplemented by reserve bank time or vacation or medical family if sufficient time has accrued)
  Four weeks Extended Family Leave

Or in the case of an adoption, the primary caregiver with at least one year of service could access the following:

  Eight weeks Sick/Family Care days, floating holiday or vacation if sufficient time has accrued
  Four weeks Extended Family Leave (may be used after two weeks wait)

Specific details and requirements of FMLA are available in the Office of Human Resources.

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Small Necessities Leave Act

All Massachusetts employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are also required to comply with the Small Necessities Leave Act (SNLA), a state law providing eligible employees with additional leave for certain family obligations.

This law provides 24 hours of unpaid leave time during any 12-month period for certain purposes, e.g., to attend parent-teacher conferences; to accompany immediate family members to routine medical appointments, interviews at nursing homes, etc. As in the case of the FMLA, the eligible employee may elect to substitute any available paid vacation or excused time for unpaid leave.

Employees are asked to give at least one week notice if the need for this leave is foreseeable. If leave is unforeseeable, the employee must give as much notice as is practical under the circumstances.

Departments may require that leave requests be supported by certification.

Details of this policy are available in the Office of Human Resources.

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Massachusetts Parental Leave

An employee not eligible for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave is entitled to a minimum of eight (8) weeks of job-protected unpaid parental leave per child for birth or adoption under Massachusetts law, after completion of a three (3)-month probationary period. When both parents are employed by the College at the time the leave commences for the birth or adoption of the same child, an aggregate of eight (8) weeks of leave is available for the two employees. Available sick/family care, floating holiday, or excused days may be used as paid time off during this period. In addition, accrued vacation days may be used provided the employee has successfully completed the initial employment probationary period. Short term disability and extended family leave benefits are not available until one year of regular service has been completed.

The employee must:

a) give at least two (2) weeks' notice of the expected departure date (except when such notice is not possible due to unexpected disability) and;

b) express an intention to return to his or her job.

While on parental leave, an employee has the same right to benefits as any other employee on disability leave, or leave associated with the adoption of a child. If the employee returns from parental leave within eight (8) weeks, or such longer period of actual disability as is certified by a physician, he or she will be reinstated to the same or similar position, without loss of employment status or benefits for which he or she was eligible on the date the parental leave commenced.

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Research Leave

Recognizing that trustee-appointed employees may increase their value to the College by pursuing research or study projects, the President will consider requests for Research or Study Leave.

Terms of the leave are at the discretion of the President and the department head. Leaves are normally taken at times when it is not necessary for the incumbent to be replaced.

A trustee-appointed employee who has worked for the College for six continuous years may submit to his or her department head a request for a Research or Study Leave. If approved, this leave is generally taken as one continuous leave for three months at full pay or six months at half pay, or as a series of short leaves totaling no more than 65 working days during a period, not to exceed two years (e.g. several separate research trips of varying lengths to collect data for publication of a journal or book). Full benefits will continue during the Research or Study Leave. Leave requests must be approved by the appointee's department head. When forwarding an approved leave to the President for consideration, the Department head is required to support the leave with his or her written recommendation and to propose a plan for covering the appointee's responsibilities during his or her absence. The President's decision to grant or deny the leave is final. Appointees who receive a Research or Study Leave may apply for another after returning to the College and again completing six continuous years as an appointee.

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College Facilities and Services

Identification cards are required for use of all College facilities.

Athletic Events

Yearlong sporting event tickets at reduced prices are available for all College employees. Tickets may be obtained at the Alumni Gymnasium Building.

Athletic Facilities

The athletic facilities on the Amherst College campus are available to regular full-time, part-time, and casual Amherst College employees. Schedules for the swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts, and indoor tracks are published periodically by the Athletic Department along with a listing of courses offered each semester. For further information, contact the Athletic Department.

A partial subsidy (approximately 40 percent) toward individual membership dues at the Amherst Golf Club, a corporation separate from Amherst College, is available to regular employees of Amherst College, either presently employed or retired. Membership in the Amherst Golf Club is subject to the rules and membership limits of the organization.

Information on these athletic facilities should be obtained from the Athletic Department.

Childcare

The Woodside Children's Center is a separate private, non-profit childcare facility located in a Victorian home near the Amherst College campus. The center provides childcare services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with priority in admissions for Amherst College employees and students. For further information call (413) 253-2604.

The Little Red Schoolhouse is a separate, private, non-profit preschool located on the Amherst Campus. The preschool provides morning preschool with a limited number of spots reserved for the children of Amherst College employees and students. For further information call (413) 253-5259.

Computer Purchases

A loan for the purchase of computer equipment may be arranged and paid for through payroll deduction. Details of the program are available through the Information Technology Page.

Credit Union

Amherst College staff and their families are eligible to participate in the services provided by the UMass/Five College Federal Credit Union. Arrangements for membership can be made through the Office of Human Resources or by contacting the Credit Union office directly. More information is available in the Office of Human Resources.

Dining Facilities

The use of the Lewis-Sebring Commons, the Coffee House at the Campus Center and Valentine Hall are available to all employees. Vending machines are located in the major buildings on campus. All regular staff may have purchases deducted from payroll by using their ID card at these locations.

Health Services

The College Health Services are available to employees on a limited basis during the academic year. It provides emergency medical care and, during designated hours, blood pressure monitoring for those employees whose family physician has required it.

Identification Cards

All regular employees are eligible to obtain Amherst College identification cards. Casual employees who have worked a minimum of one year and an average of at least 500 hours will receive a College identification card that will allow them access to Robert Frost Library and Alumni Gym and discounted meals in Valentine Dining Hall. All other casual employees will be issued a College identification card that will allow them access to Robert Frost Library and discounted meals in Valentine Dining Hall. Casual employees receive a discount but can not charge meals in the dining hall.

All new regular employees and current regular employees who have lost their cards may obtain the Amherst College ID form from the Office of Human Resources. The employee must take this form to Dining Services to have a photo ID processed. Pictures are taken Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Library

Amherst College Library extends its full range of library privileges to employees and their families.

Mailing Lists

College mail, e-mail and/or College mailing lists may be used only for official College business or for mailings sponsored or endorsed by the College.

Museums

The Natural History Museum, the Mead Art Museum, the Emily Dickinson Museum (The Homestead and the Evergreens), and the Planetarium in Morgan Hall are available to visitors at posted hours.

Notary Services

Notary service is available on campus. The Office of Human Resources has a list of authorized Notaries Public.

The College Ombudsperson

The ombudsperson at Amherst College is an objective and confidential resource that exists to help faculty, administrators and staff explore concerns and receive assistance in resolving conflicts.  With the goal of ensuring that all members of the faculty, administrators and staff receive fair and equitable treatment, the ombudsperson listens to concerns and can help visitors identify and explore acceptable solutions that meet the needs of both the visitor and the institution.

Parking Permits

A parking permit must be obtained from Campus Police for vehicles to be parked on campus. Employees may park vehicles in any unrestricted area. The Office of Human Resources will issue the application for the permit to new employees.

Publications

All employees of the College receive the following publications: Amherst Magazine and Amherst College Calendar & News. These publications include announcements about a wide variety of activities as well as news of interest to the campus.

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General Policies and Procedures

Data Security Policy

Administrative information is one of the College's most valuable resources and requires responsible use by members of the College community. Amherst College faculty and staff are charged with safeguarding the integrity, accuracy, and confidentiality of this information as part of the condition of employment.

Employees are expected to ensure that the information that they are authorized to access is protected from unauthorized access, unauthorized use, invalid changes, or destruction.

Access to administrative systems is granted to a particular individual based on the need to use specific data, as defined by position responsibilities, and subject to appropriate approval. As such, this access cannot be shared, transferred, or delegated. Failure to protect these resources may result in disciplinary measures in accordance with policies described in applicable handbooks.

System privileges will be authorized by the department head or designated Department Security Manager and centrally assigned by the System Administrator(s) in the Database Services group. Inquiry access to administrative information will be authorized on a "need to know" basis. Maintenance access to processes will be authorized based on your job responsibilities.

Key Control Policy

The Facilities and Campus Police work together to provide accessibility to buildings and facilities while maintaining appropriate levels of security.

All keys, locks, electronic access cards and access codes are the property of Amherst College and must be returned to the lock shop upon termination of employment.

Employees may be issued keys based upon need as authorized by the appropriate Amherst College director, manager or supervisor. Master keys to College facilities should not be removed from campus. The Chief of Police for compelling reasons may make exceptions. All stolen or lost keys should be immediately reported to Campus Police. The College retains the right to change access codes and locks, and to deny access to facilities based upon security issues.

Details of this policy are available in the Office of Human Resources.

Smoking

In accordance with the requirements of the State Building and Fire Prevention Regulations and the policies of the Town of Amherst, smoking is not permitted in schools, colleges, universities or public buildings. In addition, smoking is prohibited in areas of assembly, around flammable liquids and gases, and in other areas so designated as "No-Smoking" for reasons of fire prevention, health and safety.

Smoking shall be permitted outside of buildings at a distance of not less than 25 feet. This requirement applies to entrances, exits, and loading docks, areas of assembly, air intakes, building overhangs, porches, areas used for the storage and transfer of flammable liquids and gases and other similar situations through which non-smokers would have to pass through, or where there may be a risk of fire or explosion.

Employees interested in smoking cessation classes or clinics may obtain information from their health plans.

Vehicle Safety Policy

In accordance with the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles and the Amherst College Environmental Health & Safety Policy, guidelines have been established to reduce the risk of incident and injury when it comes to the operation and use of a motor vehicle by employees and students working for Amherst College.

It is the responsibility of each and every supervisor to oversee the implementation and enforcement of this guideline. The Director of Facilities Planning and Management, the Environmental Health and Safety Committee, Amherst College Police Department and the office of Environmental Health and Safety have approved and implemented this policy for reasons of health, liability and safety.

In the event that an employee is involved in an accident while driving a College owned vehicle, they shall make every effort not to move the vehicles until the arrival of police. It is important for investigating officers to see the positioning of the vehicles. The exception is when the vehicles may compromise public safety.

On campus accidents should be reported to the Campus Police, off campus accidents should be reported to the appropriate police agency and later to the Campus Police. All accidents must be reported.

Details of the policy are available in the Office of Human Resources.

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Special Events

Service Recognition

A service recognition program is administered by the Office of Human Resources. Employees with cumulative regular service of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and more than 35 years are awarded gifts. In addition, an annual dinner is scheduled to recognize and honor recent retirees and employees with service of 25 years or more.

Annual Picnic and Holiday Luncheon

The annual picnic is held soon after Commencement for faculty and staff. In addition, a holiday luncheon is held in December.

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Safety in the Workplace

Amherst College is committed to providing a safe and healthful working environment for all employees. Employees are expected to abide by all safety policies.

The College reserves the right to immediately discharge an employee in cases where a violation of health or safety standards has created a threat to the College community or its property. Consistent with the provisions of the Drug Free Workplace Act, Amherst College is required to ensure that all employees refrain from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance in the workplace. Further, employees must agree to abide by the above policy and to notify the College of any criminal drug statute conviction based on a workplace violation. The College must be notified within five days after such a conviction has occurred.

Detailed information about Environmental Health and Safety is available here.

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Emergencies

In the event of serious injury or medical emergency on campus, call the Campus Police at extension 2111. They will notify the appropriate emergency services.

Campus Police are trained to handle most emergencies that could occur on campus during the day and will provide necessary transportation to a medical facility. They are equipped to render emergency first aid.

Accidents that occur on campus are to be reported immediately to a supervisor or department head and then to the Office of Human Resources.

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Police and Fire Protection

Amherst College Campus Police are responsible for keeping peaceful conditions and enforcing the public law and College regulations, including the registration of cars on campus.

Campus Police officers have full police powers on all properties owned by the College. They are in direct contact with the Town of Amherst Fire Department and Ambulance. The Campus Police Department will provide nighttime on-campus escort service if needed. Employees should report any suspicious activity to the Campus Police Department immediately.

Inquiries regarding lost and found articles should also be made to the Campus Police Office, ext. 2291.

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Inclement Weather Conditions

On occasion, adverse weather conditions may cause employees to be concerned about safety in traveling to or from work, depending on the distance of travel, the hazards of driving, the availability of public transportation or a number of other subjective factors. In such cases, employees will need to make their own judgments about whether to stay home or to leave work early, after consultation with their supervisors. An employee's decision, based on individual circumstances, will be respected. In the above circumstances, hours missed will be charged against an employee's excused time, vacation time or floating holidays. On rare occasions, when weather conditions are especially severe, the College may delay opening, close for the day, or close early. In these circumstances, there will be no charge to employees for the time lost.

Employees designated by their department heads as providing non-deferrable or essential services should report to work, or remain on duty, even though the College is closed. Such employees who are non-exempt will be compensated in accordance with the overtime policy.

Please follow this link for our Inclement Weather Policy.

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Appendix

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO COACHES

 The attached handbook describes the benefits and services that apply to trustee-appointed employees of the College. The positions of Coach and Senior Coach are trustee-appointed positions. The provisions of the Trustee-Appointed Handbook apply with a few exceptions.

The following list notes, by section, where the benefits/services available to you may differ from those of other Trustee-Appointees.  There follow the College’s Statement on Academic Freedom and three articles of the Academic Regulations, which apply to all coaches, instructors, and students in the College.

I. Employment Policies

The reference in this section to vacation payout at termination does not apply, as vacation time is not accrued.

II. Salary Administration Program


The performance evaluation process as described is not applicable to coaches.       

III. Leaves

Coaches and Senior Coaches do not accrue leaves such as vacation, floating holidays, and sick/family care days. They are also not eligible for research leave. Short Term Disability, Extended Family Leaves, or Personal Leaves of Absence are granted at the discretion of the Dean of the Faculty and the President in compliance with federal and state regulations.  Otherwise leaves are as described in the Trustee-Appointed Handbook.

IV.  Housing

      • Junior Contract Coaches may bid on rental units in accordance with the housing policy.
      • Senior Contract Coaches are eligible to participate in the housing purchase program.  A low-interest variable rate second mortgage up to $75,000 but no greater than 75% of the first mortgage towards purchase of a primary residence within 30 miles of the College is available.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM


Amherst College subscribes fully to the AAUP statements of principles on academic freedom published in 1940.

STATEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL RESPONSIBILITY (VOTED BY THE FACULTY 1966; AMENDED APRIL 1987)


Every person's education is the product of his or her intellectual effort and participation in a process of critical exchange. Amherst cannot educate those who are unwilling to submit their own work and ideas to critical assessment. Nor can it tolerate those who interfere with the participation of others in the critical process. Therefore, the College considers it a violation of the requirements of intellectual responsibility to submit work that is not one's own or otherwise to subvert the conditions under which academic work is performed by oneself or by others.

Article 1. Student Responsibility

Section 1. In undertaking studies at Amherst College, every student agrees to abide by the above statement. Section 2. Students shall receive a copy of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility with their initial course schedule at the beginning of each semester. It is the responsibility of each student to read and understand this statement and to inquire as to its implications in his or her specific
course. Section 3. Orderly and honorable conduct of examinations is the individual and collective responsibility of the students concerned in accordance with the above Statement and Article 2, Section 3, below.

Article 2. Faculty Responsibility

Section 1. Promotion of the aims of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility is a general responsibility of the Faculty. Section 2. Every member of the Faculty has a specific responsibility to explain the implications of the statement for each of his or her courses, including a specification of the conditions under which academic work in those courses is to be performed. At the beginning of each semester members of the Faculty will receive with their initial class lists a copy of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility and a reminder of the duty to explain its implications in each course. Section 3. Examinations shall not be proctored unless an instructor judges that the integrity of the assessment process is clearly threatened. An instructor may be present at examinations at appropriate times to answer questions.

STATEMENT ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND DISSENT (VOTED BY THE

FACULTY 1968)


Amherst College prizes and defends freedom of speech and dissent. It affirms the right of teachers and students to teach and learn, free from coercive force and intimidation and subject only to the constraints of reasoned discourse and peaceful conduct. It also recognizes that such freedom and rights entail responsibility for one's actions. Thus, the College assures and protects the rights of its members to express their views so long as there is neither use nor threat of force nor interference with the rights of others to express their views. The College considers disruption of classes (whether, for example, by the abridgment of free expression in a class or by obstructing access to the place in which the class normally meets) or of other academic activities to be a serious offense that damages the integrity of an academic institution.

STATEMENT OF STUDENT RIGHTS (VOTED BY THE FACULTY APRIL 1987; AMENDED MARCH 1998)


Subject to respect for the rights of others, every student enjoys the assurance of the full exercise of those rights expressed in the Honor Code and the preceding three statements, including but not limited to the following specific rights:

The right to engage in the free exchange of ideas.

The right to protest and to dissent in a peaceable manner and to join with others in other nonviolent forms of common action.

The right to complain of injustice and to bring grievances to the appropriate offices of the College without fear of retaliation.

The right to attend functions and to utilize College facilities subject to prescribed rules.
 
The right to reasonable peace and quiet in residential and academic facilities and to an atmosphere conducive to work and study.

The right to privacy in one's assigned room, subject to compliance with the College's regulations and to the security of one's own property and property furnishing the common and public spaces at the College.

The right, when participating in any aspect of life of the College or traveling among the Five Colleges, to be free from harassment for reasons of one's race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, age, political affiliation and/or belief, sexual orientation, sex, or physical disability.

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ACADEMIC REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO LECTURERS


The attached handbook describes the benefits and services that apply to trustee-appointed employees of the College. The positions of Lecturer and Senior Lecturer are trustee-appointed positions. The provisions of the Trustee-Appointed Handbook apply with a few exceptions.

The following list notes, by section, where the benefits/services available to you may differ from those of other Trustee-Appointees. There follow the College’s Statement on Academic Freedom and three articles of the Academic Regulations, which apply to all instructors and students in the College.

I. Employment Policies


    The reference in this section to vacation payout at termination does not apply, as vacation time is not accrued.

II. Salary Administration Program


    The performance evaluation process as described is not applicable to lecturers.

III. Leave Provisions


    Lecturers and Senior Lecturers do not accrue leaves such as vacation, floating holidays, and sick/family care days. They are also not eligible for research leave. Short Term Disability, Extended Family Leave, or Personal Leaves of Absence are granted at the discretion of the Dean of the Faculty and the President in compliance with federal and state regulations. Senior Lecturers are eligible to apply for a one-time semester leave, which must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty. Otherwise leaves are as described in the Trustee-Appointed Handbook.

IV. Housing

      • Lecturers may bid on rental units in accordance with the housing policy.
      • Senior Lecturers are eligible to participate in the housing purchase program.  A Low-interest variable rate second mortgage up to $75,000 but no greater than 75% of the first mortgage towards purchase of a primary residence within 30 miles of the College is available.         

ACADEMIC FREEDOM


Amherst College subscribes fully to the AAUP statements of principles on academic freedom published in 1940.

STATEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL RESPONSIBILITY (VOTED BY THE FACULTY 1966; AMENDED APRIL 1987)


Every person's education is the product of his or her intellectual effort and participation in a process of critical exchange. Amherst cannot educate those who are unwilling to submit their own work and ideas to critical assessment. Nor can it tolerate those who interfere with the participation of others in the critical process. Therefore, the College considers it a violation of the requirements of intellectual responsibility to submit work that is not one's own or otherwise to subvert the conditions under which academic work is performed by oneself or by others.

Article 1. Student Responsibility

Section 1. In undertaking studies at Amherst College, every student agrees to abide by the above statement. Section 2. Students shall receive a copy of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility with their initial course schedule at the beginning of each semester. It is the responsibility of each student to read and understand this statement and to inquire as to its implications in his or her specific course. Section 3. Orderly and honorable conduct of examinations is the individual and collective responsibility of the students concerned in accordance with the above Statement and Article 2, Section 3, below.

Article 2. Faculty Responsibility

Section 1. Promotion of the aims of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility is a general responsibility of the Faculty. Section 2. Every member of the Faculty has a specific responsibility to explain the implications of the statement for each of his or her courses, including a specification of the conditions under which academic work in those courses is to be performed. At the beginning of each semester members of the Faculty will receive with their initial class lists a copy of the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility and a reminder of the duty to explain its implications in each course. Section 3. Examinations shall not be proctored unless an instructor judges that the integrity of the assessment process is clearly threatened. An instructor may be present at examinations at appropriate times to answer questions.

STATEMENT ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND DISSENT  (VOTED BY THE

FACULTY 1968)


Amherst College prizes and defends freedom of speech and dissent. It affirms the right of teachers and students to teach and learn, free from coercive force and intimidation and subject only to the constraints of reasoned discourse and peaceful conduct. It also recognizes that such freedom and rights entail responsibility for one's actions. Thus, the College assures and protects the rights of its members to express their views so long as there is neither use nor threat of force nor interference with the rights of others to express their views. The College considers disruption of classes (whether, for example, by the abridgment of free expression in a class or by obstructing access to the place in which the class normally meets) or of other academic activities to be a serious offense that damages the integrity of an academic institution.

STATEMENT OF STUDENT RIGHTS (VOTED BY THE FACULTY APRIL 1987; AMENDED MARCH 1998)

Subject to respect for the rights of others, every student enjoys the assurance of the full exercise of those rights expressed in the Honor Code and the preceding three statements, including but not limited to the following specific rights:

The right to engage in the free exchange of ideas.

The right to protest and to dissent in a peaceable manner and to join with others in other nonviolent forms of common action.

The right to complain of injustice and to bring grievances to the appropriate offices of the College without fear of retaliation.

The right to attend functions and to utilize College facilities subject to prescribed rules.
 
The right to reasonable peace and quiet in residential and academic facilities and to an atmosphere conducive to work and study.

The right to privacy in one's assigned room, subject to compliance with the College's regulations and to the security of one's own property and property furnishing the common and public spaces at the College.

The right, when participating in any aspect of life of the College or traveling among the Five Colleges, to be free from harassment for reasons of one's race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, age, political affiliation and/or belief, sexual orientation, sex, or physical disability.

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Employment Eligibility Verification

I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
List of Acceptable Documents for the I-9 Form

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Disciplinary Action Policy

Rules of Behavior

The following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Theft or any unauthorized possession, removal or attempted removal of College property or the property of other employees.
  • Falsification of job application, resume, time sheet or any other personnel document.
  • Violation of the College's substance abuse or drug-free workplace policy.
  • Gambling on College premises or while on working time, whether on or off College premises.
  • Fighting or threatening violence in the workplace.
  • Threatening, intimidating or coercive behavior, abusive or vulgar language or any other language or conduct that interferes with the performance of other employees.
  • Disruptive activity in the workplace.
  • Violation of the policy against sexual harassment.
  • Possession of a weapon or any other unauthorized item, such as firecrackers, that could pose a risk to the safety of others.
  • Excessive absenteeism or absence of three days or more without notice.
  • Insubordination (including, for example, any refusal to comply with instructions or to carry out work assignments) or lack of cooperation, whether in language or conduct.
  • Unauthorized use of College materials, time, equipment or other property.
  • Violation of College or departmental policies.

Disciplinary Action Policy

In general, discipline for employees is applied in progressive steps as follows:

  1. Oral warning
  2. Written warning
  3. Final written warning, suspension and/or disciplinary probation
  4. Termination of employment

The nature of the offense and the particular circumstances determine whether or not all or any of the steps in the above sequence are followed. Disciplinary steps may be omitted or repeated, as the College determines appropriate.

The purpose of disciplinary measures short of termination is corrective, to encourage employees to improve their conduct or performance so that they may continue their employment with the College. The College expects all employees to behave in a mature and responsible manner and to perform their jobs conscientiously, without the need of disciplinary action. These corrective disciplinary measures will not apply in the event of any offense that the College determines to warrant immediate termination of employment or in other circumstances when the College determines that corrective measures would be ineffectual or otherwise inappropriate.

Oral Warnings

If an employee is given an oral warning, the employee is informed of the warning by his or her manager. The warning is also recorded by the manager in writing and the record is placed in the employee's personnel file.

Written Warnings

If an employee is issued a written warning or a final written warning, the manager will meet with the employee to discuss the disciplinary action and the employee will be asked to sign the warning. The employee's signature is only an acknowledgment that the employee has been informed of the warning; it does not indicate agreement with the warning. All written warnings are retained in the employee's file.

Disciplinary Probation

An employee may be placed on disciplinary probation for unsatisfactory performance or conduct. An employee placed on disciplinary probation will be given a written notice of probation, which generally provides an explanation of the reason for the action, the length of the probationary period and a plan of corrective action to be successfully completed during the period. The employee's manager will meet with the employee to discuss the terms of the disciplinary probation, and the employee will be asked to sign the notice of probation as an acknowledgment that the employee has been informed of the action. A copy of the notice is retained in the employee's personnel file.

At the conclusion of the probationary period, and from time to time during the period, as appropriate, the employee's manager will meet with the employee to review his or her progress. An employee on disciplinary probation who does not show satisfactory improvement is subject to further disciplinary action at any time, up to and including termination of employment.

Investigative Suspension

A suspension from work may be appropriate when circumstances require an investigation and it does not appear practical, desirable or in the best interests of the College or of the employee for the employee to remain at work during that investigation. An investigative suspension is not itself a disciplinary measure. If, at the conclusion of the investigation, the investigative suspension is not converted to a disciplinary suspension or discharge, the employee will be reinstated and will be paid at his or her normal straight-time rate for all regularly scheduled work missed during the suspension.

Disciplinary Suspension

A disciplinary suspension is a suspension from work without pay for one or more days for a repeated or serious infraction of College rules or policies. A record of the suspension is retained in the employee's personnel file.

Misconduct During the Introductory Period

The disciplinary action policy is not normally applied to new employees during the introductory period. Unsatisfactory performance or any infraction of College rules or policies or other misconduct during this period may result in immediate termination of employment. Introductory employees are not eligible to use the grievance procedure.

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Grievance Policy

In any organization, there will occasionally be conflicts and misunderstandings that require clarification or resolution. Amherst College believes that the best way to resolve problems is to address them fully and fairly. To that end, employees are encouraged to immediately discuss with their supervisor, department head or chair any problem or perceived unfair treatment.

However, if such informal methods do not resolve the problem, a formal, four-step grievance procedure is available. The issues which may be addressed in the procedure are the interpretation and application of the provisions of the handbook, disciplinary actions, terminations, any type of discrimination, and matters related to environmental and work safety conditions at the College. Regular performance reviews are not subject to the grievance procedure. If there is a question as to whether a particular matter is subject to this procedure, the determination will be made by the Director of Human Resources.

Regular employees may use all four steps of the grievance procedure. Procedures for grievances involving discrimination or harassment are explained in Step Two below. Procedures for grievances involving termination of employment are explained in Step Three.

An employee shall not be penalized for using or participating in the grievance procedure in good faith. If a grievance is directed at an individual who is assigned to consider a grievance or appeal under this procedure, the employee may file the grievance or appeal at the next higher step in the procedure.

Step One: Department Supervisor or Chairperson

If informal procedures are not effective in resolving an issue with an immediate supervisor, the employee must, within 10 working days of the event or occurrence which is the subject of the grievance, present the grievance in writing to the department supervisor or chairperson. Failure to file the grievance within the required time limit shall mean that the employee is barred from proceeding further with the grievance. Grievances filed due to sexual harassment are not subject to this 10 day limit.

The department supervisor or chairperson may (but is not required to) meet with the parties involved, including the grievant and any witnesses, to investigate the complaint. He or she will issue a written response to the grievant within 10 days of the filing of the grievance.

Step Two: Director of Human Resources

If the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance at Step One, he or she may appeal in writing to the Director of Human Resources within five working days of receipt of the decision by the department supervisor or chairperson. If the department supervisor or chairperson fails to issue a response within 10 working days, the grievant may immediately appeal to the Director of Human Resources. Failure to file the appeal within the required time limit shall mean that the grievant is barred from proceeding further.

The Director of Human Resources shall try to resolve the matter through the use of fact finding and information gathering, including interviewing the principal parties involved in the matter and any relevant witnesses. The Director shall issue a written decision on the matter within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal.

If the grievance involves alleged discriminatory or harassing treatment of the employee, the College's Special Assistant to the President for Diversity will be involved at Step Two. In such case the Director of Human Resources and the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity shall jointly try to resolve the matter and shall issue a written decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal. If the grievance involves alleged sexual harassment the employee should use the College's Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure.

Step Three: Senior Administrative Officer

If the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance at Step Two, he or she may file an appeal in writing to the appropriate senior administrative officer of the College within five working days of receipt of the Step Two decision. Failure to file the appeal within the required time limit shall mean that the grievant is barred from proceeding further. For purposes of this provision, the senior administrative officers of the College are the Dean of the Faculty, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Advancement Officer, the Dean of Students, and the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. Any appeal at this step should be directed to the officer responsible for the department in which the grievant is employed. When the grievant's responsibilities cross departmental or divisional lines, the Director of Human Resources shall decide to which administrative officer the appeal should be directed.

The senior administrative officer shall review the substance of the grievance, including the information gathered at the Step Two appeal, and at his or her discretion may (but is not required to) meet with the principal parties and relevant witnesses. The officer shall issue a written response to the grievant within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal. Except for grievances involving the termination of employment, the decision of the senior administrative officer shall be final.

Grievances of Employment Termination: An employee who wishes to grieve a decision by the College to terminate his or her employment may initiate a grievance immediately at Step Three. The senior administrative officer will hear the matter and, at his or her discretion, may choose to appoint a three-member panel to hear the facts and offer opinion as to the merits of the grievance. That panel shall be made up of three non-faculty employees, one appointed by the Director of Human Resources, one appointed by the senior administrative officer and the third selected by the other two so appointed. Any opinion issued by this panel shall be deemed advisory only.

Mediation: With the consent of the grievant, the senior administrative officer may refer the matter to mediation prior to deciding the matter. The mediator shall be selected by the College and shall conduct and conclude the mediation within 30 days. If resolution of the matter is not achieved by that time, the mediator will be dismissed and the senior administrative officer shall proceed with a decision on the matter.

Step Four: President of the College

If a grievance involving the termination of employment is not resolved to the satisfaction of the grievant at Step Three, he or she may file an appeal in writing to the President of the College within five working days of receipt of the Step Three decision. Failure to file the appeal within the required time limit shall mean that the grievant is barred from proceeding further. The President shall review the prior record of the grievance and in his or her discretion may (but is not required to) meet with the principal parties and relevant witnesses. The President shall issue a decision to the grievant in writing within 20 working days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the President shall be final.

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Sexual Harassment Policy

Definition of Sexual Harassment

In Massachusetts, the legal definition for sexual harassment is:

Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when

(a) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions;

or

(b) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.

Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment. For purposes of this policy, senior faculty may be considered to be in a supervisory relationship with junior faculty. Faculty of all ranks may also be in a supervisory relationship with staff and students.

The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad. In addition to the examples above, other sexually oriented conduct that, whether intended to be or not, is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work place environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating or humiliating to male or female employees may also constitute sexual harassment.

While it is not possible to list all of the circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct that, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:

      • Unwelcome sexual advances - whether or not they involve physical touching;
      • Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life, comment on an individual's body, comments about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess;
      • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons;
      • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
      • Inquiries into one's sexual experiences;
      • Discussion of one's sexual activities.

All employees should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or who has cooperated with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the College.

Complaints of Sexual Harassment

If any employee believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, the employee has the right to make use of all the established procedures of the College, including the filing of a complaint. This may be done in writing or orally.

Any employee who wishes to file a complaint may do so by contacting the Title IX Coordinator, 79 South Pleasant Street, Suite 200, telephone 542-5707; or the Director of Human Resources, 105-E Converse Hall, telephone 542-2372; or the Dean of the Faculty, 103 Converse Hall, telephone 542-2334. These persons as well as Michael Stephens, Ombudsperson, 117 Valentine Hall, telephone 542-5156 are also available to discuss any concerns an employee may have and to provide information about the College's policy on sexual harassment and its complaint procedures under the employee's applicable Handbook.

Sexual Harassment Investigation

When the College receives notice of conduct, which appears to be sexual harassment, it will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in accordance with the College's customary procedures and in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances and permissible by law. The investigation may, as appropriate, include private interviews with the person filing the complaint, with witnesses, and with the person alleged to have committed sexual harassment. When the investigation is completed the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct will be informed, to the extent appropriate, of the results of the investigation.

Appropriate Response/Disciplinary Action

If it is determined that an employee has been engaged in inappropriate conduct, appropriate action will be taken immediately, using the College's established procedures, to fulfill its obligation under the law to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment. Such action may range from counseling to termination of employment, and may include such other forms of disciplinary action as appropriate under the College's procedures.

State and Federal Remedies

In addition to the above, employees who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may file a formal compliant with either or both of the government agencies below. Using the Colleges' internal complaint process does not prohibit filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a specific time period for filing a claim. The time frame for both the EEOC and the MCAD is 300 days from the date of occurrence.

 

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
1 Congress Street - 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02004
(617) 565-3200
 

 

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
Boston Office: Springfield Office:
One Ashburton Place, Room 601 436 Dwight Street, Room 220
Boston, MA 02108 Springfield, MA 01103
(617) 727-3990 (413) 739-2145

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Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Policy

Amherst College supports an extensive information-technology environment for faculty, staff, students, and other members of the College community. The College's general policies and codes of conduct apply to the electronic environment just as they apply in all other College settings. This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) supplements these existing standards by describing the special rights and responsibilities that attach to use of the College's "E-Resources" (as defined below). The Policy also explains the roles of those charged with maintaining, operating, and overseeing College E-Resources.

The entire community's cooperation helps to ensure that high-quality E-Resources remain available for the many endeavors of the College and its constituents.

Scope

This Policy applies to all persons who access or use the College's E-Resources (referred to in this Policy as "users"), including without limitation the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and guests of:
  • Amherst College,
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library,
  • The Emily Dickinson Museum,
  • Other Five College institutions (Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst), and
  • Five Colleges, Inc.

This Policy applies to all information-technology and other electronic resources of the College ("E-Resources"), including without limitation:

      • All computers, systems, equipment, software, networks, and computer facilities owned, managed, or maintained by the College for the handling of data, voice, television, telephone, or related signals or information;
      • Any access or use of the College's electronic resources from a computer or other system not controlled or maintained by the College; and,
      • The creation, processing, communication, distribution, storage, and disposal of information under the College's control.

In addition, members of the Amherst College community may have access to third-party electronic resources through their affiliation with the College, including the resources of other Five College institutions (Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst), of Five Colleges, Inc., or of any other contracting party of the College. Use of these resources by members of the Amherst College community is governed by this Policy and any applicable policy or restriction of the third-party provider.

The staff of the Amherst College Information Technology department ("IT Staff") is responsible for the administration of this policy.

Purpose

The College makes E-Resources available to support its academic and administrative goals, and uses of E-Resources to advance those goals take precedence over all others.

Within the College community, each person will have differing purposes for using and accessing E-resources; however, each person also has a shared responsibility to utilize those E-resources appropriately and to protect the resources from unauthorized access or use.

Authorized Uses


E-Resources may be used only for the purposes authorized by the College. These purposes generally comprise work, study, research, service, or student residential activities consistent with the College's mission and priorities.

Amherst recognizes that many users participate in outside academic and professional activities that naturally complement the users' on-campus commitments and enhance their contributions to the College. For example, faculty and staff are active in learned societies, professional associations, academic conferences, the preparation of scholarly publications, and other educational institutions' tenure or departmental reviews, occasionally with incidental compensation. Use of E-Resources in connection with such activities is generally acceptable as long as the activities are otherwise consistent with Amherst's mission and policies. The College also acknowledges that limited personal use of E-Resources is compatible with the type of community that the College fosters in support of its broader goals. Such personal use, except by enrolled Amherst students, must be incidental at most and may not cause the College to incur additional costs. Above all, use of E-Resources for outside or personal purposes is always a privilege, not a right, and may not interfere with use for College purposes.

All use of E-Resources must comply with:

      • all College policies, procedures, and codes of conduct, including those found in the student, faculty, and employee handbooks;
      • all laws and regulations applicable to the user or the College; and,
      • all relevant licenses and other contractual commitments of the College, as modified from time to time.

E-Resources may not be used, committed, or made available, without prior authorization of the Chief Information Officer in consultation with the Dean of the Faculty and the Treasurer, for:

      • any ongoing business or other commercial activity not administered by the College;
      • the benefit of persons or organizations other than the College; or
      • political or lobbying activities unless approved by the Office of Public Affairs.

The College has sole authority to determine what uses of E-Resources are proper and may prohibit or discipline use deemed inconsistent with this Policy or other applicable standards of conduct.

Email

The College may send official correspondence to members of its community via electronic mail. Students, faculty, and staff, are expected to check their @amherst.edu email account regularly and are responsible for College information sent there. College employees are expected to use their Amherst College email account for all College-related communications. If a student elects to forward his/her @amherst.edu email to another email account, the student remains responsible for any material not received because of any defect in the forwarding mechanism or the destination account.

Accounts and Access Restrictions

User IDs and passwords are the primary method used to authenticate users of the College's E-Resources. They help prevent unauthorized access to E-Resources or any restricted information found within them. Users may not share their passwords with any other person and must protect them from disclosure by, for example, changing them regularly, monitoring access to their accounts, and contacting the College's IT Staff if they suspect their passwords have been compromised. Users may be held responsible for all activity conducted using their IDs. Users must select strong passwords (meaning passwords composed of a mix of at least eight numbers, letters, and symbols and not including a word commonly found in a dictionary, or as required by the system at the time of creation). No person, including any member of the IT Staff, is authorized to request any user's password.

All users must protect the College's E-Resources from unauthorized access. Specifically, all users must:

      • Take responsibility for the security and integrity of information stored on any personal or assigned desktop, laptop, or handheld system;
      • Take care to access E-Resources only from secure environments and to log out of sessions before leaving any computer unattended;
      • Take all appropriate precautions when accessing confidential or restricted College data to protect the data from unauthorized disclosures and from threats to its accuracy or integrity;
      • Comply with requests from the IT Staff and other authorized personnel to cease use of E-Resources that compromises the E-Resources or the College; and,
      • Cooperate with system administrators during investigations of improper use.
And, without authorization, no user may:
  • Extend the network by introducing a hub, switch, router, wireless access point, or any other service or device that permits more than one device to connect to any College network;
  • Provide any other person with E-Resources or access to them;
  • Send e-mail chain letters or mass mailings for purposes other than authorized College business;
  • Alter, remove, or forge email headers, addresses, or messages, or otherwise impersonate or attempt to pass oneself off as another;
  • Obtain E-Resources beyond those allocated to the user, seek or gain access to data or user accounts for which the user is not authorized, or eavesdrop or intercept transmissions not intended for the user;
  • Use the College's Internet or other network access in a malicious manner or to alter or destroy any material which the user is not authorized to alter or destroy;
  • Tamper with, modify, damage, alter, or attempt to defeat restrictions or protection placed on accounts or any E-Resources; or
  • Damage computer or network systems; create or intentionally introduce or propagate computer viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, or other malicious code to any E-Resource; attempt to degrade the performance of the system or to deprive authorized users of E-Resources or access to E-Resources.
Copyright and other Intellectual Property

Users must respect intellectual-property rights, including copyrights, in all use of College E-Resources. All use of content, including text, images, music, and video, retrieved from E-Resources or stored, transmitted or maintained using E-Resources, must comply with copyright and other applicable laws. Copied material, used legally, must be given attribution in conformance with applicable legal and professional standards.

Software may be copied, installed, or used on College E-Resources only as permitted by the software's owner or authorized licensor and by law. Proprietary software must be properly licensed, and users must strictly adhere to all applicable license provisions (including those concerning installation, use, copying, and the number of simultaneous users).

Respect for Others


Users must honor the rights of others to privacy, academic freedom, and freedom from harassment. Users may not use E-Resources to threaten or harass any person or to create a hostile place to work or study. In particular, users must honor others' requests for the user to stop sending unwanted communications of any kind.

Users may not do anything to interfere inappropriately with others' use of E-Resources, including by consuming E-Resources in excess.

Users' Expectation of Privacy

The College recognizes the importance of privacy in an academic setting and does not routinely monitor a current user's email, data, software, or other online activity. There are limited circumstances, however, in which the College may access, monitor, limit and/or disclose a user’s communications or other data on eResources without the user’s permission. These circumstances include the following:

  • To maintain the integrity of its systems, network or data;
  • When required by federal, state or local law, administrative rules, court order or other legal authority;
  • To preserve the health and safety of individuals or the Amherst College community;
  • When there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of law or a significant breach of College policy may have taken place and access, inspection or monitoring may produce evidence related to the possible misconduct; or
  • To address a legitimate business need.

Such College access to a user’s communications or other data on eResources without the user’s permission will occur only with the approval of the President or Provost and the Dean of the Faculty (for faculty), Director of Human Resources (for administrators and staff) or Dean of Students (for students). In cases of emergency where necessary to preserve the integrity of the system, comply with laws or other legal authority, or preserve health and safety, the College may access, monitor, limit and/or
disclose a user’s communications or other data on eResources without seeking the above-described
permission. In that instance, the Chief Information Officer or designee will log any emergency access for
review by the President or Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Director of Human Resources or Dean of
Students, as the case may be.

Finally, the College cannot guarantee the security of those eResources against unauthorized access or
disclosure.

Oversight of E-Resources

Authorized employees of the College, including the IT Staff charged with the daily administration of the College's E-Resources, may:
  • Take all reasonable steps necessary to preserve the availability and integrity of E-Resources, including blocking any user's access to E-Resources;
  • Reject or destroy e-mail messages, e-mail attachments, and other files suspected of being spam or containing malicious code, such as viruses and worms;
  • Exercise administrative authority over networks, systems, or software in order to grant users access to read, write, edit, or delete information in files or databases, to establish security controls and protection for information and E-Resources, or to address claims that intellectual-property or other rights have been violated;
  • Employ a variety of security monitoring devices and tools to identify misuse or unauthorized use of E-Resources;
  • With the approval of the Chief Information Officer or the Director of Systems and Networking, temporarily shut off the College's Internet connection, servers, or services, without prior notice, in order to protect College systems, data, and users or to protect other important interests of the College;
  • Temporarily or permanently terminate users' use of E-Resources to investigate or remedy any threat to E-Resources or violation of this Policy; and,
  • Exercise administrative rights over certain E-Resources, if those rights are delegated by the IT Staff.


Disclaimers

The E-Resources and anything accessible on or through them are made available "as is" and "as available."  The College makes no guarantee that any E-Resource will be free of objectionable matter, errors, defects, bugs, viruses, worms, "Trojan horses," or other destructive features. The College is not responsible for any harm arising from E-Resources or users' reliance on them, nor is it responsible for any third-party content accessed using College E-Resources, including content made available by another College user or any third party.

This Policy is not a complete statement of the College's rights or remedies, and nothing in this Policy waives any of those rights or remedies, including any rights in or to the E-Resources.

Changes to this Policy


The College reserves the right to change this Policy at any time. The College will post the most up-to-date version of the Policy on the College web site and may, in its discretion, provide users with additional notice of significant changes. A user's continued use of any E-Resources after any changes are published binds the user to the revised Policy.

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Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

The provisions of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 require Amherst College, as a recipient of federal financial aid and grants and contracts, to adopt and implement programs to prevent the use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs and unlawful use of alcohol by employees and students.  An annual communication piece is required to reemphasize the provisions of the Act and reiterate the College policies regarding maintaining a drug-free workplace. In keeping with the requirements of this amendment, we review our alcohol and other drug policies, programs, and services every two years. A copy of the biennial review is available upon request.

Health Effects and Resources for Help

Drug addiction is a dependence on an illegal drug or a medication. When you're addicted, you may not be able to control your drug use and you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. The use of drugs can cause problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, leaving you feeling isolated, helpless, or ashamed.  Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychological, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal, and is characterized by impaired control over drinking, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortion in thinking, most notably denial.  

Please visit our e4 Health webpage to learn more about drug and alcohol abuse, its effects, symptoms and help to deal with the addiction.  A quick search with the keywords “alcohol” or “drugs” will provide you a list of links with information and resources, including articles, guides, videos, and more.  Please visit e4 health

Username:  Amherst College

Password:  guest

The College is committed to providing a drug-free, healthy, and safe environment for all faculty and staff.  Employees who need help with substance abuse problems and co-workers/family members of substance abusers are encouraged to use the services provided by our Employee Assistance Program, available through Lifescope at 800-828-6025.  Our Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans also provide resources and benefits to help cope with substance abuse related problems, at 877-586-2583.  Additional support and assistance is available through local 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous at 413-532-2111, or Narcotics Anonymous at 866-624-3578.  All contacts with these providers and organizations are strictly confidential.

College Sanctions

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance, and the unlawful possession or use of alcoholic beverages on campus is prohibited.  If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken and sanctions imposed.  The sanctions available to the College include warning, probation, suspension, or termination of employment or referral to government authority for prosecution.  The College may require satisfactory completion of an appropriate drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program before reinstatement or continued employment.

Federal, State and Local Sanctions

Legal penalties for violation of applicable local, state, or federal laws range from probation and forfeiture of property to fines and imprisonment. For example, the sanctions against an individual for distribution of, or possession with intent to distribute, controlled substances can be from a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment to a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines up to $4 million. Sanctions can increase for repeat offenders or for offenses resulting in death or serious bodily harm and can be doubled for each of the following occurrences: distribution to persons under 21 years of age, distribution within 1,000 feet of a college or university or employing someone under 18 in the distribution. Attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime can be treated as severely as the intended offense. As of Sept. 1, 1989, conviction for violation of any state or federal drug law can lead to ineligibility for any federal benefit (including grants and loans).

For additional details regarding sanctions under federal law, see: http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ftp3.shtml.

For additional details regarding sanctions under Massachusetts law, see:

Please visit the following link to familiarize yourself with the College’s alcohol and drug policy:

https://www.amherst.edu/offices/human_resources/policies/drugsalcoholpolicystandalone

It is important to note that any person who violates the College’s Drug and Alcohol Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  Please take the time to review the act and the College policies in the link provided, and contact us at ext. 2372 if you have questions.

 

Amherst College Conflict of Interest Policy

1. Policy

This policy covers all members of the Board of Trustees and honorary trustees that participate in board and committee meetings, Officers and certain employees (as determined by the Conflict of Interest Review Committee, described in Section 3) of Amherst College (the “College”). Further, it is intended to serve as a guide to all persons employed by the College, regardless of position.

Trustees and others with significant responsibilities for the College have a fiduciary duty of loyalty to the College. At all times they should act in a manner consistent with this fiduciary obligation and shall exercise particular care that no detriment to the interests of the College (or the appearance of such detriment) may result from a conflict between those interests and any personal interests which the individual may have.

Conflicts of interest may arise, for example, through the ownership, direct or indirect, of a financial or other interest (including that of a creditor or debtor) in an organization supplying goods or services to the College; the performance of services to other organizations which do business with the College; the receipt or acceptance of benefits from any organization doing, or seeking to do business with the College; or participation in or taking advantage of any business opportunity or activity in which the College has an interest. Employees covered by this policy are expressly prohibited from using their employment position to gain favorable or preferential access to vendors, investment advisors, or organizations for their own benefit.

2. Disclosure

All individuals covered by this policy shall complete and file a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement with the Secretary of the Board of Trustees (the “Secretary”) annually. In order to aid in completing the statement, the College will prepare a list of certain companies that had transactions with the College in the prior year and a list of investments held at the end of the fiscal year.

In the period between the filing of the annual statements, if an individual covered by this policy believes that he or she may have a conflict of interest with respect to this policy or any particular transaction, he or she shall promptly and fully disclose the potential conflict to the Secretary and shall refrain from participating in any transactions or decisions of the College that may be impaired by the potential conflict until its review and conclusion by the Conflict of Interest Review Committee.

The College is aware that it may not be possible to completely avoid all relationships between those individuals covered by this policy and certain third parties that the College transacts with. One of the keys to evaluating the potential conflict is full disclosure. No Trustee, Officer or employee shall be disqualified from holding office by reason of any interest.

3. Disclosure Review

The Secretary will accumulate all disclosure statements and furnish them to the Conflict of Interest Review Committee. This three-member committee is comprised of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Chairman of the Audit Committee and a Trustee to be named by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Secretary will be responsible for ensuring compliance by the full population covered by this policy and report to the Conflict of Interest Review Committee those individuals failing to furnish an annual statement.

4. Conflict Resolution

In all instances where the Conflict of Interest Review Committee determines that a conflict of interest does exist, such conflicts, and their remedy, shall be disclosed to the Board of Trustees at the next meeting. The Conflict of Interest Committee will report to the Board at least annually in any case.

In general, when those covered by this policy are deemed to be in a conflict of interest situation with respect to any matter before the Board or administration, that individual shall refrain from participating in the consideration of any proposed transaction which may be impaired by the potential conflict, unless specifically requested to provide information regarding the transaction in question. Such person shall not vote on or take any position for or against the proposed transaction. When deemed appropriate, a notification shall be made in the minutes of the meeting that the person involved neither participated in the consideration of the proposed transaction nor voted on the matter.

5. Confidentiality

The individual disclosure statements shall be held confidential by the Secretary and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee. The statements shall be open for inspection by the public only: (a) by official action of the Board of Trustees upon showing of good cause; (b) with the consent of the person who submitted the data which is to be disclosed; (c) by court order; or (d) as otherwise required by Massachusetts or federal law or regulation.

Note: If there are any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Comptroller at extension 2101.

 

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

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