Academic Catalog

2019-2020

Staff Benefit Programs

General

The staff benefit portion of Denison's total compensation program is divided into two categories: (1) those mandated by Local, State, or Federal legislation, and (2) those authorized by the Denison University Board of Trustees.

Programs under the authority of the Board of Trustees are subject to periodic review by the Board and may be amended at the Board's discretion. This provision recognizes, among other things, that financial and other circumstances over a period of years may make the continuation of certain portions of the programs either impractical or not in the general best interest of the University.

All benefits plan documents and reports are available on MyDenison, under the HR and Employees tab.

Domestic Partner - Definition

A domestic partner is a person who the employee has a sole relationship with, intends to remain in the relationship indefinitely, is of the same sex as the domestic partner, and neither the employee nor the domestic partner is married.

An employee wishing to designate a domestic partner must complete an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, available in the Office of Human Resources.

Benefits Required by Law

Social Security / Medicare

Denison employees are covered under the Federal Social Security Program (FICA). Participation is required and a deduction required by law is made with a matching contribution by the University.

Workers - Compensation

The Workers' Compensation Law of Ohio covers each employee of the University. This law covers medical expenses as well as certain losses of compensation resulting from work-related injuries or illnesses. Denison pays all premiums connected with this benefit. Any work related injury or illness must be reported immediately to your supervisor. Also see On the Job Accidents, page 46.

Unemployment Compensation

An employee who is released from employment through no fault of his/her own may be eligible to receive unemployment compensation. Eligibility and the amount of compensation paid is determined by the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services. Denison pays the full cost of unemployment insurance.

Denison Benefits Authorized by Board of Trustees

Comprehensive Health Insurance

Full-time employees, as defined in this handbook, are eligible for health insurance with cost sharing by Denison. Part-time employees working fifteen (15) or more hours per week may be covered by health insurance but have to pay the total premium.

The Comprehensive Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides for continued participation in the group health plan for a limited number of months when there is a loss of coverage by the employee and/or dependents. The Office of Human Resources will provide information about this program. Please see When You Leave Denison, page 58 for information about health insurance after retirement.

Group Life

This benefit is available to full-time employees as defined in this handbook. This is a term life insurance program; a benefit is payable only when death occurs. The benefit amount is 1.5 times budgeted salary. Denison pays the entire premium.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This benefit is available to full-time employees as defined in this handbook. This plan provides a death benefit and scheduled payments for dismemberment caused directly and inclusively by external and purely accidental means. The benefit amount is 1.5 times budgeted salary for accidental death. Denison pays the entire premium.

Business Travel Accident Policy

Full and part-time employees are covered under the Business Travel Accident policy.

Employees are covered for $200,000 in case of accidental death while traveling on Denison business. Denison pays the full premium for this benefit. Policy details are governed by the plan document.

Long-term Disability Insurance

This program provides a monthly income benefit in the case of total disability.

This benefit is available to active full-time employees as defined in this handbook. An employee must complete one year of service to be eligible, unless s/he qualifies for a waiver under the program. Rehired employees must complete one year of full-time service from their date of rehire. Denison pays the entire premium.

Short-term Disability Policy

(Effective July 1, 2011)

This Short-Term Disability Policy provides for partial pay continuation for specific time periods to eligible employees for qualifying leaves due to non-work-related illnesses or injuries.

The effective date of the Short-Term Disability Policy is July 1, 2011. This policy will apply to applicable leaves which begin on or after July 1, 2011. It is the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources to interpret and administer this policy. Further, this policy is subject to, in its sole discretion, review, modification, and termination by the Denison Board of Trustees.

These provisions apply to all supportive operating staff employees who are classified as regular full-time benefit eligible employees. Additionally, employees must have worked for the college for three months prior to disability to qualify for the short-term disability benefit coverage.

Benefit Provisions

  1. Eligible employees must be off work for ten consecutive work days (i.e. the waiting period) before short-term disability benefit payments begin. Therefore, the benefit will begin on the eleventh work day the employee is off work due to the disability.
  2. Eligible employees must use accumulated sick days, if available, to be paid the first ten consecutive work days (i.e. the waiting period) of the disability.
  3. After the waiting period, eligible employees will qualify to receive a short-term disability benefit equal to 80% of their regular budgeted weekly earnings from their primary position.
  4. Eligible employees are required to use accumulated sick time to cover the 20% gap between the short-term disability benefit and 100% of weekly earnings. If an employee uses all accumulated sick time, then the short-term disability benefit will continue at 80% of weekly earnings.
  5. The maximum duration of the short-term disability benefit, which includes the waiting period, is 26 weeks.
  6. Eligible employees must complete a short-term disability application to apply for this benefit.
  7. Eligible employees must provide a physician certification documenting the disability prior to the short-term disability benefit being paid. The physician certification should be provided two weeks prior to the disability begin date or as soon as practicable.
  8. In the case where a return-to-work date is not provided, short-term disability may need to be monitored and approved on an ongoing basis. The employee may not return to work until she or he has medical certification to do so.
  9. Recovery from surgery that is purely cosmetic, non-reconstructive and not medically necessary is also excluded from coverage under short-term disability.
  10. The College has the right to collect any short-term disability payments made for any time period when the employee is no longer disabled, and could have returned to work. This may arise when the employee’s return-to-work date differs from the medical certification return-to-work date.
  11. Employees on an approved short-term disability leave are eligible for any holidays falling during the disability which are recognized by the College.
  12. This benefit policy will be updated periodically, as needed.

Interaction With Other Policies

This short-term disability benefit will be coordinated with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy. Essentially, if the short-term disability also qualifies for an FMLA leave then the requirements of both programs and policies will have to be met by the eligible employee. It will be common for a short-term disability benefit and FMLA leave to run concurrently.

Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions Program

This benefit provides a tax-advantages program to invest and accumulate assets to help meet future retiree medical expenses for full time Supportive Operating Staff hired after June 30, 1993, through the Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions program. Eligibility for university contributions begins at age 40 and continues for up to 25 years. All full-time staff members, including staff hired prior to July 1, 1993, may make voluntary contributions beginning at age 21.

Core Retirement Plan

Employees regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 1000 hours per year, who are at least 21 years of age, and who have completed 12 consecutive months of service (unless employee meets waiver criteria), are eligible to participate in the University core retirement plan.

Denison contributes an amount equal to 10% of budgeted salary (15% of salary above social security base) for all employees who meet the above requirements. Employees have immediate vesting rights to the retirement contributions. Employees will be notified by the Office of Human Resources of their date of eligibility and enrollment procedures.

Supplemental Retirement Annuity Option

All members of the Supportive Operating Staff are eligible to participate in a tax-deferred (or tax- sheltered) annuity program on the first day of the month following the date of employment.

Under this option, staff members may, through a properly drawn salary reduction agreement, divert part of their salary on a tax-deferred basis to the purchase of supplemental retirement annuity benefits.

Dental Insurance

Two dental plans are available to full-time employees, either as part of their healthcare plan choice or as a voluntary plan. Part-time employees working at least 15 hours per week can enroll in one of the 2 programs as well and pay the entire premium.

Health Care Spending Account

Full and part-time employees are eligible to participate in the Health Care Spending Account.

Employees can direct part of their pay into the Health Care Spending Account. Employees do not pay federal, state or social security taxes on the amount of pay directed into this account. Employees reimburse themselves from this account for out-of-pocket healthcare, dental, or vision expenses. There is a 90-day waiting period from date of hire before participation can begin. Please refer to the summary plan description for further plan details, rules, and limitations.

Dependent Care Spending Account

Full and part-time employees are eligible to participate in the Dependent Care Spending Account.

Employees can direct up to $2,500 or $5,000, depending on their circumstances, from their pay into the Dependent Care Spending Account. Employees do not pay federal, state or social security taxes on the amount of pay directed into this account. Employees reimburse themselves from this account for childcare or elder care expenses. Please refer to the summary plan description for further plan details, rules, and limitations.

Adoption Assistance Program

The adoption assistance program, effective January 1, 2000, pays, upon finalization of a legal adoption, up to $5,000 per adopted child to eligible faculty and staff for adoption related expenses.

Any full-time, continuing faculty or staff member is eligible for this program. If both adoptive parents are university employees, the benefit maximum may not exceed $5,000 per child. Adoption children must be under 18 years of age. They may not be biologically related to either parent. Adoptions made through public, private, domestic, international and independent means are eligible.

For further details, please see the complete policy on file in the Office of Human Resources.

Emergency Assistance Program

Purpose

The Emergency Assistance Program exists to provide, when needed, interim assistance between short-term sickness or injury and eligibility for benefits under the long-term disability insurance program. The program provides emergency financial assistance in the form of a grant to full-time members of the Supportive Operating Staff in situations where Acts of God1 , extended illness2 , and other catastrophic events result in a loss of work beyond sick leave and vacation time available, including the possibility of donated leave under the leave donation program. Assistance is limited to expenses not covered by insurance programs offered by Denison University. This program is not intended to provide assistance in cases resulting from disciplinary action or any reduction in the workforce.

Size of Grant

The maximum of any grant shall not exceed sixty (60) percent of the regular and budgeted weekly salary for a member of the Supportive Operating Staff up to a maximum period of 180 days inclusive of available sick leave days and vacation3 . Funds payable under the grant are not guaranteed but rather are based on the level of normal financial need.

Administration

The Director of Human Resources is responsible for the administration of the program.

Parental Leave Policy

(Effective May 1, 2011)

Full-time employees eligible for benefits, who have been actively working for one full year, are eligible for up to six (6) weeks of paid parental leave. Paid parental leave may begin upon the birth or adoption of a child of the employee. Generally, parental leave must be taken together in one block of time (e.g. an employee should take 6 consecutive weeks off work). Parental leave schedules must be approved in advance in writing by the Director of Human Resources and the divisional Vice President. This leave must be used within the first year of the child's life. Parental leave is coordinated with family and medical leave and therefore may count toward the employee's allotted 12 weeks of family and medical leave.

The College should be notified as soon as possible of the employee's need for a parental leave and of the specific period during which the employee expects to be absent. The employee must complete the Parental Leave Application form. If both parents are employed at Denison, the options are: 1) only one parent can elect to use the parental leave benefit; or 2) the parents can split the parental leave benefit of six weeks between them.

The scheduling of an unpaid leave of absence, in conjunction with a parental leave, will fall under the provisions of the FMLA leave and/or the College's policy on leave without pay. Scheduling vacation time, in conjunction with a parental leave, will fall under the provisions of the College's policy on vacations.

The birth or adoption must take place on or after May 1, 2011. This policy is subject to review, modification, and/or termination by the Board of Trustees.

Employee Education

(Effective March 1, 2017)

Full-time supportive operating staff employees, as defined at Definition of Supportive Operating Staff, page 4, may take two academic courses per semester at Denison for credit or audit on a space available basis after successful completion of the ninety (90) day introductory period.

The first course may be taken during the staff member's normal working hours; however, time away from the job must be made up by adjusting the work schedule as appropriate. The second course must be taken outside the regular work schedule (i.e. 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.). The lunch period is part of the regular work schedule and therefore cannot be used to take a second course. However, if an employee reaches a point of having earned 111 credit hours (16 short of satisfying graduation requirements) then s/he may take up to 2 courses each semester even if both courses fall within the 8:30 am to 4:30 pm normal office hours of the college. This exception is limited to one year and provides employees with a special level of support in recognition of his/her commitment to earning a degree.

A special approval procedure is required for directed study courses. The Registrar's Advisory Board must approve directed study courses for employees. Fundamentally, the employee education benefit is offered on a space available basis and is not meant to add to the workload of the faculty. A directed study course for employees is possible under unusual circumstances but is discouraged. Employees seeking to take a directed study course need to send a written request to the Office of Human Resources for review by the Registrar's Advisory Board.

Part-time supportive operating staff employees may take one course per semester at Denison after successful completion of the ninety (90) day introductory period. Part-time employees are required to take this course outside of their regularly scheduled working hours.

Regular admission procedures apply, and prior approval by the department head is necessary. All classes must be registered with the Registrar's office. Employees interested in this benefit must discuss it in detail with their supervisor and the Director or Associate Director of Human Resources prior to enrollment.

Off Campus Courses

Off-campus or continuing education to become better qualified to perform your duties is recognized as part of your growth at Denison. Every effort is made to assist the employee in participating in such education. For courses to be covered under this section, offcampus courses taken without seeking a degree must be work-related, and, courses, whether work-related or not, taken as a requirement for a work-related degree (refers to major area of study), are covered. Courses must be taken at approved institutions of learning.

Additionally, Denison will support staff in the cost of such education in one of two ways: 1) tuition can be refunded to employees upon achievement of a grade C or better of prior approved courses of study; or 2) Denison will provide an upfront loan for prior approved courses of study to cover the cost of tuition, with a repayment period of between 12 and 24 months for any course not receiving a grade C or better. Further, loans will be forgiven, with a grade C or better, effectively reimbursing the employee for the cost of tuition. Up to two courses per semester will be considered under this section. Only tuition is paid or refunded; Denison does not pay for any other charges. Official grade reports, regardless of payment option chosen, must be provided to substantiate payment or loan forgiveness. Time lost in attendance at off-campus training programs, if applicable, must be made up by adjustments in the work schedule. Overtime pay is not authorized for education. Denison reserves the right in its sole discretion to limit participation each fiscal year based on total cost of providing benefits.

Employees interested in this benefit must discuss it in detail with their supervisor and the Director or Associate Director of Human Resources prior to enrollment.

Educational Benefits for Employee's Dependents - General

(Effective May 1, 2015)

The Board of Trustees of Denison University has made available to spouses, same-sex domestic partners (herein referred to as domestic partners), and dependent children of full-time employees, as defined on the section called "Definition of Supportive Operating Staff", of the section called "Definition of Supportive Operating Staff", an educational assistance program.

Dependent children for this benefit are defined as son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, legally adopted child of employee, or foster child (living with the employee the entire year and providing the employee has been declared legal guardian and is providing 50% support). Unless a decree of divorce, decree of dissolution of marriage, decree of separate maintenance, or the law provides to the contrary, dependent children must be claimed as dependents on the employee's federal income tax return.

A spouse is defined as the person to whom an employee is legally married according to Ohio law. A domestic partner must be documented through an affidavit of domestic partnership available in the Office of Human Resources.

A child receives benefits for eight (8) semesters or twelve (12) academic quarters. The program applies only toward undergraduate studies at accredited colleges or universities. The program terminates upon separation from Denison except in the case of the death or total disability of an employee who has been employed on a full-time continuous basis for seven (7) years or longer and meets other program requirements. Eligibility also continues for employees who retire under the terms of one of Denison's official retirement plans. Contact the Office of Human Resources for details.

For purposes of determining eligibility for employees hired or rehired July 1, 2011 or later, the following prior service credit rule will apply: for the tuition-free program at Denison, the GLCA exchange program, and the tuition cash assistance program, employees will be allowed to receive up to five years of credit toward the five year waiting period for full-time continuous service at an institution of higher education as long as the prior service occurred immediately prior to the full-time employment date at Denison. Additionally, eligible faculty and staff hired or rehired prior to July 1, 2011 who are not already eligible under the prior waiting period rules, will be eligible for prior service credit according to the same rule as described above. For questions, please contact Office of Human Resources.

Tuition-Free Scholarship at Denison

(Effective May 1, 2015)

Spouses, domestic partners, and children of full-time employees, with no limit on the number of children, are eligible for full tuition remission at Denison.

The following conditions apply:

  1. For employees hired or rehired prior to July 1, 2011, children are eligible after the employee has completed one (1) year of continuous full-time employment immediately prior to the beginning of the academic semester of the child's enrollment at Denison. For employees hired or rehired July 1, 2011 or later, children are eligible after the employee has completed five (5) years of service based on the adjusted date of service (see “Rehiring Former Employees” for definition) immediately prior to the beginning of the academic semester of the child's enrollment at Denison.
  2. Admission to Denison is not guaranteed for dependents. They must meet normal university admission standards. While this is the case, dependent children will be given full and careful consideration.
  3. All students attending Denison under the provisions of this program are subject to the normal academic and administrative regulations of the University.
  4. Spouses and domestic partners are eligible after the employee has completed the 90-day introductory period.
  5. A spouse or domestic partner who does not have a baccalaureate degree shall be able to take two courses per semester, for credit or audit, on a space available basis and upon approval from the faculty member. A spouse or domestic partner admitted to the college may take a full course load (see number 3 and 4 above).
  6. A spouse or domestic partner that has a degree shall be eligible to take one course per semester on a space available basis, either for credit or audit, for no more than eight (8) semesters. Under unusual circumstances, the staff member may petition to waive the one course limitation for a spouse or domestic partner. 

Tuition-Free Scholarship Cash Assistance Awards Elsewhere

(Effective May 1, 2015)

This program applies to employees' children in attendance at schools other than Denison.

To be eligible for this benefit, an employee must be full-time (see definition of Administrative Staff), with the salary or wages funded from the University's Operating Budget. Additionally, the waiting period for an eligible employee who was hired or rehired prior to July 1, 2011 is two (2) years of continuous full-time employment prior to the academic semester. For employees hired or rehired July 1, 2011 or later, children are eligible after the employee has completed five (5) years of service based on the adjusted date of service (see “Rehiring Former Employees” for definition) immediately prior to the beginning of the academic semester of the child's enrollment at Denison.

Staff members, who were on the Denison payroll prior to February 1, 1974, have a benefit equal to the direct tuition costs, exclusive of any fees, of the admitting college or of Denison, whichever is less.

Staff members on the payroll February 1, 1974, or later receive a four-year benefit not to exceed $3,000 per year or a total of $12,000 over eight (8) semesters or twelve (12) quarters to be applied against tuition of the admitting college or university. The sum of the tuition benefit and any other financial aid specifically designated for tuition only (excluding loans and work) may not exceed the tuition charges of the institution attended.

GLCA Tuition Exchange Program

(Effective May 1, 2015)

For eligible employees who are hired or rehired prior to July 1, 2011, dependent children are eligible to participate in the GLCA Tuition Exchange Program if the eligible employee has one (1) year of continuous full-time employment immediately prior to the beginning of the academic semester of the child’s college enrollment.

For employees hired or rehired July 1, 2011 or later, children are eligible after the employee has completed five (5) years of service based on the adjusted date of service (see “Rehiring Former Employees” for definition) immediately prior to the beginning of the academic semester of the child's enrollment at Denison.

Standard admission procedures apply. The member colleges throughout Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Ohio (OH), Michigan (MI), Pennsylvania (PA) and Wisconsin (WI) are: Grinnell College (IA); DePauw University, Earlham and Wabash College (IN); Albion College, Hope College and Kalamazoo College (MI); Allegheny College (PA); Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wittenberg University, The College of Wooster (OH); Beloit College (WI); and Willamette University (OR). An updated list is maintained in the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition remission may not include tuition for off-campus study programs, sponsored either by GLCA, ACM, or individually by the college the student is attending. Participating students should check with appropriate officials at the college they are attending to determine which fees and off-campus program may be covered by tuition remission.

Denison University does not pay fees for abroad/off-campus programs with the exception of the Denison sponsored Oak Ridge program.

For further information regarding the tuition exchange program, contact the Director of Human Resources.

Activity Cards

The Faculty/Staff Picture Identification Card is issued at the time of employment for the exclusive use of the employee, spouse/guest, domestic partner, and children through age 18 or age 22 if a full-time student. This card serves a dual purpose as an activity card and identification for Denison staff members.

This card enables the holder to attend, without charge, home athletic events. Presentation of this card is required when using the automated library circulation system and all athletic facilities, including swimming and the weight room. The Vail Arts Series, various lectures and theater presentations are also open to employees. There may be a charge for some events. The card provides access to Denison Dollars. This is a prepaid cash account that allows employees to use their card to make purchases on campus.

The card must be returned when the employee's association with Denison ends. Retirees may retain their card and are eligible to retain the privileges of an active employee.

Uniforms

Certain positions at Denison require special uniforms or clothing.

Denison purchases and supplies these items of clothing at no charge to the employee. Required uniforms or clothing must be worn while working unless the department head has made other provisions. All such items must be returned to Denison upon termination of employment. 

Safety Shoe Program

(Effective February 28, 2011)

Non-office personnel working in Facilities Services, residence halls and other areas where potential foot injury could occur are required to wear a substantial work shoe. In some instances, a supervisor may require safety shoes (steel toe) to be worn. Denison participates in a safety shoe cost reimbursement program. Employee working in Facility Services should refer to their department policy for additional information.