2017 - 2018 Administrative Policy Manual Published February 1, 2018 
    
    Jun 22, 2018  
2017 - 2018 Administrative Policy Manual Published February 1, 2018 [ARCHIVED COPY]

Section 8 - Personnel



8.1 Personnel Categories

Reviewed May 26, 2016

8.1.1 Faculty Members

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.1.1.

8.1.1.1 Corps of Instruction

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.1.1.1

8.1.2 Classified Personnel

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.1.2.

 

8.2 General Policies for All Personnel

Reviewed May 26, 2016

8.2.1 Equal Employment Opportunity

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.1. Additionally, GGC has a broader policy. See policy 12.2 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in this manual.

8.2.2 Age Criteria

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.2.

8.2.3 Employment of Relatives

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.3.

8.2.4 Employment of Foreign Nationals

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.4.

8.2.5 Employee Orientation

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.5.

8.2.6 Holidays

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.6.

Georgia Gwinnett College shall establish twelve (12) official paid holidays each calendar year. The actual holidays will be published on the Georgia Gwinnett College website on an annual basis.

These holidays are in addition to earned vacation time. If an employee is required to work on a holiday, that employee will be given another day off as the holiday. If an employee’s regular day off falls on a holiday, he or she will be given another day off as the holiday.

To receive pay for these holidays, an employee must be in a pay status both the day before and the day after the holiday. A terminating employee will not be paid for any official holiday occurring after the last working day of his or her employment.

8.2.7 Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.

8.2.7.1 Vacation/Annual Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.1.

8.2.7.2 Sick Leave with Pay

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.2.

8.2.7.2.1 Shared Sick Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

The purpose of the Shared Sick Leave Program is to provide a means for Georgia Gwinnett College employees to donate accrued sick leave to a pool to be used by fellow GGC employees who are eligible for and require leave while experiencing a life-threatening or emergency medical condition as defined, and which has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay. For questions concerning this policy and for applicable forms, please contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits. Any exceptions to this policy must be submitted to and approved by the Vice President for Business and Finance or her designee.

Applicability

This program applies to all regular, benefit-eligible employees of GGC who earn or accrue sick leave and have completed their provisional employment period with the College.

Definitions

Employee means any regular, benefit-eligible employee of the College who earns or accrues sick leave as a benefit of his/her employment by the College.

Immediate family member means a child, spouse, or parent, but not in-laws.

Leave donor means an employee making a voluntary written request for irrevocable transfer of sick leave to the leave pool. Once leave has been transferred to the leave pool, it may not be used by the donor for any other benefit purposes.

Leave recipient means a current employee who has completed the provisional employment period and for whom the College’s Shared Leave Certification Committee has approved an application to receive leave from the leave pool. The recipient may use donated leave for any purpose authorized under the Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.2 and which meets the definition of life-threatening or emergency medical condition as described below.

Life-threatening or emergency medical condition means a health condition involving a serious, extreme, or life-threatening illness, injury, impairment, or condition of the employee that is likely to require an employee’s absence from duty for a period of time longer than the amount of sick and annual leave available to the employee, and the health condition is such that it is not medically appropriate for the employee to delay the absence in order to accrue additional sick or annual leave prior to the absence. Some examples of such conditions include: advanced or rapidly growing cancers, acute life-threatening illnesses, chronic life-threatening conditions in need of immediate care, life-threatening infections, severe injuries arising from automobile or other serious accidents and severe or life-threatening conditions involving failure of bodily organs or systems (e.g., heart attack). The absence may be continuous, as in hospitalization following surgery or an accident, or intermittent, as in periodic absences for chemotherapy or other procedures.

Leave pool means accumulated sick leave donated by employees to be used in accordance with this policy. A minimum donation of eight (8) hours sick leave per calendar year is required to become a member of the leave pool. Should the donated leave pool reserve drop to less than 40 hours, the pool will be considered depleted. All donors will, in this situation only, and upon notification of the depleted status of the pool, be automatically charged eight (8) hours per donor, unless the donor wishes to withdraw from the program. Leave requests will be honored in the order in which they were placed when the pool is replenished. The automatic charge to replenish the pool may occur only one time per calendar year. Should the pool be depleted a second time in a given calendar year, no further requests for donated leave will be accepted.

Shared Leave Certification Committee means the committee consisting of one staff member from the Office of Payroll and Benefits, one faculty member, and one staff member from a work unit other than the Office of Payroll and Benefits.

8.2.7.2.1.1 Shared Sick Leave Donation of Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Employees will be given the opportunity to donate a specified number of hours of sick leave (in 8 hour increments) from their sick leave accounts to the donated leave pool during the annual Open Enrollment period for benefits by completing a Donor Transfer Certification form. The donated leave will be transferred to the donated leave pool at the same time other benefit elections are effective (normally January 1). An employee who donates leave must retain a minimum of forty (40) hours of personal sick leave in his/her own sick leave account. A participating employee shall not be allowed to donate to the pool any unused or unpaid sick leave from the employee’s personal account at the time of separation from the University System of Georgia, including retirement.

Once an employee has transferred a minimum of 8 hours’ leave into the leave pool, i.e. has become a “member” of the pool, a minimum of 8 hours leave will be automatically transferred during each subsequent yearly benefits open enrollment period.

An employee may opt out of the pool prior to the yearly automatic transfer by informing the office of the Office of Payroll and Benefits in writing. If an employee opts out of the leave pool, the employee will no longer be eligible to apply for donated leave for that year. The employee may re-enroll in a subsequent year during the annual open enrollment period for benefits to become eligible to apply for donated leave.

8.2.7.2.1.2 Shared Sick Leave Eligibility for Benefits

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In order to be eligible to receive donated leave, the employee must:

  • be a member of the donated leave pool;
  • have completed the initial provisional period of employment;
  • provide certification from a licensed physician of a life-threatening or emergency medical condition that is not work related and not covered by Workers Compensation;
  • have exhausted all sick and annual leave (or provide credible medical evidence that he or she will have exhausted all sick and annual leave before the medical condition is resolved);
  • not be eligible for or receiving other benefits (SSI, short-term or long-term disability, workers compensation, retirement benefits, etc.);
  • not be on leave prior to the beginning of the plan year, except where evidence of extraordinary circumstances is presented for consideration.

The employee will continue to accrue sick leave during his/her absence as long as they are paid at least one half of a monthly salary. Accrued leave will be applied to the absence before donated leave is applied.

8.2.7.2.1.3 Shared Sick Leave Application for Benefits

Reviewed May 26, 2016

An eligible employee may request donated leave by completing the Donated Leave Request form, obtaining a completed Physician’s Certification form and submitting these documents to the Shared Leave Certification Committee in care of the Office of Payroll and Benefits. If the employee is not capable of making application on his or her own behalf, a personal representative, having documented power of attorney for the employee, may make written application on behalf of the employee.

Upon request, a potential leave recipient may receive up to 160 hours of donated leave at one time, and may make up to two (2) additional requests for donated leave within a calendar year, for a maximum total of 480 hours per year within a five (5) year period. The requests may be consecutive. Any unused sick leave not used by a recipient will be forfeited and returned back to the donated leave pool.

When a donated leave pool member is eligible for workers’ compensation, unemployment, disability, retirement benefits, etc., he or she shall not be granted sick leave credits.

8.2.7.2.1.4 Shared Sick Leave Termination of Membership

Reviewed May 26, 2016

An employee may withdraw from the pool at any time by completing a new Donor Transfer Certification form, indicating their intent to cancel participation in the Shared Sick Leave Program and submit the form to the Office of Payroll and Benefits. Any leave contributed to the pool prior to the withdrawal shall be forfeited. The employee will no longer be eligible to apply for donated leave after the effective date of their cancellation and will not be able to re-enroll until the next Open Enrollment period.

When a participating employee has used the maximum number of hours for which he or she is eligible, his/her membership in the pool will automatically terminate. The maximum withdrawal amount during a calendar year is 480 hours (12 weeks). To re-enroll, the employee will be subject to the initial enrollment requirements for membership.

8.2.7.2.1.5 Shared Sick Leave Confidentiality

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Any medical information provided to the Shared Leave Certification Committee will remain confidential and will not be shared except with employees in the Office of Payroll and Benefits on a need-to-know basis.

8.2.7.2.1.6 Shared Sick Leave Approval Process

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Each request will be reviewed by the Office of Payroll and Benefits in conjunction with the Shared Leave Certification Committee. The Controller, or his or her designee, will appoint these committee members for a renewable term of one (1) year. The committee member from the Office of Payroll and Benefits or his or her designee will carry out the administrative functions of the committee.

If any member of the Shared Leave Certification Committee is from the potential leave recipient’s department, that committee member will be replaced by an alternate, designated by the Controller.

If any committee member(s) is unavailable to perform the functions of the committee due to illness, vacation, or other reason, or is unable to provide a timely decision for any given applicant, the Controller, or his or her designee(s), will serve as substitute ad hoc member(s) of the committee.

The committee’s decision to approve or disapprove a request for donated leave will be by simple majority vote and may be the result of communication by email, telephone, or other means in lieu of meeting together in one location.

If the request is approved, the Office of Payroll and Benefits will notify the Shared Leave Coordinator (a designated employee within the Office of Payroll and Benefits). The Office of Payroll and Benefits will notify the applicant (or the personal representative who applied on behalf of the employee) within five (5) working days after the date the completed request for donated leave is received by the committee that:

  • the request has been approved; and
  • the employee may begin drawing leave from the pool, and
  • if the employee has entered the status of leave without pay, that the approved donated leave may be substituted retroactively to cover the period of leave without pay.

OR

  • the request has been denied; and
  • the reason for the denial.

8.2.7.2.1.7 Shared Sick Leave Appeal

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Requests which have been denied may be appealed in writing to the Vice President for Business and Finance. A decision of the Vice President represents the final institutional decision of the matter.

8.2.7.3 Sick Leave Without Pay

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.3.

8.2.7.4 Educational and Professional Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.4.

8.2.7.4.1 Educational and Professional Leave for Faculty

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In accordance with Board of Regents (BoR) policy 8.2.7.4 Educational and Professional Leave, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is committed to providing opportunities for educational and professional leave so that faculty may pursue ongoing development as scholars and teachers in support of the mission of the College. Educational and Professional Leave (hereafter referred to as “leave”), for purposes of this policy, is defined as a leave of absence with or without pay provided by the administration for full-time faculty to pursue professional development through research, writing, creative activity, training, and other projects that directly benefit the institution and the academy. During such leaves, faculty members will be free from teaching, student engagement, and institutional service obligations.

Who is eligible?
  • Full-time Faculty (including Library Faculty) at GGC on 3 or 5 year appointments are eligible to apply in September of their sixth year for leave to begin the following year.
What are leave uses and limitations?
  • Uses: Proposals must have a stated outcome that focuses on scholarship and/or faculty development projects that will enhance a faculty member’s teaching, research and/or creative activity, or professional service. Appropriate activities might include, but are not limited to:
    • concentrated research and/or creative activity on a special project, either locally or through travel to another institution or location;
    • working in an applied setting related to professional training;
    • working in a substantial leadership position in a professional organization.
  • Leave can be for one semester or two consecutive semesters.
  • Benefits are allocated according to BoR policy.
  • Time spent on leave will be considered as time in rank for the calculation of years of service towards promotion.
  • Leave means exemption from all GGC activities including but not limited to teaching, student engagement, and institutional service responsibilities during the leave period.
  • Limitations:
    • Leave cannot be used for the express purpose of developing courses for use at GGC.
    • Leave cannot be used to accept a temporary teaching appointment
    • A second leave will not be granted until the sixth year after the end of the previous leave.
    • If the faculty member does not return to GGC at the agreed time he or she must reimburse the institution for all associated costs from salary and benefits.
    • Proposals may be rejected on either logistical grounds (e.g., insufficient funds) or substantive grounds (e.g., proposal was without sufficient merit or failed to meet appropriate criteria. (Please see “Proposal Review” section and Appendix A below.)
What are the individual and institutional obligations?

Institutional Obligations

  • Leave may be one semester with full pay or two consecutive semesters at half-pay. Individuals must work with the Office of Benefits to ensure continuing benefits.
  • As part of faculty professional development, GGC will share past successful leave applications with faculty and provide training and assistance to faculty preparing a leave proposal.
  • There are occasions when all qualified applications for leave cannot be granted because the school cannot fund all faculty members whose applications are found meritorious. Board of Regents policy 8.2.7.4 Educational and Professional Leave explains that “If the employee’s work cannot be handled by other employees and if funds are not available for the employment of a substitute, the president will be justified in refusing to recommend that the leave be granted or in deferring action upon the request for a leave.”
  • If an applicant’s proposal is considered meritorious but is not selected by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost, an explanation for this decision will be provided to the applicant. This explanation will include suggestions for aiding selection in a future round of applications.
  • Any meritorious proposals not accommodated in the initial round of funding will be funded in rank order if additional funding becomes available.

Educational and Professional Leave Committee Obligations

  • The goal of the Leave Committee is to score and rank all leave applications and to decide whether each has merit and should be recommended for leave.
  • Leave Committee members will rank score the proposal and application objectively and consistently using the Appendix A: Faculty Leave Review and Ranking Rubric (Rubric) approved by the GGC Faculty Senate. (See Proposal Review below.)
  • The Leave Committee will prepare a written evaluation of each application. The written evaluation will conclude with a statement of whether the committee finds the proposal meritorious or not. The statement will clearly indicate whether the leave committee recommends or does not recommend awarding leave and why. The committee will submit the evaluations to the appropriate Dean of the school or library
  • The Dean of the School or Library makes final recommendations for leave (including consideration of the logistical practicality of granting the leaves) and forwards the application and review on to the Provost.
  • The Provost determines how many of the top ranked applicants will be granted leave based on the recommendations of the school-level leave committee and the Dean and on logistical practicalities such as financial resources and the school’s ability to cover the responsibilities of the applicants.
  • Each school and the Library will establish an Educational and Professional Leave Committee (Leave Committee) that consists of 3 faculty members elected by their peers.
    • During the fourth week of the spring semester, each school and the Library will make all arrangements for conducting an election to replace the member rotating off the Leave Committee. The election should be conducted promptly. Voting in the election will be by confidential ballot.
    • Full-time faculty at the rank of Associate and Full with 3 or more years of employment at GGC who will not apply for leave during the term to which they would be elected are eligible to serve on the Leave Committee.
    • Each Leave Committee member will serve a 3-year term. Terms are staggered by one year. To establish the first Leave Committee three members will be elected initially with one member serving a 3-year term, one a 2-year term, and one a single year term.
    • A special election will be held to replace Leave Committee members that resign from the committee, vacate their membership due to health or other personal reasons, or are applying for leave themselves.
  • The Leave Committee will maintain confidentiality concerning both the contents of leave applications and the discussion of the applications within the meetings.

Individual Obligations

  • Applicants must notify their Dean by the first Wednesday in September of their intention to submit an application for leave for the following academic year.
  • Upon notification of award of leave, the faculty member must meet with the Dean to assure that normal responsibilities are covered, and with the Director of Benefits make arrangements for continued insurance coverage (including notifying the hosting organization, if any, of such arrangements) and continuing retirement payments by both the individual and the institution.
  • Should leave be awarded pending external funding, the faculty member is responsible for presenting proof of application and funding approval.
What are funded leave completion requirements?
  • All publications and presentations must acknowledge the assistance of GGC.
  • Within 30 days of the start of the Fall or Spring semester in which the faculty member returns, the leave recipient will submit a comprehensive final report to the Provost and the appropriate Dean addressing outcomes/products of the leave with respect to enhanced teaching, research and/or creative activity, and/or professional service.
What is the proposal format?

In order to facilitate and expedite the review of proposals, proposals must be submitted in the following format (i.e., order of content) and explicitly address all specified proposal elements listed below. Proposals that are not consistent with the following formatting instructions may not be considered. The proposal must be paginated.

  1. Cover sheet (see below).
  2. Summary - Provide a short summary of the proposed activities during the leave and resulting outcomes (no more than 300 words, double-spaced).
  3. Narrative (No more than 1500 words, excluding bibliography, double-spaced, 1 inch margins) - The applicant will describe in detail the proposed leave using the following framework and specifically addressing all of the items listed. The reviewing committee is composed of faculty who may not be experts in the applicant’s field of scholarship. Therefore, it is important to write the narrative in clear, direct language. Make it “reader friendly” by eliminating jargon and avoiding acronyms whenever possible.
    1. Project Description
      Provide a clear and documented overview of the rationale, purpose, and outcomes of the proposed leave project. Overview must include:
      • a clear description of the project itself, including rationale, existing knowledge and/or work to date, and methodology.
      • how the project relates to professional development that enhances teaching, research and/or creative activity, and/or professional service, and/or student engagement;
      • measureable outcomes/products for professional development that are a direct result of the project (expected short-term outcomes, i.e., what will be produced at the end of the leave, and long-term outcomes/products related to enhancing teaching, research and/or creative activity, and/or professional service);
      • how the project relates to the strategic goals and mission of the discipline, school, and GGC;
      • a description of any other funds or resources available during the leave (e.g., compensation for employment during the leave). Also, address any plans for collaboration and collaborative goals.
    2. Sustainability
      If leave-related activities will continue after return, provide an action plan and timeline for realistic long-term goals and activities. Identify discipline, school, and/or college support and resources where applicable.
    3. Dissemination
      Provide a plan for disseminating the results of the project through presentations, exhibitions, and/or publications.
  4. Timeline - Provide a timeline that delineates a realistic and achievable project schedule that indicates plans for achieving the desired outcomes/products and the specific activities planned during the leave.
  5. Current Condensed Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) - highlight up to 5 of the most relevant publications to the leave proposal)
  6. Letters of Support:
    The applicant will provide 2 letters of support from those familiar with the leave’s proposed activities (internal and/or external). These letters should complement the proposal by demonstrating a similar outlook on how this leave will contribute to the fields and/or the applicant’s professional development. These letters should also explain why the applicant is uniquely qualified for this particular position. If the applicant is planning to work as a research associate at a colleague’s lab, at a professional organization, or in an applied setting, provide at least one support letter from someone at that setting.
  7. Previous and Current GGC Funding Award
    Please list all GGC internal funding awards received up to this submission.
  8. Outcomes of Past GGC Leaves
    If the applicant has been on leave at GGC, describe the outcomes of most recent past leave. This statement can be based in whole or in part on the report submitted after the leave.
  9. Replacement Budget Funding Statement of Understanding
    When external funding is obtained, include a statement of understanding and proposed use of replacement budget funding signed by the School Dean.
Proposal Review

Leave proposals are reviewed on a competitive basis. The following criteria guide the evaluation and ranking of proposals:

  1. The quality of the proposal and application.

The score on this criterion rates how thoroughly and effectively the applicant has presented the information and materials required in sections I-X of the application for Educational and Professional Leave. This includes considering the extent to which the proposal includes an explicit action plan and timeline that delineates a realistic and achievable schedule of outcomes both during and after the leave.

  1. The contribution the leave will make towards strengthening the faculty member as a scholar and teacher.

This criterion rates the effect of the proposed activities and outcomes on the strength and quality of the faculty member as a teaching scholar. Score is based on both the argument made by the applicant and the judgment of committee members.

  1. The contribution the leave will make towards fulfilling the strategic goals and mission of the faculty member’s discipline, school, and GGC.

This criterion rates the potential of the proposed activities to increase the faculty member’s ability to further the goals of their particular discipline while “promoting a supportive, enhanced learning environment by developing the campus community and empowering students with opportunities for holistic development through a diversity of high quality, student-centered programs and services.”

  1. The practicability of the proposal in light of available resources for the project.

This criterion rates the potential of the faculty member achieving the stated outcomes/products of the project considering the resources available during and after the leave. That includes the practicality of achieving both short-term outcomes, (the results of the project) and the extent to which there are discipline/school and college support and resources to sustain resulting initiatives after the leave. Under this criterion the leave committee should consider the degree to which the applicant achieved the stated goals and outcomes of any previous Educational and Professional Leaves.

  1. The extent to which the applicant has an established record of excellence in teaching, research and/or creative activity, and/or professional service and/or student engagement.

This criterion is rated using the number of years of academic training, work experience, pattern of publications and presentations, service to the profession and to GGC, and record of student engagement. Most of this information is presented in the applicant’s CV and letters of support.

Proposal Questions and Assistance

Because this is a highly competitive program, applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop on preparing a leave application. If there are questions concerning the application process, contact the relevant Dean or the Chair of the relevant Educational & Professional Leave Committee.

Notification of Applicants

Notification of funding decisions are sent by the Provost’s office to applicants by the first Wednesday in December. Upon notification of receiving the leave award, recipients must complete and submit a “Letter of Understanding” and complete the formal leave request paperwork to be submitted to the Provost (paperwork to be provided through the office of the Provost). Applicants whose proposals not selected for funding will receive a clear statement as to the reasons why.

Appendix A: Faculty Leave Review and Ranking Rubric

Ranking Criteria:

LOW HIGH
Description of Rubric Category Proposal Score
The quality of the proposal. The score on this criterion rates how thoroughly and effectively the applicant has presented the information and materials required in sections I-X of the proposal / application for Educational and Professional Leave. This includes considering the extent to which the proposal includes an explicit action plan and timeline that delineates a realistic and achievable schedule of outcomes both during and after the leave. 0 1 2 3 4 5
The contribution the leave will make towards strengthening the faculty member as a scholar and teacher. This criterion rates the effect of the proposed activities and outcomes on the strength and quality of the faculty member as a teaching scholar. Score is based on both the argument made by the applicant and the judgment of committee members. 0 1 2 3 4 5
The contribution the leave will make towards fulfilling the strategic goals and mission of the faculty member’s discipline, school, and GGC. This criterion rates the potential of the proposed activities to increase the faculty member’s ability to goals of their particular discipline while “promoting a supportive, enhanced learning environment by developing the campus community and empowering students with opportunities for holistic development through a diversity of high quality, student-centered programs and services.” 0 1 2 3 4 5
The practicability of the proposal in light of available resources for the project. This criterion rates the potential of the faculty member achieving the stated outcomes/products of the project considering the resources available during and after the leave. That includes the practicality of achieving both short-term outcomes, (the results of the project) and the extent to which there are discipline/school and college support and resources to sustain resulting initiatives after the leave. Under this criterion the leave committee will consider the degree to which the applicant achieved the stated goals and outcomes of previous Educational and Professional Leaves. 0 1 2 3 4 5
The extent to which the applicant has an established record of excellence in teaching, research and/or creative activity, and/or professional service and/or student engagement. These criteria will be measured using the number of years of academic training, work experience, pattern of publications and presentations, service to the profession and to GGC, and record of student engagement. Most of this information is presented in the applicant’s CV and letters of support. This criterion will also include years of service since any previous leave. 0 1 2 3 4 5
SCORE TOTAL:  

Educational and Professional Leave Application Cover Sheet  

8.2.7.5 Military Leave with Pay

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.5.

8.2.7.6 Family Medical Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, an eligible employee may be entitled to up to twelve (12) work weeks of leave during any twelve (12) month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
  • The legal placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • The care of an immediate family member (defined as the employee’s spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition;
  • A serious health condition of the employee, including an on-the-job injury or occupational disease covered by Worker’s Compensation, which causes the employee to be unable to perform the functions of his or her position, rendering the employee unable to perform his/her job duties; or
  • A spouse, son, daughter or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Leave may be used for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the service member’s current tour of active duty or because the service member is notified of an impending call to duty in support of a contingency operation.

Further, consistent with the provisions of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, an eligible employee may be entitled to up to twenty-six work weeks of leave during any 12-month period, for the following reason:

  • A spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative caring for a recovering service member. A recovering service member is defined as a member of the Armed Forces who suffered an injury or illness while on active-duty that may render the person unable to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating.
Period of Work Eligibility

To be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must have worked for the University System of Georgia:

  • For at least twelve (12) months total (not necessarily the last twelve months); and
  • For at least 1,250 hours during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the commencement of such leave (BR minutes, August 2004); and
  • Has not used all available FMLA leave in the twelve (12) months looking back from the date the requested leave will begin (the rolling 12-month retrospective calendar period as measured backward from the date the employee began using FMLA leave).

Spouses who are employed by the college and who request FMLA leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child with the employee, are eligible for a combined twelve (12) weeks between the two employees. In other words, both employees continue to be eligible for twelve (12) weeks of FMLA apiece, but may only take twelve (12) weeks between them for this event. If the leave is for birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child with the employee, the leave must be taken within twelve (12) months of the birth or placement.

Required Steps and Forms

Employees should contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits for assistance with FMLA requests. Employees must submit the following:

  • Personnel Action Form (where applicable);
  • Family and Medical Leave Request Form;
  • Medical Certification Form (applicable to leave for medical reasons) must be completed by a treating physician/licensed health care provider) and returned to the Office of Payroll and Benefits and
  • Other updated forms as directed by the Office of Payroll and Benefits.
Notice of Foreseeable Leave
  • In cases of Foreseeable Leave (i.e., planned surgeries, maternity leave), employees should give 30 days’ notice to the Office of Payroll and Benefits and the supervisor. When providing notice, the employee is not required to identify the leave specifically as FMLA leave, but must provide sufficient information regarding the nature of the leave to enable the Office of Payroll and Benefits to make a determination of the applicability of FMLA. In all situations, it is the Office of Payroll and Benefits Director’s responsibility to designate leave as FMLA leave. A medical certification form (where applicable) must be submitted for review to the Office of Payroll and Benefits prior to commencement of leave. See Exception to Medical Certification section of this policy;
Notice for Unforeseeable Leave
  • For unexpected leave (such as a serious accident or a premature birth), the employee or employee’s representative (relative, spouse, doctor, etc.) must notify the Office of Payroll and Benefits or the supervisor as soon as possible and, usually within no more than two (2) business days after knowing of the need for leave, where practical.

Notice to the College is accomplished through initiating the FMLA process by completing a FMLA Request form as noted above, which is available from the Office of Payroll and Benefits Notice can be provided in person, by mail, facsimile, or by other electronic means. The employee will be given a Certification of Health Care Provider form that must be completed by the employee’s physician/licensed health care provider and returned to the Office of Payroll and Benefits within fifteen (15) calendar days.

Exception to Medical Certification

Medical certification is not required in cases where FMLA is taken due to a spouse, son, daughter or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces, as described above.

Updated Medical Certifications

If the College requests or requires it, the employee must periodically report to the Office of Payroll and Benefits regarding the employee’s status including anticipated return to work date, except that updated medical certifications completed by the treating physician/licensed health care provider may be requested every 30 days during the FMLA period.

Serious Health Condition

A “serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • Any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient hospital care (such as an overnight stay), hospice, or residential medical care facility;
  • Any period of incapacity requiring sporadic absences from work, school, or other regular daily activities that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider; or,
  • Continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable or so serious that if not treated, would likely result in a period of incapacity; and for prenatal care.
Care of a family member
  • Encompasses both physical and psychological care
  • Includes situations where the employee may be needed to fill in for others who are caring for the family member
  • May include intermittent leave
Family member
  • Spouse
  • The employee’s legal husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides
  • Parent
  • A biological parent of the employee
  • An individual who stands or stood “in loco parentis” to an employee by providing primary day-to-day care and financial support when the employee was a child
  • Coverage does not include parents-in-law
  • Child
  • The employee’s biological son or daughter under the age of 18
  • A legally adopted son or daughter under the age of 18
  • A foster child, stepchild or ward under the age of 18, legally placed with the employee
  • Any such child over the age of 18 if the child is incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability
  • “Incapable of self-care” means requiring active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more basic or instrumental “activities of daily living,” such as grooming & hygiene, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, taking public transportation, etc.
  • A “physical or mental disability” is one that substantially limits one or more major life functions as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Continuous & Intermittent Leave

Leave for one’s own serious health condition, or for the care of a family member with a serious health condition, may be taken on a continuous basis – or on an intermittent basis in increments as small as one hour – if medically indicated. The College has the discretion to determine whether to allow intermittent leaves for birth, adoption, or foster placement – or whether such leaves must be continuous. It shall be the policy of GGC to allow intermittent FMLA leaves for birth, adoption, or foster placement.

Intermittent Leave or Reduced Work Schedule
  • There must be a medical need for leave which can be best accommodated through an intermittent or reduced work schedule
  • An employee must attempt to schedule leave or reduced work so as not to disrupt the employer’s operations
  • The employer may assign the employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates the employee’s intermittent leave or reduced work schedule
  • Intermittent leave may include leave periods of an hour or more, up to several weeks
  • Only the amount of leave actually taken is counted toward the 12 weeks of eligibility. For example:
  • an employee who normally works 5 days per week and takes off 1 day per week as intermittent FMLA leave is charged 1/5 of a week of FMLA leave
  • an employee who normally works 8-hour days, but who works half-days under a FMLA reduced work schedule would be charged 1/2 week of FMLA leave
  • The granting of intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule for well-child care after the birth, adoption, or placement of a child is at the discretion of the institution.
Health Care Provider

The following individuals licensed/authorized to practice in the state in which they practice, and performing within the scope of their practice as defined under state law:

  • Doctors of medicine or osteopathy authorized to practice medicine or surgery
  • Podiatrists
  • Dentists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Optometrists
  • Chiropractors (limited to treatment consisting of manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by X-ray to exist)
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nurse-midwives
  • Clinical social workers
  • Any health care provider from whom the University System’s health care plans will accept certification of the existence of a serious health condition
Protection from Discrimination

A supervisor may not take any adverse action or otherwise discriminate against an employee or prospective employee who has taken FMLA leave.

A supervisor may not interfere with any rights provided by FMLA, including:

  • Refusing to authorize FMLA leave
  • Discouraging an employee from using FMLA leave
  • Changing the essential functions of the employee’s job to preclude the taking of FMLA leave
  • Reducing hours of work to avoid employee eligibility

A supervisor may not discharge or discriminate against any person (whether or not an employee) because that person has:

  • Opposed or complained about any unlawful practice under the Act
  • Filed a charge, or has instituted (or caused to be instituted) any proceeding under or related to the Act
  • Given, or is about to give, any information in connection with an inquiry or proceeding relating
  • to a right under the Act
  • Testified, or is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to a right under the Act
  • Used FMLA leave

Note: Although a supervisor may not take any adverse action against an employee for taking FMLA leave, any personnel action/decision that would have happened if the employee had continued in a work status, may happen while the employee is on FMLA leave.

Supervisor Responsibility

An employee’s supervisor may not directly contact a health care provider to request medical information. An employee may provide any necessary medical documentation directly to the Office of Payroll and Benefits. Supervisors should consult with the Office of Payroll and Benefits if they need assistance while the employee is on FMLA.

Paid vs. Unpaid Leave

The Federal law provides for twelve (12) weeks of unpaid, job protected leave (employers are not required to grant such leave as paid time off). However, when taking FMLA leave, it is the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College that employees may choose to use accumulated sick leave, annual leave or unpaid leave based on the following criteria:

  • An employee is required to use all accrued sick and annual leave for FMLA leave, prior to going on a leave without pay status, except during time periods in which disability benefits are being paid (in accordance with the terms of the disability policy);
  • Sick leave may be used when FMLA leave is due to the employee’s own serious illness or to care for a designated family member;
  • If FMLA leave is not due to the employee’s own serious illness or to care for a designated family member, the employee must use annual leave. If annual leave is exhausted, the remainder of the FMLA leave will be in an unpaid leave status.
Explanation of Pay and Continuation of Group Benefits during Leave

The Office of Payroll and Benefits will provide the employee with a written explanation of the status of his/her pay and benefits at the start of the leave. Employees who enrolled in the optional disability insurance programs and who are disabled under the short term disability (STD) and/or long term disability (LTD) policy, as approved by the insurance provider, will be eligible to receive pay in accordance with the terms of the applicable policy. Employees who qualify for workers’ compensation benefits will receive pay continuation according to the requirements of state law and our insurance plan in each state.

During the period of FMLA leave, an employee may retain health benefits under the same conditions that applied before the leave began. To continue coverage, the employee will be required to pay his/her share of health insurance premiums and other premiums (including dental and other elected insurance product premiums) while on leave each month. Failure to pay the employee share of the premiums will result in loss of coverage.

Accrued Benefits

The employee’s use of FMLA will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FMLA leave. In an unpaid leave status, however, the employee will not continue to accrue vacation or sick leave benefits.

An employee on unpaid FMLA leave is not eligible for holiday pay during the FMLA leave period.

Equivalent Job Restoration

If the employee returns to work on or before the expiration of approved FMLA leave, the employee will normally be returned to his/her former position or to an equivalent job, with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. If, however, the employee does not return upon expiration of approved FMLA leave, there is no guarantee of reinstatement.

Return from Leave

The employee should notify the Office of Payroll and Benefits or the supervisor of his/her intent to return to work two (2) weeks prior to the anticipated date of return, or of any necessary changes in the date of return. If the leave was due to a serious health condition, the College will require a “fitness for duty” certification from the employee’s treating physician/licensed health care provider, verifying his/her ability to return to work, with or without restrictions. The employee may also be required to submit to a medical examination before returning to work, under certain circumstances. An absence for FMLA leave is not an “occurrence” for purposes of our attendance policy. If the employee is medically released to return to work and fails to either report to work or contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits or the supervisor with a satisfactory explanation, the College (in its sole discretion) may treat this as a voluntary resignation. See also “Extension of Leave” section under this policy.

Upon return to work, the employee should provide a signed statement to his/her supervisor verifying the return to work date. This statement should be completed on the employee’s first day back to work. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the documentation is delivered to the Office of Payroll and Benefits, either in person, via e-mail, or facsimile. Upon receipt of the statement, the employee will be added to payroll if he or she was on leave without pay.

If an employee wishes to return to work prior to the expiration of approved FMLA leave, notification must be given to the Office of Payroll and Benefits or to his/her supervisor at least five (5) business days prior to the employee’s planned return. In instances where notice is provided to the supervisor, the supervisor is then responsible for notifying the Office of Payroll and Benefits of the employee’s status. The employee must provide medical certification that he or she is able to return to work earlier than expected.

Extension of Leave

Employees are required to notify the Office of Payroll and Benefits or their supervisor as soon possible, if it is determined that he or she will not be able to return from family medical leave, as originally planned. Appropriate documentation must be provided. An employee requesting an extension of FMLA leave due to the continuation, recurrence, or onset of his/her own serious health condition, or of the serious health condition of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent, must submit a request for an extension, in writing, along with medical certification, to the Office of Payroll and Benefits. The Office of Payroll and Benefits shall review the documentation and determine if the employee is eligible for an extension under this policy. For all extensions under FMLA, The Office of Payroll and Benefits shall provide written notification of extension eligibility or denial of the FMLA extension request to the supervisor and the employee.

Notice of Intent Not To Return

Any time the employee gives unequivocal notice of intent not to return to work, the College’s obligations under the FMLA stop. This means the College is no longer obligated to maintain group health benefits for the employee, and the College is not required to restore the employee to an equivalent job. For example, an employee who is on FMLA leave for the birth of a child and care of that child might advise the supervisor or the Office of Payroll and Benefits that he/she has decided to stay home with the child and not return to work. Once the employee advises the supervisor or the Office of Payroll and Benefits of this decision, the College’s responsibilities under the FMLA stop.

HIPAA

The Office of Payroll and Benefits is responsible for ensuring that the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) guidelines are followed. If it is deemed necessary, as determined by the Office of Payroll and Benefits and/or Legal Affairs, to discuss medical data with a supervisor for the purpose of processing FMLA related requests or accommodations, the supervisor is responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all Personal Health Information (PHI) obtained as a result of an FMLA application and process. HIPAA guidelines will be applied to the use, maintenance, transfer, and disposition of healthcare records and information.

8.2.7.7 Miscellaneous Leave

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Other Leave

Georgia Gwinnett College employees, who are required to work when the campus is closed due to inclement weather or some other emergency such as water shortages, riots, etc., are entitled to a comparable amount of time off. Employees who are scheduled to work but do not work when the campus is closed, will note on their time sheets the appropriate number of hours associated with the closure. Exempt employees are not required to report the time. Employees who were not scheduled to work during such emergencies are not to be compensated.

It is the responsibility of the employee’s supervisor to ensure that the time is recorded correctly. If a non-exempt employee terminates employment prior to taking all the time off, the employee must be paid for those hours. The departmental budget will be charged for their inclement weather balance. Temporary employees are not covered by this policy. They are only paid for actual hours worked.

Also see Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.7.

8.2.7.8 Acceptance of Leave from A State Of Georgia Agency by the University System Of Georgia

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.7.8.

8.2.8 Retirement

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.8.

8.2.8.1 Retirement Systems

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.8.1.

8.2.8.2 Definition of a USG Retiree/Eligibility for Retirement

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.8.2.

8.2.8.3 Employment Beyond Retirement

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.8.3.

8.2.8.4 Retirement of A Career Employee

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.8.4.

8.2.8.50 Retired Faculty Office Space

Reviewed May 26, 2016

It is the policy of GGC to consider the request from retired faculty to be provided office space. After office space for regular faculty is provided, space, if available, may be provided to retired individuals who perform a service to the institution with special approval from academic dean and the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost. Each case will be reviewed annually prior to the start of the fall semester.

8.2.9 Insurance

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.

8.2.9.1 Group Health Insurance

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.1. Specific information regarding group health insurance options (medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, disability, etc.) can also be found by going to this website.

8.2.9.2 Group Life Insurance

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.2. Specific information regarding all group health insurance options (medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, disability, etc.) can also be found by going to this website.

8.2.9.3 Other Insurance

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.3. Specific information regarding all group health insurance options (medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, disability, etc.) can also be found by going to this website.

8.2.9.4 Benefits Continuation into Retirement

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.4.

8.2.9.5 Disabled Employees Insurance

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.5.

8.2.9.6 Dependents of Deceased Employees, Disabled Employees Or Retirees

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.9.6.

8.2.10 Worker’s Compensation Benefits

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.10

8.2.11 Social Security

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.11.

8.2.12 Annuity Programs/Deferred Compensation Programs

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.12.

8.2.14 Garnishment of Pay

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.14.

Board of Regents Policy provides that each institution shall establish procedures to counsel with employees who fail to meet their personal financial obligations.

In accordance with BOR policy, Georgia Gwinnett College considers the acceptance and settlement of just and honest debts to be a mark of personal responsibility. In instances of default, consideration will be given to demonstrated hardship and related economic factors. It shall be the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College to handle garnishments in the following manner:

All garnishment orders received at the College shall be forwarded to the Director, Payroll and Benefits for processing and appropriate handling in a timely manner. Reasonable processing delays may occur based on college operations. If an employee believes the garnishment is presented in error, the employee shall have an opportunity to submit acceptable proof of error or correction of garnishment order; said proof may not serve to delay garnishment processing absent exigent circumstances.

The Director, Payroll and Benefits shall provide a written notice of garnishment to the employee, advising the employee of the specific garnishment details and financial/payroll implications.

The General Counsel & Chief Legal Affairs Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer, and the Director, Payroll and Benefits shall conduct periodic garnishment reviews to identify any employees who may have received multiple garnishments of five or more separate obligations within a twelve month period and to determine if further recommendations are necessary.

Where deemed necessary employees identified in accordance with the above criteria will be scheduled for a follow-up counseling session with garnishment/payroll officer. The payroll officer or designee shall conduct the counseling session with the employee and discuss the potential consequences of continued garnishments. The employee shall be advised that future garnishments may lead to further actions. The employee shall be given an opportunity to present evidence of hardship or economic based challenge which may have led to the circumstance. A counseling memorandum may be presented to the employee. No further action will be required, unless deemed necessary by the committee.

8.2.15.51 Georgia Gwinnett College Structured Volunteer Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Whereas Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) wishes to establish a volunteer program for the purpose of encouraging community involvement in the advancement of campus programs, a Structured Volunteer Program is hereby established which allows students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, community leaders and other stakeholders to actively participate in college initiatives on an ongoing basis.

The programs outlined below are hereby authorized under the GGC Structured Volunteer Program for persons wishing to volunteer their services. Each Program must be structured, controlled, and managed in accordance with this policy and the following procedures:

  • The applicable operating Vice President or their designee shall serve as Program Manager for the volunteer services program within his oversight area;
  • Each volunteer group must be assigned a Structured Volunteer Supervisor who will oversee the volunteer activities;
  • The specific duties for each volunteer group shall be outlined in writing by the Structured Volunteer Supervisor and a copy shall be provided to all volunteers, along with a standard GGC Structured Volunteer Agreement form;
  • The GGC Structured Volunteer Agreement must be signed by both the volunteer and Structured Volunteer Supervisor before volunteer services can be rendered; Copies of the signed agreements must be maintained by the Structured Volunteer Supervisor and available for review at all times. A copy of the structured volunteer agreement must be provided to the Office of Human Resources prior to commencement of any service. A new volunteer agreement and background check where required must be completed for each academic year.
  • Volunteers with assigned duties involving direct contact with students are required by GCC to submit to a background check. Exceptions are allowable for participants in one-time events where volunteers are supervised by college officials, (e.g. volunteer ushers, registration desk attendants, or cleaning crews for a special program or event). One time event exceptions require prior written approval from the Chief Human Resources Officer;
  • Human Resources, Disability Services, Diversity/Title IX, Campus Security, Legal Affairs, Controller/Accounting Services and the Registrar’s Office are hereby excluded from accepting volunteer services under this Program. Any exceptions to this exclusion may be approved by the Office of the President, where appropriate.
  • Individuals at GGC are encouraged to volunteer as a part of their growth and development as responsible contributing community citizens. Students who volunteer on campus in a program that has duties involving direct contact with children will be required to submit to a background check.
Authorized Programs

Structured Volunteer Program for Executives-In-Service

This Program allows the President to periodically utilize executives and other subject matter experts to provide assistance in various campus initiatives, including but not limited to special events, academic, administrative, and advancement initiatives. This Program and related special events are coordinated by the President’s Executive Assistant and supervised by the designated Vice President. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the appropriate Vice President before services are rendered. Volunteers may be required to submit to a background check before participating in this Program, as deemed appropriate by the President.

Structured Volunteer Program for Enrollment Services and Admissions Recruitment

This Program allows Enrollment Management to utilize volunteers for enrollment management and recruiting efforts on and off campus. This Program is managed by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost and supervised by the Executive Director for Enrollment Management. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the Executive Director for Enrollment Management before services are rendered. Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Students Affairs

This Program allows Student Affairs to utilize volunteers for various program initiatives, including but not limited to career services, student clubs and organizations, and fitness center and intramural programs. This Program is managed by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost and supervised by the Senior Associate Provost for Student Affairs. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the Senior Associate Provost before services are rendered. Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Student Success

This Program allows Student Success to utilize volunteers for tutoring services and other program initiatives. This Program is managed by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost and supervised by the Dean for the School of Transitional Studies. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the Director before services are rendered. Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Technology Services

This Program allows Technology Services to utilize volunteers on a limited basis for special programs or initiatives. This Program is managed by the Vice President for Educational Technology and supervised by the appropriate Associate Vice President or Director for the impacted technology group. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the appropriate AVP/Director before services are rendered.

Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Facilities

This Program allows the Facilities group to utilize volunteers to assist with facility planning, logistics services and other related initiatives. This Program is managed by the Vice President for Business and Finance and supervised by the Associate Vice President for Facilities. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the AVP before services are rendered.

Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Executives-In the-Classroom and Academic Projects

This Program allows Academic Affairs to utilize volunteers, including parents, students, community leaders, and other stakeholders in various academic projects and related events. The Program also allows executives to volunteer on an ongoing basis for academic lectures and other training initiatives. This Program is managed by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost and supervised by the designated Dean or Program Director. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the appropriate AVP/Dean/Director before services are rendered.

Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Public Relations and Digital Communications

This Program allows the Office of Strategic Communications and Positioning to utilize volunteers for various campus initiatives, including but not limited to, public relations, marketing projects, website and social media communications, and other related campus initiatives. This Program is managed by the Vice President for Strategic Communications and Positioning and supervised by the designated program manager. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the appropriate staff member before services are rendered.

Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Advancement

This Program allows the Office of Advancement to utilize volunteers for various campus initiatives, including but not limited to development events, alumni relations programs, fundraising programs, and other related campus initiatives. This Program is managed by the Vice President for Advancement and supervised by the designated program director. Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the appropriate program director before services are rendered.

Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Structured Volunteer Program for Drivers and Carpool Events

This Program allows Academic and Student Affairs to utilize volunteer drivers including parents, students, and other stakeholders as drivers for various academic and student events, trips, and class projects. This Program is managed by the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost and jointly supervised by the Senior Associate Provost for Student Affairs and the applicable Dean/Director and his/her designated faculty member.

Volunteers must submit to a background check before participating in this Program.

Volunteer duties must be outlined in writing by the appropriate AVP/Dean/Director before services are rendered and must include the following guidelines:

  • Drivers must be at least 18 years old;
  • Drivers must have a valid GA driver’s license;
  • Drivers cannot have a record involving a conviction for public drunkenness, driving under the influence or reckless driving, within the past (7) years;
  • Drivers must be able to provide proof of valid automobile insurance;
  • Drivers must have a vehicle; and
  • Drivers must be informed that they serve on a volunteer basis and will not be compensated by GGC for the use of their services or their vehicles.

If an AVP/Dean/Director wishes to establish a volunteer driver program for his/her area, a Program Supervisor must be designated, a volunteer driver duty roster and a list of driver responsibilities must be developed for each respective project. A GGC Structured Volunteer Agreement must be completed and signed for all drivers participating in this Program on an ongoing basis. Volunteer drivers for one-time events are not characterized as participants in the GGC Structured Volunteer Program, unless an event exception is approved in writing by the Vice President and a duty roster and list of driver responsibilities is developed prior to the event.

Signed Agreements  

8.2.17 Career Development

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.17.

8.2.18 Voluntary Disclosure of Drug Use

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.18.

8.2.19 Tuition Assistance Program

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.19.

8.2.19.1 Employee Auditing of Courses

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.19.1.

8.2.19.2 Special Tuition Assistance Program for Nursing Faculty

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.19.2

8.2.20 Georgia Gwinnett College Ethics Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.20. Additionally, GGC has its own Ethics Policy as follows:

8.2.20.1 Introduction

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is committed to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct in pursuit of the mission to create a more educated Georgia. Accomplishing this mission demands integrity, good judgment and dedication to public service from all members of the GGC community. As a University System of Georgia (USG) member institution, Georgia Gwinnett College affirms each person’s accountability for individual actions while recognizing that the shared GGC/USG mission and the shared enterprises require a shared set of core values and ethical conduct to which each member of the GGC community must be held accountable. Furthermore, GGC acknowledges that an organizational culture grounded in trust is essential to supporting these core values and ethical conduct. The following Statement of Core Values and Code of Conduct are intended to build, maintain and protect that trust, recognizing that each member of the GGC community is responsible for doing his/her part by upholding the highest standards of competence and character.

8.2.20.2 Applicability

Reviewed May 26, 2016

The Statement of Core Values and the Code of Conduct comprise the GGC Ethics Policy. The GGC Ethics Policy applies to all members of the GGC community. The GGC community includes all members of the College, all individuals employed by or acting on behalf of GGC including volunteers, vendors, contractors, members of the governing boards and employees of all cooperative organizations affiliated with GGC. Violations of the GGC Ethics Policy may result in disciplinary action including dismissal or termination.

All individuals employed by GGC in any capacity shall participate in GGC Ethics Policy training and shall certify compliance with the GGC Ethics Policy on a periodic basis, when requested by the institution. Cooperative organizations, vendors and contractors shall certify compliance with the GGC Ethics Policy by written agreement. The GGC Ethics Policy governs only official conduct performed by or on behalf of GGC.

8.2.20.3 Statement of Core Values

Reviewed May 26, 2016

  1. Integrity - We will be honest, fair, impartial and unbiased in our dealings both with and on behalf of the GGC.
  2. Excellence - We will perform our duties to foster a culture of excellence and high quality in everything we do.
  3. Accountability - We firmly believe that education in the form of scholarship, research, teaching, service and developing others is a public trust. We will live up to this trust through safeguarding our resources and being good stewards of the human, intellectual, physical and fiscal resources given to our care.
  4. Respect - We recognize the inherent dignity and rights of every person, and we will do our utmost to fulfill our resulting responsibility to treat each person with fairness, compassion and decency.

8.2.20.4 Purpose Of The Code Of Conduct

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Every member of the GGC community is required to adhere to the GGC Statement of Core Values - Integrity- Excellence · Accountability · Respect - that form and guide the daily work of the organization. GGC recognizes that each member of the GGC community attempts to live by his or her own values, beliefs and ethical decision-making processes. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to guide members of the GGC community in applying the underlying GGC Statement of Core Values to the decisions and choices that are made in the course of everyday endeavors.

8.2.20.5 Code of Conduct

Reviewed May 26, 2016

We will:

  1. Uphold the highest standards of intellectual honesty and integrity in the conduct of teaching, research, service and grants administration.
  2. Act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted to our care.
  3. Perform assigned duties and professional responsibilities in such a manner so as to further the GGC mission.
  4. Treat fellow employees, students and the public with dignity and respect.
  5. Refrain from discriminating against, harassing or threatening others.
  6. Comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and professional standards.
  7. Respect the intellectual property rights of others.
  8. Avoid improper political activities as defined in law and Board of Regents Policy.
  9. Protect human health and safety and the environment in all GGC operations and activities.
  10. Report wrongdoing to the proper authorities; refrain from retaliating against those who do report violations; and cooperate fully with authorized investigations.
  11. Disclose and avoid improper conflicts of interest.
  12. Refrain from accepting any gift or thing of value in those instances prohibited by law or Board of Regents and institutional policy.
  13. Not use our position or authority improperly to advance the interests of a friend or relative.

8.2.20.6 Interpretation and Sources

Reviewed May 26, 2016

The Statement of Core Values and Code of Conduct do not address every conceivable situation or ethical dilemma that may be faced by members of the GGC community. Members of the GGC community are expected to exercise good judgment absent specific guidance from this policy or other applicable laws, rules and regulations. Specific questions pertaining to the Statement of Core Values of Code of Conduct should be directed to a supervisor or other competent authority at Georgia Gwinnett College, or to the institution’s Office of Legal Affairs.

Further, in accordance with Board of Regents Ethics Policy, GGC employees and affiliates should refer to specific explanatory notes and references (noted below) which can also be found on the University System of Georgia website.

USG Explanatory Notes and References

  1. Uphold the highest standards of intellectual honesty and integrity in the conduct of teaching, research, service and grants administration.

Members of the USG community engaged in research are expected to do so in accordance with institutional, governmental and professional standards while upholding the highest standards of integrity, intellectual honesty and scholarship. Unacceptable violations of research integrity include, but are not limited to: (a) plagiarism defined as using another’s ideas, writings, research, or intellectual property and representing it as your own original work, (b) falsification of data, which includes direct alteration of findings or failing to disclose data that would substantively change the research findings and (c) fabrication of research data. Research integrity requires that principal investigators and others with a fiduciary obligation for grant funds use those funds in a manner consistent with the grantor’s terms and conditions and applicable laws, rules and regulations. Finally, research involving human subjects shall be conducted only after appropriate review and approval by institutional review boards (IRBs) and should be conducted in accordance with IRB principles.

  1. Act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted to our care.

USG property is intended for use in support of the USG mission and legitimate public purposes.

USG property shall not be used for personal gain or purposes except for incidental personal use of email, a telephone to make a local telephone call or incidental Internet use that is not inconsistent with applicable laws and policies. However, members of the USG community should note that such use must not interfere with the performance of official functions or that individual’s own job performance. Additionally, members of the USG community should understand that there is no expectation of privacy once any personal material is placed on a government system.

Members of the USG community are required to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the documents and records for which they are responsible. No employee may alter, falsify or destroy any original record or document absent valid authority to do so. Members of the USG community must also comply with the USG Records Retention Schedule and the requirements found in the APM 10.4 Records Retention policy. The USG is the custodian of many types of information, including that which is confidential, proprietary and private. Individuals who have access to such information are expected to be familiar and to comply with applicable laws, policies, directives and agreements pertaining to access, use, protection and disclosure of such information. Computer security and privacy are also subject to law and USG policy.

USG employees are required to maintain the integrity and accuracy of all documents and records relative to sick leave, vacation/annual leave and all other forms of leave.

The following policies should be read in concert with this section of the code of conduct:

BOR Policies 8.2.7 - 8.2.8 regarding leave, See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section:

BOR Policy 7.11.9 for information on removing laptops and similar items off site, BOR Policy 9.10.6.4for information on removing other institutional property from campus for personal use,

BOR Policy 7.7.2 for information on prohibited personal use of institutional purchasing channels,

BOR Policy 7.11.2 for information on the operation of private business enterprises on a USG campus and

BOR Policy 9.10 for information pertaining to use of a campus facility by an outside party

  1. Perform assigned duties and professional responsibilities in such a manner so as to further the USG mission.

All members of the USG community are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of scholarship, public service and integrity. This requirement encompasses both a responsibility to understand and to further organizational missions and goals. Individuals in positions of greater authority bear a greater responsibility for achieving organizational missions and goals in an effective and efficient manner. However, all members of the USG community should contribute to the success of the USG in a manner consistent with their duties and responsibilities.

Effective internal controls are one method that can be employed to assist the USG in achieving its mission. Internal controls are the processes employed at all levels to help ensure that USG business is carried out in accordance with BOR policies and procedures, institutional policies and procedures, applicable laws and regulations and sound business practices. Good internal controls promote efficient operations, accurate financial reporting, safeguarding of assets and responsible fiscal management.

  1. Treat fellow employees, students and the public with dignity and respect.

Members of the USG community are required to maintain a professional work environment. Therefore, unprofessional conduct may result in disciplinary action. See BOR Policy 12.2 for additional information pertaining specifically to disruptive activities.

A romantic or sexual relationship between a member of the USG community and a student or patient is prohibited in those instances where the individual has the responsibility for directly supervising, evaluating, instructing, treating or otherwise overseeing the student or patient. Romantic or sexual relationships between employees and people in positions of authority are strongly discouraged.

  1. Refrain from discriminating against, harassing or threatening others.

The USG Statement of Core Values emphasizes the “inherent dignity and rights of every person and … our resulting responsibility to treat each person with fairness, compassion and decency.” As such, any form of discrimination or harassment is inconsistent with USG core values. Additionally, discrimination on the grounds of race, color, gender, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability and status as a veteran is specifically prohibited by state law and BOR policy. See BOR Policy 8.2.1 for additional information on Equal Employment Opportunity within the USG.

Sexual harassment of members of the USG community or students in the USG is prohibited and shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Unwelcome sexual advancements, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: (A) Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or (B) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual; or (C) Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment. See BOR Policy 8.2.16 for additional information on Sexual Harassment.

The University System of Georgia is committed to the prevention of workplace violence and the maintenance of a respectful working environment. A safe and secure environment is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling an institution’s mission of teaching, research and public service. The University System of Georgia will not tolerate any type of workplace violence committed by or against students or members of the USG community. Workplace violence is defined as any threats, threatening conduct or any other acts of aggression or violence in the workplace. Violations of the workplace violence policy will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. USG employees bear a special responsibility to remain aware of potential acts of violence on campus as evidenced by, but not limited to, unusual statements, writings or any other unusual behavior. Members of the USG community who, in good faith, report what they believe to be workplace violence or who cooperate in any investigation will not be subjected to retaliation.

  1. Comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and professional standards.

Compliance with laws, rules and regulations governing USG institutions is both a legal and an ethical mandate. The risks associated with non-compliance can be significant. Significant risks include loss of reputation, loss of external funding, financial penalties, loss of accreditation and potential criminal prosecutions. Members of the USG community shall seek the advice of USG legal counsel to clarify the laws, rules and regulations impacting official duties.

Failure to comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations by a member of the USG community may result in disciplinary action.

Members of the USG community may be governed by ethical codes or standards of their professions or disciplines. It is expected that those USG community members will comply with applicable professional standards in addition to laws, rules and regulations.

It is the policy of the USG to conduct its business in an open and transparent manner consistent with the privacy rights of members of the USG community and Open Government laws. USG employees have a responsibility to ensure that any requests made pursuant to the Open Records Act are immediately routed to the office charged with that responsibility.

USG institutions that accept grants from public or private organizations to perform as outlined in the grant have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the grant funds are expended in a manner consistent with the grantor’s guidelines and applicable laws, rules and regulations. The submission of false or misleading documentation in connection with a federal grant may result in both employment action and criminal prosecution. Members of the USG community must exercise due care and avoid any personal use of grant funds.

Compliance with the rules and regulations governing athletics is a multi-faceted and challenging demand for the USG institutions that maintain athletic programs. Members of the USG community are expected to comply with athletic conference and association rules.

Requests for reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of the USG must be accurate and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Submission of false or misleading expense reimbursement documents subjects the member of the USG community submitting the documents to the risk of both termination of employment or contractual relationship and criminal prosecution.

  1. Respect the intellectual property rights of others.

USG employees associated with the production of intellectual property have the responsibility to comply with the BOR and institutional policies governing intellectual property. Extensive BOR and institutional policies have been developed governing intellectual property. See BOR Policy 6.3 for a detailed description of the BOR policies governing intellectual property.

Employees who use software licensed to the USG or a USG institution must abide by applicable software license agreements and may copy licensed software only as permitted by the license.

It is also the practice of the USG to comply with copyright laws. USG employees or any individual using USG resources should not violate copyright laws to include publications, recordings and other electronic media. It should be noted that the © copyright notice is no longer required by law. This means that individuals copying material must take extra steps to ensure that the material is in the public domain or may be copied under the “Fair Use” doctrine. USG employees are encouraged to consult with institutional legal counsel for additional guidance on this topic.

  1. Avoid improper political activities as defined in law and Board of Regents Policy.

USG employees are encouraged to participate as responsible and interested citizens in our democratic society. However, there are “political” activities that are inconsistent with the roles and responsibilities of USG employees. Employees may not participate in a political campaign which interferes with performance of official duties. Employees are restricted from holding state or federal elective office and may not seek state or federal elective office while actively employed by the USG. Appointive offices and locally elected offices may be held by a USG employee if there is no conflict or interference with the employee’s USG duties and responsibilities.

See BOR Policy 8.2.15.3 for additional information on employee participation in the political process. See BOR Policy 9.10.6.1 for information on use of campus facilities for political purposes.

  1. Protect human health and safety and the environment in all USG operations and activities.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is strongly committed to protecting the environment and human health and safety in all of its operations. In working to meet this commitment, the Board of Regents recognizes that pro-active efforts must be made to ensure that sound environmental, health, and safety planning is integrated into every level of University System decision making. Additionally, all members of the USG community bear a responsibility for protecting human health and safety and the environment in those areas for which they are responsible. See BOR Policy 9.12.4 for detailed guidance pertaining to environmental compliance.

  1. Report wrongdoing to the proper authorities; refrain from retaliating against those who do report violations; and cooperate fully with authorized investigations.

All members of the USG community have a responsibility to follow university policies and procedures, adhere to applicable laws and regulations and speak up when they see or suspect misconduct. Members of the USG community with concerns about possible unethical behavior or noncompliance with Board of Regents policy are encouraged to speak to their supervisor or to use the Ethics and Compliance Hotline. Retaliation against a member of the USG community for reporting wrongdoing is strictly prohibited by federal law, state law and BOR policy.

Members of the USG community are required to cooperate fully with authorized internal investigations. Failure to cooperate may subject the individual to disciplinary action to include termination of employment or contractual relationship. Members of the USG community who are unsure as to the legitimacy of an investigation should consult a supervisor or institutional counsel.

  1. Disclose and avoid improper conflicts of interest.

USG employees are expected to devote their primary efforts to the USG’s mission. Outside employment or activities must not interfere with performance of official duties. Additionally, outside activities may create conflicts of interest or of commitment that must be properly disclosed and managed. See BOR Policy 8.2.16 for additional information. Other members of the USG community who are not USG employees are subject to other conflict of interest provisions as contained in various laws, rules and regulations.

  1. Refrain from accepting any gift or thing of value in those instances prohibited by law or Board of Regents policy.

No member of the USG community shall directly or indirectly solicit, receive, accept or agree to receive a thing of value by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence his/her performance or failure to perform any official action. The acceptance of a benefit, reward or consideration where the purpose of the gift is to influence a member of the USG community in the performance of his/her official functions is a felony under state law. See BOR Policy 8.2.13.1 for a detailed description of the prohibition on receiving gifts.

  1. Not use your position or authority improperly to advance the interests of a friend or relative.

No member of the USG community will use his or her position or authority improperly to advance the interests of a friend or relative. Any benefit granted to an individual will be based on merit and/or written procedure. No individual shall be employed in a department or unit which will result in the existence of a subordinate-superior relationship between such individual and any relative of such individual through any line of authority. See BOR Policy 8.2.13.2 and O.C.G.A. § 45-10-20 et seq. for detailed information on this topic.

8.2.21 Employment Appeals

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.21.

8.2.23 Amorous Relationships Policy Statement

Reviewed June 30, 2016

This Policy is intended to provide direction to the College community about the potential professional risks associated with even consensual amorous relationships between members of the campus community. This policy is not intended to preclude couples from working together as long as there are no supervisory or evaluative oversight duties. Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to providing a harassment free environment for all faculty, staff and students. A sense of fairness by supervisors and teaching faculty is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling the College mission. When one party has a professional relationship towards the other, or stands in a position of authority over the other, even an apparently consensual amorous relationship may lead to allegations of sexual harassment or other breaches of professional obligations. Even the appearance of impropriety should be avoided under the Georgia Gwinnett College Amorous Relationship Policy.

Georgia Gwinnett College prohibits all faculty, staff and administrators, including teaching assistants, interns, externs, tutors, volunteers, contractors, etc., from pursuing or accepting advancements for amorous relationships with students whom they currently supervise, teach, evaluate, or with whom a professional power/status advantage could potentially exist. This prohibition also includes, but is not limited to, students whom they are mentoring, advising, tutoring, or working with through student clubs, student publications, student affairs projects and initiatives, enrollment management and/or other campus-related functions, programs, and activities.

An employee is prohibited from having an amorous relationship with any other employee if either employee supervises, evaluates, or in any other way directly affects the terms or conditions of the other’s employment. This includes but is not limited to faculty or administrators, interns/externs, other professional/graduate students from other areas who may be completing service requirements on our campus, student employees who supervise other students, or student employees engaged in the ordinary course of campus business.

Requirement to Disclose Amorous Relationship

Anyone with a current or past involvement in an amorous relationship with someone over whom he or she has supervisory/instructional power or influence over their work or scheduling of their assignments must immediately recuse himself or herself and are required to disclose the relationship to the appropriate individual. All staff and administrators must report the relationship to their supervisor. All faculty members must report the relationship to their dean. The supervisor/dean will take the appropriate steps to ensure compliance under this policy.

If a situation arise in which parties who are or have been involved in any amorous relationship comes into a position in which they would be called upon to supervise, review, recommend, or evaluate one another, the individual in authority must immediately recuse himself or herself and promptly report this fact to his or her supervisor. The supervisor will then make arrangements to see that those who are or have been involved in any amorous relationship do not evaluate each other. In particular, if a faculty member has had or comes to have an amorous relationship with a student over whom the faculty member has authority as described above, the faculty member must immediately recuse himself or herself and promptly report this to the dean who will make arrangements for an alternate evaluation mechanism.

Disciplinary Actions for Violation of Amorous Relationship Policy

All available sanctions shall be considered for violations under this policy, including, but not limited to, dismissal from the College and cancellation of contractual obligations.

Any faculty member, staff, and administrator including student employees, teaching assistants, interns, externs, tutors, volunteers, contractors, etc., who fail to promptly report an otherwise prohibited amorous relationship to the appropriate individual is in violation of College policy and is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Any faculty member found in violation of this policy may be subject to dismissal before the end of his/her contract term. Faculty violations under this section shall be deemed as a criteria invoking Removal For Cause. See Georgia Gwinnett College Administrative Policy Manual 8.3.9.1 Grounds for Removal and BOR Policy 8.3.9.1 Grounds for Removal

Complainants who feel they are victims under this policy should follow the complaint filing procedures outlined above except that students may also contact the Dean of Students, who will notify the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration.

For more information about the procedures for reporting potential violations, contact Office of Human Resources at (678) 407-5070.

8.2.50 Employee Grievance Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

The following policies and procedures relative to appeals of suspension, dismissal, demotion decisions and/or related disciplinary review shall apply to all regular classified employees as defined in the Classified Employee Handbook of Georgia Gwinnett College. A Dean, Director, Vice President, college administrator, or faculty member may also choose to use these procedures for resolving appeals of suspension, demotion or disciplinary actions impacting faculty members performing duties within the area over which the Dean, Director, Vice President or college administrator has authority. However, such use must be consistent with Georgia Gwinnett College Statutes and Board of Regent’s Policies. Staff and faculty may not use two different campus grievance processes concerning the same matter.

Grievance Policy

The policy is intended to provide an avenue for resolution of conflicts at the lowest possible level. Attempted resolution may be addressed through the informal or formal grievance procedures under this policy. A grievance or disciplinary review will be available to handle claims that a person has been harmed by an action that violates the policies of either the institution or the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (“the Board of Regents”).

Circumstances Under Which Grievances May Not Be Filed

In accordance with Board of Regents Policy, a grievance will not be available to dispute:

  • promotion decisions,
  • performance evaluations,
  • hiring decisions,
  • classification appeals,
  • challenges to grades or assessments,
  • challenges to salary decisions,
  • challenges to transfers or reassignments,
  • termination or layoff because of lack of work or elimination of position,
  • investigations or decisions reached under the Institution’s Harassment Policy,
  • normal supervisory counseling and
  • matters excluded from grievance under other BOR policy and/or excluded under campus policy or campus communications.

In addition, these formal procedures will not be available to a student or employee who has chosen to seek relief through a department, school or unit’s internal grievance procedure unless such procedure failed to provide due process and/or an adequate mechanism for appeal or review. A student may not utilize two grievance procedures concerning the same matter.

Circumstances Under Which Grievances May Be Filed

An employee may file a grievance only if:

  • The employee has been suspended; or
  • The employee has been discharged; or
  • The employee has been demoted, or their salary has been reduced.

An employee may not file a grievance, even in the above circumstances, if:

  • The discharge occurred during the six (6)-month provisional period;
  • They have been adversely affected by a reorganization, program modification or financial exigency (such employees may apply to the Board of Regents for review);
  • The issue underlying the grievance is a charge of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, religion, or Title IX. Such charges should be directed to the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration. A determination will be made by the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration;
  • The issues being grieved have previously been heard by an administrative team/panel at the institution. An employee shall not be entitled to duplicative hearings or investigative panel reviews. For the purposes of this Policy, an administrative panel review shall serve the purpose of a hearing;

Grievant Must Exhaust Internal Remedies

Any individual wishing to file a grievance must exhaust these internal procedures prior to appealing to an external organization or agency. In the event an individual elects to pursue a complaint or appeal with an external organization or agency, in lieu of filing an internal complaint or before all internal procedures are exhausted, then compelling circumstances must be presented to and accepted by the Grievance Officer prior to filing an internal complaint or prior to resuming the internal grievance process. The Grievance Officer has the sole discretion in the determination of whether to accept an internal complaint or resume investigation of an internal complaint in instances where an external entity is investigating and/or reviewing the matter.

Grievance Process/Procedures

The steps in the grievance procedures have specific time limits that shall be observed. For the purpose of this policy, a business day is defined as any day the college is open and the staff is required to report.

An employee may file a grievance by contacting the Chief Human Resource Officer. Unless there is good cause for delay (as determined by the institution), a grievance must be filed within ten (10) working days of the notice of suspension, discharge or related disciplinary action. The timeline will begin on the next business day following the effective date of the adverse personnel action. The failure of the grievant to adhere to the filing deadline in this procedure may result in the loss of the right to continue a grievance. If filed after that time, the grievance must be accompanied by a written explanation for the delay and a brief written request for late filing. The Office of Human Resources in coordination with the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration or the appropriate designee will rule on whether a late filing of a grievance will be accepted or denied the employee had good cause for filing the grievance late. The grievance should be in writing and signed. Appropriate methods of delivery include delivery by mail, facsimile, hand delivery or courier service. Delivery of grievances via e-mail communications will not be accepted. Grievance documents which have not been signed by the grievant may be returned as incomplete.

The signed grievance documentation should set forth a full statement of the following:

  • The nature of the grievance.
  • The employee’s version of the facts.
  • Names of campus employees/students/affiliates who may have direct knowledge of the circumstances of the grievance and information indicating where and how these persons may be contacted during normal business hours.
  • The redress desired.

Upon submission of the grievance statement, Human Resources or the appropriate designee will acknowledge receipt and provide the grievant with a copy of this grievance policy, which includes guidance pertaining to formal grievance hearing procedures and the steps for informal resolution, if applicable, prior to consideration of a formal hearing on the matter. Once a determination is made that a grievance has been timely filed, the Office of Human Resources or the appropriate designee assumes the role of Grievance Officer.

If the grievance is against Human Resources personnel or if the actions of the Human Resources Team or their supervisor may become subject to review at any point during the grievance process or if it is determined at any time that the grievance involves a matter of discrimination or harassment under the institution’s prohibited discrimination and harassment policies, then the grievance shall be handled in accordance with the procedures designated by the President as presented in the campus discrimination policy. In this instance, the designated officer will assume all the duties and responsibilities herein assigned to the Human Resources Department under this grievance policy and an appropriate Grievance Officer will be assigned to handle the matter in question.

Informal Resolution

Where applicable, the Grievance Officer shall make every effort to resolve the grievance through informal resolution prior to assigning the matter for a formal Review Hearing. Within 5 business days of a timely filing determination by the College, the designated Grievance Officer(s) shall take the following steps:

  • Notify the operating unit that a grievance has been filed;
  • Make a determination as to whether informal resolution is possible.
  • If informal resolution is possible, the Grievance Officer shall facilitate the full process and document the agreed upon outcome, acquiring signatures from both parties and the matter will be deemed resolved, without further action

Formal Resolution Board of Review Hearing

If after reviewing the documentation, informal resolution appears to be unavailable, the Grievance Officer shall provide the employee with a written Notice of Intent to Schedule a Hearing concerning the matter. A Hearing Officer will be designated. The remaining steps in the process will be handled by the designated officer who will identify the remaining members of the hearing panel or the investigative review panel. (For the purposes of this policy, the terms “hearing panel” and “investigative review panel” will be used interchangeably. Both will provide the due process necessary for review of grievance claims). The Hearing Panel shall be comprised of at least two (2) members, but no more than three (3) members for matters under consideration. If one or more members are unable to preside over the matter, the President, or the authorized representative shall appoint appropriate alternates.

The Review hearing may take place either before or after the effective date of the personnel decision in question. The grievant/employee shall be given at least 5 days notice prior to the scheduled hearing date. The notice date is based on the date listed in the written letter to grievant. In addition to the grievant/employee, hearing notices shall be prepared for the following:

  • The grievant’s immediate supervisor, where applicable;
  • The dean, director, or vice president over the operating area, where applicable; and
  • Any other parties GGC considers appropriate as determined by the Hearing Officer.

The grieving party has the burden of proving allegations stated in the grievance.

Once a grievance is filed, campus officials will be unable to have exparte communications and/or related discussions outside of the hearing process. For purposes of this Policy, the hearing process begins on the date the grievance is submitted to campus officials via the Office of Human Resources.

An employee is not allowed to use college time to prepare for a Review Hearing; however, vacation time may be granted, if available. If vacation time is not available, time off without pay may be granted.

Documentation and/or witnesses not submitted prior to the hearing may not be considered unless the party presents compelling evidence as to why the material or witnesses were not made available to the Panel prior to the hearing. The Panel will decide whether such evidence or witnesses shall be allowed.

  • The Panel Chairperson will conduct a briefing of the committee to share the evidence prior to the hearing; and
  • The grievant may be permitted to have up to one person present at the hearing (i.e., a personal advisor.) However, the accompanying party may not address the Panel, question witnesses, the committee, or any other party. The accompanying party may not address the committee at any time. This section is also applicable even if the accompanying party is an attorney. In instances where the presence of another party will be counterproductive to the grievance process, the Hearing Officer may exclude the interfering party.
  • The Panel Chair may limit the number of parties in attendance.

Review Hearing: (Proceedings may be recorded by the Panel; recording is not required.)

  1. Both parties have the right to submit changes of proposed evidence for hearing. Panel Chair shall determine if a witness will be called or evidence accepted for presentation, where untimely. Witnesses not associated with GGC, may not be requested to appear and may not be included in the hearing, absent extraordinary circumstances. When a witness cannot or will not appear, the Review Panel may consider the written statement of the witness or make a determination as to whether the statement is appropriate for consideration.
  2. Actual hearing proceedings will be informal and strict rules of legal procedure will not be followed. The Panel Chairperson will determine how the hearing is conducted and the relevancy of the evidence. The proceedings, except for the deliberations of the Hearing Panel may be tape recorded by the Panel Chair; no other recordings or electronic devices will be allowed. The Panel Chair has sole discretion in determining whether to tape a proceeding.

The order of presentations will be as follows:

  1. Grievant
  2. Management Representative, if applicable
  3. Witnesses, if applicable
  4. Summary

Time: The Hearing is limited to a total time of one and one-half hours for the presentations. Included in this time are questions to witnesses and their responses. The committee may grant additional time if it is deemed necessary by the Panel Chair.

Attendance at the Hearing:

  1. The hearing may be closed to anyone but the parties, panel members
  2. All potential witnesses, with the exception of the grievant and the management/administrators, must leave the hearing room until they are called to testify; absent other instructions from the Panel Chair.

Procedural Modification:

The Panel Chair shall have the authority to modify the Hearing procedures, where appropriate.

Request for additional information:

If at the conclusion of the hearing, the Review Panel believes it needs to obtain additional information, a second meeting may be scheduled for final deliberations; otherwise deliberations will take place following the hearing. The determination of whether or not a second meeting will be held is at the sole discretion of the review panel.

Deliberations:

At the close of all evidence, the members of the panel will meet in closed session. A determination of findings will be made and if applicable, conclusions and recommendations will be determined.

Committee Determination and Recommendation: A Panel recommendation will be prepared by the committee within ten working days. The Panel Chair may extend this deadline at his/her discretion, based on appropriate justification.

Panel recommendations shall be forwarded to the President for final institutional decision. In instances where the President is unavailable, the President authorizes the Panel Chair or President’s designee to issue the final institutional decision on his behalf. If the Panel issues an advisory report, the report is advisory in nature and is not binding. If there are any advisory reports or special recommendations regarding the matter, they may be provided separately and confidentially to the President. The grievant will not have access to advisory reports or special recommendations as part of the grievance process.

Timeframe for Completion:

The final institutional decision should be conferred by the President or his designee within 20 working days of completion of the Hearing Panel determination. A party may appeal a final institutional decision by submitting a written appeal request to the Office of the President within ten working days from the date noted on the final institutional decision. Absent sufficient justification, the grievant may not be allowed to file a campus appeal of a final institutional decision, where notice was given and the grievant failed to appear for his/her scheduled hearing or scheduled investigative panel review.

Further Appeal

If the grievant wishes to appeal a final institutional decision, a review by the Board of Regents may be requested, in writing, within 20 calendar days of the date noted on the written notification of final institutional decision, in accordance with appeal guidelines listed on the Board of Regents website (www.usg.edu) for the University System of Georgia. This request must state the decision appealed and the redress desired, and will be acted upon in accordance with the policies and provisions of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Board of Regents may accept or decline the request for appeal.

8.2.51 Benefits Continuation Policy for Employees in Suspension or Leave Status

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In accordance with BOR requirements, employees who are suspended with or without pay and employees in leave status with or without pay retain benefits eligibility, until they resign or are terminated. Employee health and other related benefits can be terminated for non-payment of premiums. Therefore, it shall be the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College to send a benefit continuation eligibility notice to all employees in suspension or leave without pay status, requiring the employee to submit a check or to make written payment arrangements to cover the employee portion of their benefits on a monthly basis, for the duration of their unpaid suspension or leave without pay status. Employees who do not submit payment or make written payment arrangements within 30 days of receipt of a benefits continuation eligibility notice, shall be issued a Notice of Benefits Termination for nonpayment of premiums; said notice shall state the effective date of benefits termination as 30 days from the date of benefits termination notice issuance, absent extenuating circumstance (as determined by the College at its sole discretion). All notices under this policy shall be sent via first class and certified mail (return receipt requested) to the employee’s address of record. If a termination of benefits notice sent to the address of record is returned undeliverable, the College may terminate said benefits on the date indicated in the Notice of Benefits Termination without further action. If an employee later returns to paid status, the employee may resume benefits in accordance with the earliest date allowable under the insurance eligibility guidelines or during the next open season.

8.2.52 Employee Transfer Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) supports an environment that values the pursuit of career mobility and encourages employees who express an interest, and have the abilities, to pursue appropriate vacancies to foster their career development. Toward that end, employees’ efforts to transfer from one position to another will be supported, where feasible. An employee may: (a) apply for a posted position in another GGC department or at another USG institution or the University System office, or (b) be identified for transfer when appropriate, based on the business needs of the institution. The College shall have the discretion to make interim or permanent transfers of employees when deemed appropriate, as approved in advance by written memorandum from the President. For the purposes of the Georgia Gwinnett College policy, there shall be two types of transfers as follows:

  1. Internal Transfer - (Interim or Permanent as documented at time of transfer.) The shift of an employee from one position to another of the same classification or to one with comparable skills and in the same general pay range within the College.
  1. The employee who is affected by an internal transfer shall continue all benefits uninterrupted.
  2. The employee will not restart the provisional period.

 

  1. External Transfer - (Permanent) The movement of an employee from a position at the College to a position at another institution or to or from the University System Office. Since institutional compensation practices may differ due to market conditions, the employee should consult the new USG employer/institution for information regarding their compensation offer. For instance, a transfer may be to a position at a different pay range but the provisions of the Board of Regents transfer policy shall apply. a. In the event of an external transfer, accumulated sick leave, retirement benefits and service continuity will be transferred if the break in service does not exceed thirty (30) calendar days. When the external transfer occurs with no break in service, an employee must transfer accrued vacation leave of between one (1) and twenty (20) days. For employees with accrued vacation leave of greater than twenty (20) days, the employee may elect one of the following options:
  1. Transfer of the total accrued vacation balance, not to exceed forty-five (45) days.
  2. Payment by the institution from which the employee is moving of accrued vacation leave greater than twenty (20) days. The total accrued vacation leave for which the employee may be paid shall not exceed twenty-five (25) days.
  3. The transferring employee will restart the provisional period at the new location effective on the first day of employment and serve his/her first six (6) months in a provisional status, subject to all terms and conditions of the provisional period policy. When an employee terminates from one institution and is then hired by another System institution, this shall not constitute an external transfer.

If the termination and subsequent hiring occurs with less than thirty (30) days between the actions, the Human Resources Officer of new employer may choose to treat such an action as an external transfer under this policy at his/her sole discretion.

8.2.53 Copyright and Fair Use Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy on the Use of Copyrighted Works in Education and Research

As a system devoted to providing the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education to students; pursuing leading-edge basic and applied research, scholarly inquiry, and creative endeavors; and bringing intellectual resources to the citizenry, the University System of Georgia is committed to respecting the rights of copyright holders and complying with copyright law. The University System of Georgia recognizes that the exclusive rights of copyright holders are balanced by limitations on those rights under federal copyright law, including the right to make a fair use of copyrighted materials and the right to perform or display works in the course of face-to-face teaching activities.

The University System of Georgia facilitates compliance with copyright law and, where appropriate, the exercise in good faith of full fair use rights by faculty and staff in teaching, research, and service activities. Specifically, the University System of Georgia

  • informs and educates students, faculty, and staff about copyright law, including the limited exclusive rights of copyright holders as set forth in 17 U.S.C. § 106, the application of the four fair use factors in 17 U.S.C. § 107, and other copyright exceptions;
  • develops and makes available tools and resources for faculty and staff to assist in determining copyright status and ownership and determining whether use of a work in a specific situation would be a fair use and, therefore, not an infringement under copyright law;
  • facilitates use of materials currently licensed by the University System of Georgia and provides information on licensing of third-party materials by the University System; and
  • identifies individuals at the University System and member institutions who can counsel faculty and staff regarding application of copyright law.

8.2.53.1 Procedures for Handling Copyright Infringement Complaints

Reviewed May 26, 2016

This document outlines the general procedures for how the Office of Educational Technology handles copyright infringement cases on the Georgia Gwinnett College network. Complaints are generally received through the University System of Georgia and contain evidence including the name of the work being shared and the source IP/Port information. Using the information from the complaint received, the Office of Educational Technology will review firewall and network log data to determine the user responsible. Once a potential user has been identified, the next steps are dependent on whether the user is a student, faculty, staff member, or guest user.

Policy Violations by Students:

student who is found to be in violation of campus copyright infringement policies may be subject to restriction or loss of the college network access and subject to disciplinary action through the Office of Student Integrity and/or administrative action through the Office of the Provost.

Based on the type of violation, severity of the violation, or prior history of violations, the Office of Student Integrity may take any of the appropriate disciplinary actions below:

  1. Issue a Written Warning and/or Reprimand: The student may be given a written or verbal warning to change/modify the behavior reported in the complaint.
  2. Completion of Research Paper and/or Educational Campaign: The student may be required to complete a research paper on copyright infringement and/or file sharing. Student may also be required to create an educational campaign for the College that increases awareness of copyright infringement.
  3. Verbal and/or Written Counseling Session: Counsel the student on their obligations to follow acceptable use and inform them of the requirement to remove the copyrighted material from their system before accessing the network again.
  4. Temporary or Permanent Loss of Network Access: The College may prohibit the student access to the College network.
  5. Probationary Period: Student may be placed on a temporary probation for a specified amount of time. Any violations of the policy during the probation period may result in further disciplinary actions, including but not limited to permanent loss of network access.

The Office of Student Integrity should notify the Office of Educational Technology once the investigation is completed and the case is closed. Students who are allowed access to the network following a violation of this policy shall immediately remove the copyrighted material from their system before accessing the network again.

The College reserves the right to immediately suspend a user’s network access at any time prior to the investigation and/or implementation of disciplinary actions if a determination is made that immediate suspension is appropriate. This determination is made by the College in its sole discretion.

Policy Violations by Faculty or Staff:

Any faculty or staff member reported to be in violation of this policy shall be notified of the reported violation, given a copy of the complaint and any supporting documentation, where applicable, and forwarded a Cease and Desist letter from the Office of Educational Technology or any authorized GGC administrative officer.

Any communications with a faculty or staff member reported to be in violation of this policy shall be forwarded to:

  • The user’s immediate supervisor;
  • The Vice President or Dean of the user’s department;
  • The Vice President for Educational Technology; aThe Office of Educational Technology shall forward any complaints and supporting documentation, where applicable, to the Office of Student Integrity for investigative review. Upon receipt, the Office of Student Integrity shall arrange a meeting with the student and allow the student to view the complaint and respond to the alleged violation. Anynd/or
  • The Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

Any complaints or reported violations received more than 48 hours after a faculty or staff member is notified of their initial offense may be considered a repeat offense and the faculty or staff member’s Media Access Control (MAC) address may be blocked from the network, without any additional notification requirement to the faulty member. Network access may be restored only at the direction of the Vice President for Educational Technology or another designated senior campus official.

Faculty and Staff members who are allowed access to the network following a violation of this policy shall immediately remove the copyrighted material from their system before accessing the network again.

The College reserves the right to immediately suspend a user’s network access at any time prior to the investigation, during the investigation, or at any other time before or after the review process. Implementation of any disciplinary actions may be imposed by the College at any time.

Policy Violations by Guest Users:

Guest users will be blocked from the network by their MAC address. If a Student, Faculty or Staff member comes forward as the owner of that system, the complaint will be handled using the procedures outlined above.

Due to the changing nature of the electronic environment, any aspect of this policy may be modified, including but not limited to, the disciplinary actions outlined, in order to maintain the appropriate operating environment for continued electronic access for the overall campus community.

For any questions concerning this policy, please contact the Office of Educational Technology at 678-407-5307.

8.2.54 Prohibition Against Sales, Solicitation, Invitation and Operation of Private Enterprise

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Georgia Gwinnett College does not permit sales, solicitation or the operation of private enterprises by individuals or business on college property, unless otherwise approved and provided for by contractual agreement. Except as specified by related procedure, all business enterprises operated on Georgia Gwinnett College property shall be operated as auxiliary enterprises and shall be under the direct management, control and supervision of the designated institutional officer.

Distribution of flyers, handbills, invitations, or leaflets advertising for the sale or giveaway of items or services and any other information may not be placed on college property, or presented to students or employees in any way other than through authorized college officials, college sponsored programs, approved Student Affairs events, or authorized programs for registered student clubs.

Violators under this policy may be issued for trespass warnings and are subject to additional campus and other enforcement actions.

This prohibition does not apply to promotions, programs and events sponsored or approved by the college, college affiliates, or the Board of Regents.

For solicitation guidelines pertaining to gifts to the college and/or fundraising events and efforts, refer to APM 7.61 The Georgia Gwinnett Campus College Fundraising Policy.

8.2.55 Dress and Personal Appearance

Reviewed May 26, 2016

It is the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College that each employee’s dress and grooming be appropriate for our work environment. Employees whose jobs require them to wear uniforms and/or whose attire must meet prescribed safety standards are not covered by this policy.

Staff and Faculty are representatives of the college and are therefore expected to maintain appropriate business professional appearance that is neat and clean. It is important to ensure that the College’s image is projected favorably at all times. Dress and appearance which may be deemed offensive in accordance with a Reasonable Person Standard is strictly prohibited. Departments are permitted to establish more specific dress guidelines as necessary based upon the department function (i.e., Fitness Center).

To support the spirit of the school, Fridays are designated as “Grizzly Fan Fridays.” It is the intent that each employee may choose to wear GGC paraphernalia as long as clothing is in good taste and will not negatively affect the College’s image. On these days, GGC paraphernalia may be paired with jeans provided they are in good taste, (no holes, rips, etc.). This does not apply when one must attend a function in which he/she is representing the college in a professional setting, meeting and/or conference. Should meetings and/or events occur on Friday that involve outside visitors/guests, normal business attire should be followed. Employees with questions about appropriate dress and appearance should ask their immediate supervisor and/or Human Resources.

8.2.56 Teleworking Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Policy Statement

Georgia Gwinnett College allows teleworking on a voluntary basis, where approved by an operating Vice President or the equivalent. Employees who fill job classifications and positions that have been designated as eligible for telework may submit a written request for consideration to telework from their home location. Telework may not be suitable for all employees or for all positions. Management personnel authorized by the institution to approve telework agreements shall hereinafter be referred to as the Telework Manager for the purposes of this policy.

Employee Participation in Program

Offering the opportunity to work at home (teleworking) is a management option and is not an employee right. An employee’s participation in a telework program is entirely voluntary. The employee, supervisor, or manager may terminate teleworking without cause. The level of service provided by the operating unit may not decrease as a result of an employee’s telework agreement. Employees must maintain on-going contact with the office while engaged in a telework schedule.

Equipment

This program is based on voluntary participation. The College is not required to purchase additional equipment for an employee in order to effectuate a telework agreement. The College may, at its sole discretion, provide a laptop or cell phone, where budget resources are available. In order for an employee to participate in this voluntary initiative the employee shall be responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary electronic communication, including but not limited to, home based internet and other necessary sources to communicate and complete work assignments from home. Request for reimbursement for telework purposes may be denied at the discretion of the College, as telework authorization is an option not a right.

Exclusions

Offices involving emergency operations, customer service based operations, telephone support, some areas of educational technology, meeting and planning coordination, administrative support, student support, building support, and other services or positions as deemed ineligible by the College, may be excluded from consideration under this policy.

Review & Cancellation

The operating unit is responsible for periodically reviewing the impact of teleworking schedules on productivity and service. Telework agreements may be granted only when (1) the change will not interfere with the efficient operation of the College, (2) the employee’s performance will not be adversely affected, (3) the Vice President or designee has approved the telework agreement, and (4) where other operating factors have been considered and the telework agreement has been deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

The College, the Vice President, or operating unit, may discontinue, temporarily suspend, or alter the telework agreement of any employee based on the needs of the organization. This decision is not subject to the grievance procedure or grievance policies.

For applicable forms, questions, or time card management issues, please contact the Georgia Gwinnett College Office of Payroll & Benefits.

8.2.84 GGC Reduction in Force Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Reduction in Force

In accordance with Board of Regents requirements, the following shall govern reductions in force for Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). GGC is committed to providing stable employment for its employees; however, in accordance with BOR policy, the College shall have the authority to determine the appropriate staffing levels to meet the mission of the institution. The College, in its sole discretion, may add positions or change positions where necessary to meet the mission of the institution, and it may eliminate positions that are no longer critical to the mission of the institution. Situations such as lack of funding, lack of work, or reorganization may require a reduction in the workforce. In making such reductions, the College remains responsible for retaining the staff necessary to preserve their excellence. If the President has determined that a workforce reduction will not occur for a particular situation, this policy shall not be utilized.

Generally, a reduction in workforce may be implemented for reasons that include the following:

  • A budget reduction and/or funding changes;
  • Programmatic changes that result in the elimination of or decrease in services;
  • Reorganization that results in a shifting of responsibilities or elimination of certain tasks altogether;
  • Business process improvements that change work to such an extent that a position(s) is no longer required;
  • Organizational changes that might prompt an adjustment to staffing needs; and
  • Other operational reasons as determined by the President.

In an effort to avoid reducing positions due to budget cuts or funding changes, the College reserves the right to consider implementing a furlough or other such program to achieve the necessary budget reduction.

Employees are to be terminated through a reduction in force only after examining other available alternatives. The provisions of this policy are not to be used to remove an employee if the sole cause is substandard performance, incompetence or misconduct.

If the positions eliminated via this policy are reestablished within one year, the employees displaced may be given an opportunity to apply for the positions. The operating unit should coordinate with Human Resources to ensure this communication occurs.

The employee(s) shall also have the right, upon written request within twenty (20) days from the date of the final decision of the President to apply to the Board of Regents for a review of the President’s decision in accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws of the Board.

Reason for Policy

This policy ensures consistency among operating units of GGC as necessary for implementing ethical and legal processes and communication around RIF’s.

This policy also provides the College with flexible guidelines necessary to meet institutional, BOR, State and Federal work regulations and laws.

This policy also supports institutional financial management goals.

Entities Affected By This Policy

All operating units of the College are covered by this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy

All managers, supervisors and employees within the College should read this policy.

Definitions

  • Financial Exigency: any event or occurrence that creates a need to reduce financial expenditures for personnel and/or other costs
  • Reduction in Force: A reduction in force (RIF) is an action to reduce the number of employees in a department or at the College overall. A reduction in force may become necessary due to reduced funding, reorganization, and/or changed workload.
  • Georgia Department of Labor Rule 300-2.4-.10 and O.C.G.A. §34-8-70: Georgia’s Unemployment laws state that in the event of a mass layoff, when a requisite number of employees are displaced, certain requirements must be followed. Under Georgia Department of Labor Rules whenever twenty-five (25) or more workers employed in one establishment are separated on the same day, for the same reason, and the separation is permanent, for an indefinite period or for an expected duration of seven (7) or more days, the employer or employing unit shall, within forty-eight (48) hours following such separation, furnish the local office of the department nearest its place of business, Form DOL-402, titled ―Mass Separation Notice (in duplicate) and a copy of Form DOL-402A ―Mass Separation Notice (Continuation Sheet), setting forth the information required thereon.

Overview

Identification of Employees for a Reduction in Force

All regular classified employees who have completed their provisional periods are covered by this policy (full-time and part-time regularly scheduled to work twenty (20) or more hours each work week).

Temporary employees, employees funded through sponsored programs and/or contracts, and regular employees scheduled less than twenty (20) hours per week, and provisional period employees may be separated without following this policy.

The decision as to which employee(s) must be separated is determined at the operating unit level, subject to the approval of the President and review by the operating Vice President, the Chief Legal Affairs Officer and Diversity Officer, and Human Resources. Each operating unit should consider financial, supervisory and AA/EEO goals in implementing this policy.

To avoid delays in communicating a RIF each institution should contact their Human Resources Office prior to the anticipated separation of an affected employee by the reduction in force.

A reduction in force decision requires a thorough evaluation of the need for specific positions and the relative qualifications of employees so the institution can provide the highest level of service possible with a smaller work force.

When identifying employees for a reduction in force, management may consider the following factors. This list is not exhaustive and other factors, which are not listed, may be considered:

  • The position classification(s) affected;
  • The appointment type of each employee, and;
  • Impact on institutional equity.
  • Only when multiple positions exist within the department with the same classification but only a subset of those positions has been identified for the RIF, the documented performance of employees in affected classification(s) may be considered. (consult performance section within this policy)
Position Classification

For the purpose of determining which employee(s) will be affected by a reduction in force, comparisons will be made between departmental employees with the same job classification.

Appointment Type

Once the relevant job classification for the reduction in force has been determined, the operating unit head shall make a recommendation as to which employee(s) is (are) designated for the reduction in force. The type of appointment is the first factor to be considered. Regular employees must be retained over employees with temporary, provisional, and time-limited appointments with the same classifications.

Performance

The primary component for determining the performance of employees should be the most recent two (2) annual Performance Evaluation ratings, unless the employee has been employed for one (1) year or less in which case there would only be one (1) annual Performance Evaluation available. Other components of determining performance are:

  • An active disciplinary action for either job performance or personal conduct;
  • Documented performance difficulties communicated to the employee, but not rising to the level of disciplinary action; or
  • Any other documented indicators of performance.

Management is responsible for making the reduction in force decision using the above factors, and others that may not be listed including reasons not related to performance. A RIF should not be used to remove an employee to avoid adherence to the policy on demotion, suspension or dismissal.

Process/Procedures

Reduction in Force Process
  1. A supervisor/manager must submit written request for approval of a proposed reduction in force to designated institutional administrators (for example: President, operating VP, Chief HR Officer, AA/EEO Legal/Chief Diversity Officer). The written request must contain the following information:
  • The reason(s) for the reduction in force;
  • Anticipated date of separation;
  • Name(s) of the employee(s) to be separated and justification for the decision;
  • A listing of all vacant positions in the department which are the same or closely related;
  • Status of recruitment activity for vacant positions which are the same or closely related;
  • What efforts the operating unit has made within the department to avoid the reduction in force of the selected employee;
  • A brief explanation why action other than a reduction in force is not possible;
  • Management contact information; and
  • Current organizational chart of affected department

Upon receipt in Human Resources, the appropriate Chief HR Officer will identify the affirmative action information (i.e. race, gender, age, disability status, veteran’s status) for each employee identified for the RIF for use in an Affirmative Action review to be conducted by the Diversity Officer.

  1. After receiving approval from the President, the supervisor/manager must notify the employee in writing of the reduction in force using the institutional RIF template provided by Human Resources. Whenever possible, this letter should give the employee at least sixty (60) preferably ninety (90) days, prior notice before the reduction in force occurs. The notification period may be amended by the President based on the needs of the institution. The College, at its discretion, may place the impacted employees in a different work area and assign temporary duties to the impacted group during the RIF notice period in order to facilitate the necessary transitions. The written RIF letter should contain the following information:
  • The reason for the reduction in force;
  • The effective date of the reduction in force (whenever possible the employee should receive the notification at least sixty (60) preferably ninety (90) days prior to the effective date)
  • Instructions to contact Human Resources to obtain information about:
    • Unemployment insurance eligibility;
    • The right of employees to appeal the reduction in force to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
    • Retirement system membership and benefit continuation options; and
    • Opportunities for seeking employment within the institution.
  1. The last day the employee works is the effective date of the reduction in force. An employee separated by a reduction in force is paid for accumulated vacation leave (as permitted by Board of Regents policy) in the same manner as other separations.
  2. On the final day of employment, the employee must complete the institution’s clearance process and Human Resources will process all other termination business for the employee.
  3. If applicable, Human Resources will complete Form DOL-402, titled ―Mass Separation Notice‖ (in duplicate) and a copy of Form DOL-402A ―Mass Separation Notice (Continuation Sheet),‖ setting forth the information required thereon (Georgia Department of Labor Rule 300-2-4-.10 and O.C.G.A. §34-8-70).

Parties Responsible

The following parties are responsible for management of Reductions in Force:

  • President
  • Operating Vice President
  • Chief Legal Affairs Officer
  • Diversity Officer
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Vice President of Business and Finance

8.2.85 Space Heaters

Reviewed May 26, 2016

It is the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College to publish a statement on the use of electric space heaters in the buildings on its campus. GGC is committed to the safety and protection of its students, faculty, staff and visitors while they occupy the various facilities. Thus, GGC has established that no electric space heaters are to be used at any time to supplement the existing heating which is regularly provided by the college through means of a building’s own heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. In the event that the building systems which normally produce heat or conditioned air are interrupted for extended periods due to circumstances beyond the control of the college, or whenever there are conditions which require extended periods of repair in order to correct the building system operation, GGC will inform the campus in as timely a manner as possible how to proceed with the day’s activity. Should systems fail to operate as a result of inclement weather or other emergency, GGC will issue instructions through its emergency notification procedures to the campus.

8.2.86 Cellular Mobile and Smart Devices Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Purpose

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) encourages faculty and staff to participate in the mobile digital community in order to enhance the student experience and to improve efficiency and productivity. In order to support these activities within the confines of State and Federal regulations, while remaining sensitive to the individual issues and requirements of each employee, GGC will offer two funding options,

GGC-Provided Mobile Service Options

Employees using this option will have the use of a GGC-liable monthly service plan. The Office of Educational Technology will determine device options and plan services.

Employees may use the device for personal and business purposes without restriction. Any personal use that incurs costs outside of those covered by the service plan will also be the responsibility of the employee. Personal use of the device and service may incur tax liability; any tax liability will be the responsibility of the employee.

GGC will provide standard device options, at no cost to the employee, from which employees may choose. Such devices remain the property of GGC.

Employees may also choose from an enhanced device list, in which case they will pay the contract price of the device. The employee then owns the device, and is responsible for maintaining required functionality equivalent to the capabilities of the standard devices. Employees are responsible for the care of their device, and may be charged for damage to GGC-owned equipment according to APM 11.91 Lost, Stolen or Damaged Equipment.

Stipend Option

This option is not available at this time. Employees already using this option will be allowed to retain it unless notified otherwise.

Employees using this option are given a stipend to be used for the purpose of subsidizing their own personal device and/or data plan that they agree to use for business purposes as well as personal use. GGC’s contribution toward the mobile device and service and/or data plan is not considered an entitlement, is not part of an employee’s base salary, and may be changed and/or withdrawn by GGC at any time. The Office of Educational Technology must approve the device and plan. The employee must provide verification of their plan details, and notify GGC if it changes or is terminated. The stipend provided is $50.00 per month.

Contracts, Fees and Taxes

GGC is not responsible for any contract fees or termination fees that may result in individual phone contracts. Employees are advised that any stipends may be treated as taxable income based on Internal Revenue Code Requirements.

Eligibility

  • All GGC employees are eligible for participation in either program. Staff participation requires the approval of the appropriate Vice President.
  • All senior leadership, faculty and other positions as determined by the area Vice Presidents are required to use a cell phone in the conduct of their job. “Senior leadership” is defined as Assistant Director and above, or equivalent titles.
  • Participation ends when employment is terminated.

Campus-only Devices

As determined by the area Vice President and the Vice President for Educational Technology, certain service positions within GGC or under contract will be provided with campus-only devices. These devices are for the conduct of GGC business only and are for use on the GGC campus. The area Vice President must approve other uses, when necessary. The individual employee must sign an accountability statement and quarterly verification of business only use must be completed.

Future Cellular Mobile and Smart Devices Policy Amendments

These policies and procedures are subject to change based on IRS Regulations, Georgia State policies, and USG policies

8.2.87 Mandatory Participation in Alert Notification System

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to the safety of students, staff, and faculty. Communication is an important component of campus safety and part of the communication plan includes an alert notification system. Email participation is mandatory for all GGC students, staff and faculty. GGC also requires that each participant provide either a cell phone number for SMS based text messages or a phone number for a voice message alert.

Related materials to support the alert notification system may be found in:

  1. GGC Alert: Process and Procedures
  2. GGC Alert Message Templates

8.2.88 Workplace Violence on Campus

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment committed to the prevention of workplace violence on campus and the maintenance of a respectful work environment free from threats of violence and related harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behaviors. To foster this environment, college stakeholders, including but not limited to, faculty, staff, students, student employees, affiliates, contractors, and agents, are expected to practice the appropriate safety principles and standards.

Scope

This policy and these guidelines apply to workplace violence on campus, including domestic violence, which affects the campus work environment in any manner.

Definitions

  1. Workplace violence on campus includes any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the campus work setting or related to a campus sponsored work function or event
  2. Workplace violence ranges from offensive language to homicide and results in threatening situations occurring in or related to the workplace. When an issue is related to the job but the actual incident occurs away from the workplace, it is also workplace violence. An event can be an actual on campus violent act, including but not limited to, threatening behavior or verbal abuse, physical assaults and threats of assault; or off campus job related incidents, e.g., stalking, telephone and e-mail harassment, threats, other confrontations or violent acts which are related to the campus work environment.
  3. Domestic violence affecting the campus work environment-encompasses physical violence, emotional and verbal abuse, isolation, or threats and intimidation which affect the campus work environment but stem from a domestic relationship, including but not limited to husband and wife, cohabitating individuals, and other relationships. Domestic violence victims and perpetrators of such acts in the campus work environment are included in the policy.

Application

Georgia Gwinnett College will not tolerate any type of workplace violence on campus by or against faculty, staff, students, student employees, affiliates, contractors, agents, or guests. Violations of the workplace violence policy will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. To make deliberate false accusations of workplace violence violates this policy. In such instances, the complainant will be subject to disciplinary action. However, failure to prove a claim of workplace violence does not constitute proof of a false and/or malicious accusation.

Impact

Individuals who commit acts of workplace violence on campus may be removed from the campus and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, criminal penalties, or both. Corrective action for students involved in workplace violence on campus may also include dismissal from the College and denial of readmission, in addition to criminal penalties.

All reports of workplace violence on campus will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately, as noted below.

  • If an employee is the perpetrator in an incident of workplace violence on campus, there will be an initial investigation to determine if any change in the employee’s work status is required. An investigation panel may be convened by the President or his designee. The panel will make a determination as to whether an immediate change in the employee’s work status is necessary pending investigation. The employee’s pay status during this period may also be affected based on the panel’s recommendation. Once the panel investigation is complete, recommended action(s) will be forwarded to the President within five (5) business days. The President shall review the recommendation and render a written decision within five (5) business days. The President’s decision will serve as the final institutional ruling on the matter.
  • If a student is the perpetrator of an incident involving workplace violence on campus, the matter may be handled in accordance with the same procedures outlined above for employee perpetrators or the President may refer the matter to the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost for handling in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.

Responsibilities

In furtherance of this policy, there are certain responsibilities related to the prohibited weapons on campus and other items, which must be adhered to as a condition of employment and/or enrollment at Georgia Gwinnett College. These prohibited practices are outlined in the Student Handbook and in the appropriate employee manuals.

These prohibitions include:

  1. Use of any weapon, firearms, air gun, sling shot, zip gun, or any other device that propels a dangerous projectile of any kind, except as authorized by Georgia State Law.
  2. Transporting or possession of privately owned firearms on campus in violation of current Georgia Law.
  3. Carrying any firearm in violation of current Georgia Law. The only exception is for federal and/or civil law enforcement personnel engaged in their official duties.
  4. Carrying in a concealed manner any straight razor, ice pick, knife, or homemade knife-like weapon having a blade length, when extended, of more than 2 inches as measured from the blade hilt to the blade tip.
  5. Possession of any of the following:
  1. Any knife having a switchblade or automatic blade opener, blackjack, bolo knife, machete, sword, spear, or similar instrument.
  2. Any club-type hand weapon, i.e., -brass knuckles, -knucks, -knucklers,or any other hand-held weapon.
  3. Pyrotechnics of any type, such as firecrackers, Molotov cocktails, smoke grenades, or artillery simulators, except when authorized by the President.
  4. Any martial arts weapons or equipment, including but not limited to, throwing stars, - nun chucks, and throwing knives.

Notification

All GGC faculty, staff, students, student employees, affiliates, contractors and agents are required to be familiar with this policy.

If anyone has an immediate safety concern in the campus environment, they should immediately contact the Office of Public Safety.

8.2.89 Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus “Breathe Easy” Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In accordance with the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act of 2005, Title 31 Chapter 12A, and the policies of the Board of Regents for the University of Georgia, this policy reinforces Georgia Gwinnett College’s commitment to provide a safe and amicable environment for employees, students, and guests. The goal of the policy is to preserve and improve the health, comfort and environment of students, employees and any persons occupying our campus.

The use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of, or in any way used by Georgia Gwinnett College or its affiliates is expressly prohibited. For purposes of this policy, “Tobacco Products” is defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other smoking devices that use tobacco such as hookahs or simulate the use of tobacco such as electronic cigarettes.

Further, this policy prohibits any advertising, sale, or free sampling of tobacco products on Georgia Gwinnett College properties unless specifically stated for approved educational purposes. This prohibition includes but is not limited to all areas indoors and outdoors, buildings and parking lots owned, leased, rented or otherwise used by the Georgia Gwinnett College Community or its affiliates. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in vehicles - private or public vehicles - located on Georgia Gwinnett College campus and/or facilities within the operational control of Georgia Gwinnett College.

This policy applies to persons who enter the areas described above, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, contractors and subcontractors, spectators, and visitors. Events hosted by Georgia Gwinnett College or its affiliates shall be tobacco-free. Events hosted by outside groups on behalf of Georgia Gwinnett College shall also be tobacco-free.

Exceptions for Tobacco Use

Any exceptions of this policy must be approved in writing by the President of Georgia Gwinnett College. Exceptions to the policy will be very limited and on an as needed basis. The intent of the policy is for the campus to be tobacco and smoke free unless otherwise needed for approved educational purposes.

Enforcement

The overall enforcement and authority of this policy lies with the authorized campus officials, but it is also a shared campus community responsibility, which means students, faculty, staff, and contractors share in the responsibility to help keep the campus tobacco-free.

Violation of Policy

GGC employees who do not comply with the policy may be issued verbal and written reprimands and are subject to other personnel actions. GGC students who do not comply with the policy may be issued verbal warnings and written student integrity memorandums of counseling and are subject to other student integrity actions. Visitors refusing to comply with this policy may be asked to leave campus and are subject to additional actions, as deemed appropriate by campus officials and the Office of Public Safety.

Resources Available for Tobacco Cessation

From time to time, Georgia Gwinnett College will make available resources to assist employees and students with tobacco cessation as well as educational materials and other wellness information.

Employees

Employees who are interested in any available tobacco cessation programs should contact the Office of Human Resources for updates at (678) 407-5070. This “Breathe Easy Initiative” may be expanded by the Office of Human Resources for the campus community from time to time. Employees should be aware of the Board of Regents policy and incentive programs for individuals who become involved in a cessation assistance program.

Students

The Office of Student Affairs will offer Smoking Cessation programs to students from time to time. Currently, the Wellness Center utilizes the Freedom from Smoking program, which is the American Lung Association’s research based eight week smoking cessation clinic. For more information, students may contact wellnessrec@ggc.edu.

Members of the campus community will hear more about the “Breathe Easy Initiative” and program changes through publication and updates on the GGC website.

Any parties interested in additional cessation programs may wish to refer to the government website.

Conclusion

Employees with any additional questions should contact the Office of Human Resources at (678) 407-5070 and students with any additional questions should contact the Office of Student Affairs at (678) 407-5882. Visitors with questions should contact the Office of Public Safety at (678) 407-5333.

8.2.90 Employment in Multiple Types Of Employment

Reviewed May 26, 2016

An individual may not be employed at Georgia Gwinnett College in more than one (1) employment type. For example: an employee should not be employed as a regular employee and as a temporary employee or an employee should not be employed as a student assistant and as a half-time regular employee. Most importantly, an employee should never be employed as both an Exempt employee and as a Non-exempt employee.

8.2.91 Standard Calendar Year Hours

Reviewed May 26, 2016

For purposes of calculating hourly pay, 2,080 hours will be the factor used in all cases. The actual work hours in a year will not be used (including leap years).

8.2.92 Drug Testing

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Pre-employment Drug Testing

In accordance with Senate Bill 22, O.C.G.A. 45-20-110/111 and in an effort to promote a drug-free workplace, an applicant for employment at Georgia Gwinnett College who is offered a position that has been designated as requiring a drug test shall, prior to commencing employment, submit to an established test for illegal drugs.

General Provisions

Positions that have been designated as requiring a pre-employment drug test are:

Campus Protective Services Officers *
Campus Protective Services Personnel (as designated by the VP or Director) *
Persons employed in positions requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) *
Others positions that have been deemed by the institution to be considered hazardous *
Unless otherwise indicated, designated positions are full-time.

*Applicants who have been offered full or part-time positions must submit to a pre-employment drug test. Job advertisements for designated positions will indicate that pre-employment drug testing is required.

Any new position(s) established by Georgia Gwinnett College will be analyzed to determine if the new position(s) should be subject to pre-employment drug testing. Such analysis will be conducted by the Chief Human Resources Officer. All costs of such testing shall be paid for by Georgia Gwinnett College. An applicant selected for a designated position will be notified that he/she must submit to a pre-employment drug test, and that employment is contingent upon a negative test result in accordance with Senate Bill 22. The Chief Human Resources Officer or his/her designee will provide the applicant with the appropriate pre-employment drug testing document that must be presented to the collection facility designated by the Office of Human Resources. Tests will be conducted in an authorized laboratory facility, and an applicant will be told where he/she may go to submit to the test. He/she must submit to the test within three (3) work days.

Failure or Refusal of Pre-employment Drug Testing

Any applicant who is offered employment in a position requiring a pre-employment drug test and who: (a) declines to submit to an established test for illegal drugs; (b) fails to appear for an established test for illegal drugs after being properly notified to do so; or (c) who tests positive for the use of illegal drugs shall be disqualified from employment with Georgia Gwinnett College. Such disqualification shall not be removed for a period of two (2) years from the date such test was administered or offered, whichever is later.

The identity of any applicant who declines a pre-employment drug test, who fails to appear for a pre-employment drug test, or who tests positive for illegal drug use, shall not be considered a public record and shall be withheld from all persons, except those who have a need for such information in their official capacity. The results of pre-employment drug tests shall remain confidential and shall not be a public record, unless necessary for the administration of the provisions of Senate Bill 22 or otherwise mandated by other state or federal law. The Chief Human Resources Officer shall establish such policies as may be necessary to assure the confidentiality of such information and to identify those individuals who are entitled to such information.

Screening Results

An applicant whose sample is rejected by the testing laboratory shall be directed to appear for retesting. If the results of the confirmatory test indicate the presence of illegal drugs, such results shall be reviewed and interpreted by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation. If the applicant provides appropriate documentation and the Medical Review Officer (MRO) determines that it was a legitimate usage of the substance, the result shall be reported to the Chief Human Resources Officer as negative. If the testing laboratory determines that the sample of an applicant may have been adulterated, the applicant shall be directed to appear for retesting. Any applicant who fails to provide an alternative medical explanation shall be reported to the Chief Human Resources Officer by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) as having a positive test result. If an applicant, while at the collection facility, is unable to produce at least sixty (60) milliliters of urine after following the procedures of the collection facility, the applicant shall be directed to appear the next business day for retesting.

Any applicant offered employment that refuses to submit to an established test for illegal drugs, or whose test results are positive, shall be disqualified from employment with Georgia Gwinnett College for a period of two (2) years from the date that such test was administered or offered, whichever is later. The results of such tests shall remain confidential and shall not be public record, unless necessary for the administration of Senate Bill 22 or otherwise mandated by other state or federal law.

Any applicant who tests positive for the use of illegal drugs shall be disqualified from employment with Georgia Gwinnett College. Such disqualification shall not be removed for a period of two (2) years from the date such test was administered or offered, whichever is later. Test results will be sent to the Chief Human Resources Officer only. The Chief Human Resources Officer will notify the applicant of the results. If test results are positive, the Chief Human Resources Officer will ask the applicant to re-submit to a drug test. The Chief Human Resources Officer will communicate with the Medical Review Officer (MRO) at the lab to determine if the second test result is positive or negative.

The Chief Human Resources Officer will notify an applicant, in writing, to confirm that he/she may be employed by the College or that he/she has been disqualified for employment for two (2) years from the date the test was administered. The Chief Human Resources Officer will notify an applicant, in writing, who refuses to submit to a test that has been offered, that he/she has been disqualified from employment at the College for two (2) years from the date the test was offered.

Medical Review Officer

The testing laboratory shall forward the results of all pre-employment drug tests to the State Medical Review Officer (MRO), who shall assure the security of such results. The Medical Review Officer (MRO) shall forward negative results of a pre-employment drug test to the State Merit System, which in turn will notify Georgia Gwinnett College’s Chief Human Resources Officer as soon as is applicable.

Laboratory reports which indicate the presence of any illegal drug(s) shall be retained by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) until a final determination is reached. Such information shall be confidential and shall only be available to the MRO or designee and the affected applicant. Positive laboratory results shall be reviewed and determinations of legal or illegal usage shall be made in accordance with procedures established by the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR).

Any pre-employment drug test which indicates the presence of illegal drugs shall be followed by a confirmatory test using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. The results shall be reviewed and interpreted by the MRO to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation. If the applicant provides appropriate documentation, and the MRO determines that it was a legitimate usage of the substance(s), the pre-employment drug test results shall be reported as negative. The MRO or designee shall, upon receipt of a laboratory report that indicated the presence of an illegal drug(s), attempt to contact the applicant to establish a time at which a private discussion may be conducted concerning the results of the pre-employment drug test. This process will be conducted consistent with the provisions adopted by the State Merit System of Human Resources Administration.

If an applicant refuses to discuss with the MRO the results of a pre-employment drug test, declines the opportunity to provide an explanation of the results, or admits to the usage of an illegal drug(s), the MRO, without further action or review, shall report to Chief Human Resources Officer that the results of the pre-employment drug test indicate that the applicant has used an illegal drug(s). If, after appropriate review, the MRO determines that the results of a pre-employment drug test indicate that an applicant has used an illegal drug(s), the MRO shall, in writing, notify the affected applicant and the Merit System. Such notification shall include the specific drug(s) the applicant has been deemed to have illegally used. The State Merit System will advise the Chief Human Resources Officer of any such result.

Post-Employment Drug Testing

Employees holding a position that is considered -high risk on a regular basis may be subject to random drug testing for evidence of use of illegal drugs. A -high-risk employee is defined as one whose job responsibilities pose a potential for significant risk or harm to the employee, other employees, or the general public in the event of inattention to duty or errors in judgment while on duty. This policy also includes persons employed in positions requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and law enforcement officers as well as individuals employed by private entities which contract with the college to provide security services, subject to random drug testing procedures as prescribed by their employer and consistent with contractual obligation. Officers and unarmed security contractors who are engaged full-time in purely administrative or clerical duties are not considered high risk.

Random testing is defined as a process in which the names of -high risk employees to be tested are chosen purely by lot. Such testing shall not, at any one time, be given to more than one employee on each work shift who has previously been classified as a -high risk employee. All testing will be held in accordance with the procedures used by the State of Georgia Merit System of Personnel Administration.

Any -high risk employee who declines a drug test, or who tests positive for drug use, shall be terminated from employment.

8.2.93 Faculty/Staff Professional Travel

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Non-Exempt employees who travel on behalf of the College will be compensated according to FLSA regulations, which include payment for travel time.

Professional Travel at the Request of the College

Travel at the request of the College is normally paid in accordance with current Board of Regents/State rules and regulations. Individuals should strive to travel as inexpensively as possible without interfering with the business that they have been requested to perform. College policies for travel reimbursement will be used and should be reviewed by the traveler prior to departure.

Professional Travel at the Request of the Employee

An employee’s request for travel within the United States or to Canada will be handled at the discretion of the Dean of School or appropriate manager. An employee’s requests for travel outside the United States and Canada should be recommended by the Dean of School and approved by the Executive Team. Approval will be contingent on available funds and other relevant considerations. Generally, funds for international travel will be limited to those giving professional presentations. Funding up to $1,500 will be considered.

The amount of travel funds allocated by the College to the traveler will be at the discretion of the appropriate manager.

College policies for travel reimbursement will be used and should be reviewed by the traveler prior to departure. As a general rule, professional leave will not be granted to teaching faculty for more than eight (8) days in any academic year and/or for more than five (5) days in any one (1) semester.

Travel Allowances for Faculty

Faculty members are encouraged to participate in the activities of learned societies, and when they take a significant part in the meetings of such groups, the College makes every effort to help defray their travel expenses. Requests for such allowances should be made to the Dean. Faculty members are reimbursed for travel expenses according to the guidelines as outlined by the Board of Regents.

University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall be guided by general travel regulations set forth in this section when employees are required to travel away from headquarters in the performance of their official duties. These regulations, which are general in nature, are intended to provide a reasonable degree of uniformity for the various institutions within the system, and may be supplemented with such specific regulations and instructions as may be required.

In requiring certain of its employees to travel in the performance of their duties, the USG expects to reimburse them for reasonable and necessary expenses as may be incurred while traveling away from their official headquarters and places of residence. In cooperation with regulations promulgated by the state auditor’s office and the Office of Planning and Budget, the Board of Regents has adopted the following general regulations regarding travel of employees on USG official business.

Note: State travel regulations can be accessed at the Department of Audits and Accounts web site.

8.2.94 Right to Know

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In compliance with the law, and in an effort to help ensure the health and safety of its employees, Georgia Gwinnett College has established a “Hazardous Communication Program.” This brief explanation of that program should answer many of the questions about hazardous chemicals at Georgia Gwinnett College and provide the resources for any further information.

In 1988, the Georgia State Legislature passed the Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right-To-Know Act. This Act provides public employees with the same protection and rights in this area as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides to employees in private industry. More specifically, the law provides that:

  • By December 31, 1991, each agency of the State of Georgia submit to the Department of Labor, for approval, an extensive and detailed plan of how it intends to comply with all aspects of the Act.
  • By July 1, 1992, all employees of the State must be apprised of the law and how it affects them. Also, certain training and an opportunity to ask questions are to be provided.
  • There must be documentation that each employee has participated in a training session.
  • All hazardous substances be properly stored and labeled.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) be provided on all hazardous chemicals and stored in a general location as well as in job-specific areas.
  • Any contractors bringing hazardous chemicals onto a site must provide all protection and MSDSs as provided by the law.

Questions concerning -Right To Know or requests for MSDS information should be forwarded to the GGC Director of Facilities Management at 678-407-5853 or to the GGC Environmental Health and Safety Officer at 678-407-5034.

8.2.95 Staff Personnel Performance Evaluation

Reviewed May 26, 2016

All employees of Georgia Gwinnett College, except faculty and students, are subject to and governed by the provisions of the Board of Regents Classified Personnel Policies.

In accordance with BOR Policy and governing manuals, it shall be the policy of Georgia Gwinnett College to support a performance management process that is consistent and continuous, and emphasizes communication between supervisors and employees. Supervisors are expected to assess and ensure optimal employee performance, document acceptable and unacceptable performance, and to improve performance that is below standards or below an employee’s capabilities. Critical to meeting this expectation are regular evaluations of an employee’s progress, accurate documentation of that progress, and communications with the employee.

The intended objectives of the evaluation process are improvement in organizational effectiveness through individual improvement, career development and merit pay administration. In line with these objectives, Georgia Gwinnett College has established a system for the performance evaluation process governing staff personnel. The performance evaluation process and documentation shall emphasize communication between the employee and supervisor to accomplish the following:

  • Make employees aware of what is expected of them
  • Provide employees with feedback about their performance
  • Provide employees with opportunities for education, training, and development
  • Reward employees in a fair and equitable manner

Evaluations may also be utilized in determining eligibility for transfer, promotion, position restructuring, and/or other employment related matters, where appropriate.

Staff employees shall be evaluated by the supervisor in a systematic manner during a specified time interval once each year. Senior administrators shall be evaluated by their subordinates (one level down) at least once every five (5) years

Annual evaluation forms and any related guidance documents shall be distributed to supervisors by the Georgia Gwinnett College Office of Human Resources.

Further, an employee in his or her six (6) month provisional period should be evaluated at least once prior to the completion of the provisional period.

8.2.96 Visitors While at Work

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Employees that desire to entertain visitors while at work must share in the responsibility that accompanies such a visit. In order to facilitate a professional working environment in the offices and classrooms of the College, and to provide specific instructions concerning visitors to the College, the following guidelines have been created.

Note that for the purposes of this policy, a visitor is defined as friends and/or family of the employee. Persons conducting business with the College are not addressed in this policy.

Whenever possible, the employee should inform his/her immediate supervisor, in a timely fashion, of an impending visit to the College.

An employee must accompany visitors at all times. Children and other minor visitors, especially, are not to be left alone and require that the employee be present during the visit. As a place of employment, the College is an inappropriate place for children. Thus, the College cannot and will not assume any responsibility for employee’s children on campus. Children who are visiting on College premises must be supervised at all times by the parent or adult guardian. This portion of the policy is not meant to exclude children that are enrolled in a credit or non-credit program or from participating in activities scheduled by the College to which the general public is invited.

Under no circumstances should an unescorted visitor be allowed into an area where chemicals are stored. This includes chemicals for cleaning and maintaining the facilities as well as chemicals and supplies for the classrooms and laboratories. It is the responsibility of the employee to complete safety training (provided by the College) and to be aware of the location of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) that detail the treatment for exposure to any such chemicals in their department. Children/minors under the age of 15 cannot be left alone.

Under no circumstances should a visitor be allowed to remain in an area where employee, student, or financial records are stored without the explicit permission of the custodian of the records.

A visitor should not unduly disrupt the normal working routine of any of the employees in the department that they are visiting. The immediate supervisor will have the discretion to determine if the presence of the visitor is disruptive.

Should a visitor act in such a way that necessitates their leaving the campus, it is the responsibility of the employee to facilitate their departure. This may necessitate the employee leaving the premises as well. In this event, the vacation and/or sick leave of the employee will be charged accordingly. If the employee feels unable to control the visitor, the employee is responsible for notifying campus security officials for the physical removal of the visitor.

The act of inviting an individual to the College is considered a workplace judgment made by the employee. As such, the behavior of the invited guest is a reflection of the job performance of the employee. Employees that repeatedly invite visitors that hamper the operations of the College may find that the evaluation of their performance is affected.

8.2.97 Personnel Files

Reviewed May 26, 2016

There shall be one (1) and only one (1) official personnel file, which shall be maintained in the Office of Human Resources. Each official personnel file shall contain the original copy of at least the information specified in the Personnel File Contents list appropriate to that employee.

Each employee has access to his/her personnel file. The file may be reviewed at any time that is mutually agreeable under the supervision of a member of the Human Resources staff. Nothing may be removed from the file of an employee. Upon request by the employee, a copy of any document in the file will be provided within three (3) workings days. Georgia Gwinnett College follows the provisions of the Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70 through 50-18-76) with respect to access to personnel files by others.

Following termination of employment, the personnel file is to be held in the current file area for a period of at least three (3) years and then transferred to the archives for retention according to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia Records Management Policies and Procedures.

Personnel File Contents
Regular (On-Going) Employees

DOCUMENT ADMIN. / PROF. STAFF FACULTY STAFF
At time of employment:      
Letter of application X X X
Resume X X X
Transcript(s) X X  
Faculty Profile   X  
Georgia Gwinnett College employment application X X X
Faculty Information form   X  
Security questionnaire/loyalty oath X X X
Direct Deposit form (where appropriate) X X X
Signed offer letter X X X
During employment:      
Annual evaluation1 X   X
Annual salary letter X   X
Annual contract   X  
Promotion approvals2      
Policy Awareness signature sheet X   X
At time of termination or resignation:      
Letter of resignation X X X
Separation notice X X X
GA. Defined Contribution Plan X X X

1 Faculty Evaluations shall be retained on file by the Office of the Dean for the respective school in Academic Affairs.

2 Portfolios shall be retained on file in the Office of the Dean for the respective school in Academic Affairs.

 

Personnel File Contents
Temporary (less than 6 months) Employees

DOCUMENT ADMIN./PROF. STAFF FACULTY STAFF
At time of employment:      
Security questionnaire/loyalty oath X X X
Direct Deposit form (where appropriate) X X X
Memorandum of Understanding   X  
Policy Awareness signature sheet X X X

The following items are considered a part of the Employee Benefits File and shall be maintained by the Office of Payroll and Benefits.

Employee Benefits File Contents

DOCUMENT ADMIN./PROF. STAFF FACULTY STAFF
Insurance election forms X X X
Health/dental insurance card and/or form X X X
Life/supplemental/dependent life insurance card X X X
Section 125 designation sheet X X X
Flexible spending accounts forms X X X
Workers’ Comp info X X X
COBRA Rights X X X
Short/long term disability form X X X
Teachers Retirement application (TRS) X X X
Teachers Retirement or ORP application X X X
GA. Defined Contribution Plan application X X X

8.2.98 Drug-Free Workplace Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

As a recipient of federal funds, Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to establishing and maintaining a drug-free workplace, in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Under this policy, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of any illegal drug is prohibited in all work areas of Georgia Gwinnett College, including buildings, vehicles, and grounds. Violations of this policy shall be considered sufficient grounds for dismissal or lesser disciplinary action, regardless of whether such violation leads to criminal proceedings.

An employee who is convicted of or pleas nolo-contendere to any drug violation which occurs in the workplace must inform his/her immediate supervisor of such conviction or pleas as soon as possible, which must be within five (5) calendar days of the conviction or plea. Failure to comply with any part of this policy will result in disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from employment. For further details on the Drug-Free Workplace Policy, consult the Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.6.4.

8.2.99 Background Investigation Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual: Employment/Background Investigation.

 

8.2.13 Gratuities

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.13

8.2.13.1 Prohibited Receipt of Gifts By USG Employees

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.13.1.

8.2.13.2 Appearance of Conflicts of Interest

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.13.2.

Georgia Gwinnett College employees at all levels are required to avoid actual and even the appearance of a conflict of interest in the performance of their duties. In furtherance of this principle, each employee is required to be familiar with the following areas governing conflicts of interest.

Georgia law limits independent contractor relationships between State agencies and public employees. These limitations do not, however, extend to county or municipal employees.

A full-time public employee may not transact any business with the agency for which the employee works, either as an individual or business representative, or for any business in which the public employee or a family member of the public employee owns a substantial interest.

“Substantial interest” means an ownership interest of more than 25 percent. “Transacting any business” means to sell or lease services, personal property, or real estate, or to purchase surplus personal property or real estate, either individually or on behalf of a third party.

“Full-time” public employees are those who work 30 hours or more per week for more than 26 weeks per calendar year.

Part-time public employees are subject to the same limitations, except for business transactions that meet one of the following requirements:

  1. The transaction takes place pursuant to sealed competitive bids.
  2. Each transaction is $250.00 or less and the calendar year total for all such transactions is less than $9,000.00.
  3. Any transaction involving real estate has been approved by the State Properties Commission or the Space Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS).
  4. The transaction involves the purchases of surplus property at public auction.

There are a number of exceptions to the limitations discussed above. For example, these limitations do not apply to a family owned businesses if: (a) the public employee is not actively engaged in the day-to-day management of the business; (b) the public employee is a USG employee in a position below that of department head; and (c) the transaction is with a USG unit or department other than the one for which the employee works.

Another exception involves transactions in which a chaplain, firefighter, licensed physician, dentist, psychologist, registered nurse, certified oral or manual interpreter for deaf person, or any person holding a master’s or doctoral degree is employed on a part-time basis by another State agency if:

  1. The chief executive officer of the department desiring the public employee’s services certifies in writing the need for such services and why the State’s interests will be served by obtaining such services in lieu of obtaining them from a non-State employee;
  2. The chief executive officer of the department currently employing the public employee certifies in writing the public employee’s availability for such employment, and that such employment will not have a detrimental effect on the person’s current employment; and
  3. The two agencies establish by agreement the procedures under which the employee shall perform the additional services (e.g., as consultant or part-time employee, nature of compensation, etc.).

Additional exemptions are described in O.C.G.A. § 45-10-25.

Public employees who violate Georgia’s conflict of interest laws are subject to termination, civil fines up to $10,000.00, and repayment of any monetary benefits received from the prohibited transactions.

In addition, public employees who transact any business with the State of Georgia or its agencies, either individually or on behalf of a business, must make an annual disclosure of such transactions to the Secretary of State by January 31 each year. Public employees must also disclose such transactions by any business (family or otherwise) in which they own a substantial interest.

Refer to Georgia Codes under O.C.G.A. § 45-10-20 et seq. for further information.

8.2.13.3 Other Rules of Conduct

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.13.3.

8.2.13.4 Violations

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.13.4.

 

8.2.15 Outside Activities

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.15.

8.2.15.1 Occupational

Reviewed August 4, 2016

Employees of the college should not engage in any occupation, pursuit or endeavor that will interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of official duties. Further, all activities for pay such as consulting, teaching, speaking and participating in business enterprises, except single occasion activities, must be reported by the employee in writing through official channels in advance of the activity.

The following guidelines shall govern outside employment. A written memorandum requesting approval for outside employment must be submitted to the employee’s immediate supervisor. The memorandum should also address each of these areas:

  • Brief Summary Statement of Outside Employment Duties;
  • Time Period Involved, Including Estimated Hours/Days;
  • Duration of Services (ongoing or set period of time);
  • Statement Addressing Any Possible Conflict of Interests; and
  • Copy of Outside Employment Agreement (where applicable).

The immediate supervisor shall make a recommendation of approval or non-approval to the appropriate Vice President. The Vice President will review and forward a recommendation to the President or his or her designee for final signature approval. The decision of the President will represent the final institutional decision on the matter. A copy of the written request with the President’s approval must be provided to the Office of Human Resources.

Outside employment requests for services with any state agency require additional layers of internal and external approval. Refer to APM 8.2.13.2 Appearance of Conflicts of Interest policy for further information. Consultation with the appropriate Vice President may be required.

8.2.15.2 Consulting

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Georgia Gwinnett College recognizes that teaching, research, and public service are the primary responsibilities of faculty members in the University System of Georgia. Therefore, it shall be considered reasonable and desirable for faculty members to engage in consulting activities, which are defined for purposes of this policy as any additional activity beyond duties assigned by the institution, professional in nature, for which the individual receives additional compensation during the contract year. Consulting activities of other professionals shall also be governed by this policy. In furtherance of this goal, the following guidelines shall govern consulting activities of employees.

GGC employees are prohibited from using the institution’s name, image, or logo in the furtherance of consulting activities. A written memorandum requesting approval for consulting activities must be submitted to the appropriate Vice President, Dean or Program Director of the employee’s reporting line. If the consulting work involves use of GGC facilities, employee equipment, and/or materials, the employee will be required to outline a reimbursement plan. The memorandum should also address each of these areas:

  • Brief Summary Statement of Consulting Work;
  • Time Period Requested, Including Estimated Hours/Days;
  • Duration of Services (ongoing or set period of time);
  • Statement Addressing Any Possible Conflict of Interests; and
  • Copy of Actual Consulting Agreement (where applicable). If the Consulting Agreement has not been developed at the time the memorandum is submitted, GGC reserves the right to request a copy of the actual agreement at any time during the employment contract period.

The Supervisor shall make a recommendation of approval or non-approval to the appropriate Vice President. The Vice President will review and forward a recommendation to the President or his or her designee for final signature approval. The decision of the President will represent the final institutional decision on the matter. A copy of the written request with the President’s approval must be provided to the Office of Human Resources.

Consulting requests for services with any state agency require additional layers of internal and external approval. Refer to APM 8.2.13.2 Appearance of Conflicts of Interest policy for further information.

8.2.15.3 Political

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.2.15.3.

 

Sexual Harassment

Policy Number: 8.2.16
Effective Date: February 1, 2018
Revision History: June 20, 2016
Policy Contacts: Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity Compliance

Purpose and Policy Statement

This policy provides information and guidance regarding sexual harassment, the investigation of sexual harassment, and the penalties for sexual harassment for College employees. Georgia Gwinnett College complies with federal law and University System of Georgia Board of Regents Policy 8.2.16 Sexual Harassment in prohibiting sexual harassment of any employee, including but not limited to: discharging without cause, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against any person with respect to any matter directly or indirectly related to employment or academic standing.

Unwelcome sexual advancements, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or,
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual; or,
  3. Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment.

Sexual harassment of GGC employees or students shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Procedural due process is implemented via compliance with the investigation procedures as articulated in APM 4.6.5 Student Code of Conduct. Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct that apply to this policy are defined in APM 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct.

Scope

All individuals that are employed by Georgia Gwinnett College are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.

Definitions

Amorous relationships: The College follows APM 8.2.23 Amorous Relationships, which prohibits some forms of amorous relationships. However, amorous relationships that are not prohibited under GGC policy may still result in sexual harassment allegations.  See APM 8.2.23 Amorous Relationships for additional information.

Community: Students, faculty, and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.

Complainant: An individual lodging a complaint. The complainant may not always be the alleged victim.

Consent: Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion; by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another; or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.

Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given. Past consent does not imply present or future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time by either party by using clear words or actions.

Dating violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged victim; by a person with whom the alleged victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim.

Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. It can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, status as a minor under the age of 16, or from intentional or unintentional taking of alcohol and/or other drugs. Whether someone is incapacitated is to be judged from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person.

Nonconsensual sexual contact: Any physical contact with another person of a sexual nature without the person’s consent. It includes but is not limited to touching (or penetrating) of a person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks); touching (or penetrating) a person with one’s own intimate parts; or forcing a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts.

Confidential employees: Institution employees who have been designated by Georgia Gwinnett College’s Title IX Coordinator to talk with an alleged victim in confidence. Confidential Employees must only report that the incident occurred and provide date, time, location, and name of alleged respondent (if known) without revealing any information that would personally identify the alleged victim.

This minimal reporting must be submitted in compliance with Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”). Confidential Employees may be required to fully disclose details of an incident in order to ensure campus safety.

Privileged employees: Individuals employed by Georgia Gwinnett College to whom a complainant or alleged victim may talk in confidence, as provided by law. Disclosure to these employees will not automatically trigger an investigation against the complainant’s or alleged victim’s wishes. Privileged Employees include those providing counseling, advocacy, health, mental health, or sexual-assault related services (e.g., sexual assault resource centers, campus health centers, pastoral counselors, and campus mental health centers) or as otherwise provided by applicable law. Exceptions to confidentiality exist where the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor (in Georgia, under the age of 18) or otherwise provided by law, such as imminent threat of serious harm.

Respondent: Individual who is alleged to have engaged in conduct that violates this policy.

Responsible employees: Those employees who must promptly and fully report complaints of or information regarding sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible Employees include any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other person in a position of authority who is not a Confidential Employee or Privileged Employee. Student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are in a position of authority for purposes of this policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders).

Sexual exploitation: Taking nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.

Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Invasion of sexual privacy;

2. Prostituting another individual;

3. Nonconsensual photos, video, or audio of sexual activity;

4. Nonconsensual distribution of photo, video, or audio of sexual activity, even if the

sexual activity was consensual;

5. Intentional observation of nonconsenting individuals who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts;

6. Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual through sexual activity;

7. Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in nonconsensual circumstances; and/or

8. Sexually-based bullying.

Sexual harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, that is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; is a basis for employment or educational decisions; or is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or to benefit from an institutional program or activity.

Sexual misconduct: Includes, but is not limited to, such unwanted behavior as dating violence, domestic violence, nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment and stalking.

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with person’s property. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Roles and Responsibilities

Administrative staff: An individual who is not a faculty member, who performs personal services for the institution where the institution has the right to control and direct the individual who performs the services, not only as to the result to be accomplished, but also as to the details and means by which that result is to be accomplished. It is not necessary that the institution actually direct or control the manner in which the services are performed; it is sufficient to establish an employee-employer relationship that the institution has the right to do so.

Faculty: Full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, senior lecturers, and teaching personnel with such other titles. Persons holding adjunct appointments or other honorary titles are not considered members of the faculty.

Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Officer, Title VI Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator: the Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity Compliance (“DEC Executive Director”) serves as the Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Officer, the College’s Title VI Coordinator, and the College’s Title IX Coordinator. The DEC Executive Director is the individual designated by the President with responsibility for providing education and training about prohibited discrimination and harassment to the College community and for receiving and overseeing the investigation of reports and complaints of discrimination and harassment in accordance with this policy. The DEC Executive Director can be reached at the Office of Diversity and Equity Compliance in person, by phone, or via email at titleix@ggc.edu.  

Special Assistant Office of Diversity and Equity Compliance /Deputy Title IX Coordinator: the Special Assistant shall serve as and assume the responsibilities of the Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Officer, Title VI Coordinator, and the Title IX Coordinator, upon task delegation or case-specific designation by the DEC Executive Director.

Title IX Investigator:  the Title IX Investigator shall be appointed to individual complaints by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee to conduct investigations pursuant to alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Investigation Procedures

Sexual harassment of GGC employees or students may subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions if found responsible for the alleged misconduct after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Procedural due process is implemented via compliance with the investigation procedures as articulated in APM 4.6.5 Student Code of Conduct. Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct that apply to this policy are defined in APM 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct.

Throughout any investigation and resolution proceedings, a party shall receive written notice of the alleged misconduct, shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed to remain silent or otherwise not participate in or during the investigation and resolution process without an adverse inference resulting. Additionally, in any investigation involving allegations of sexual misconduct, timely notice of meetings shall be provided to each party of any meeting at which the complainant, respondent, or alleged victim may be present. Timely and equal access to information that will be used during the investigation will be provided to the complainant, respondent, and alleged victim (where applicable). Where the potential sanctions for the alleged misconduct may involve a suspension or termination (even if such sanctions were to be held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or termination) the institution’s investigation and resolution procedures must provide the additional minimal safeguards outlined below.

  1. The alleged victim and respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint/allegations, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of any investigator(s) involved. Notice should be provided via institution email to the address on file.
  2. Upon receipt of the written notice, the respondent shall have at least three business days to respond in writing. In that response, the respondent shall have the right to admit or to deny the allegations, and to set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and supporting materials. A nonresponse will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct. Any alleged victim shall also be provided three business days to respond to or to supplement the notice.
  3. If the respondent admits responsibility, the process may proceed to the sanctioning phase or may be informally resolved, if appropriate.
  4. If at any point the investigator determines there is insufficient evidence to support a charge or to warrant further consideration of discipline, then the complaint should be dismissed.
  5. An investigator shall conduct a thorough investigation and should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any party’s proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation of why the witnesses were not interviewed.
  6. The initial investigation report shall be provided to the respondent and the alleged victim (where applicable). This report should clearly indicate any resulting charges (or alternatively, a determination of no charges), as well as the facts and evidence in support thereof, witness statements, and possible sanctions. For purposes of this Policy, a charge is not a finding of responsibility, but indicates that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further consideration and adjudication.
  7. The final investigation report should be provided to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost for consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the respondent and alleged victim (where applicable) before any decision regarding the acceptance of the findings and/or recommended sanctions.

After the completion of an investigation pursuant to the procedures outlined in APM 4.6.5 Student Code of Conduct, and a finding of responsibility for the allegation against the employee respondent, the following policies are applicable for sexual misconduct allegations. The employee’s status is based on their personnel category as defined by their job description.  

Sanctions

Discipline and Removal of Full-Time Faculty Members:

See APM 8.3.9 Discipline and Removal of Faculty Members

Discipline and Removal of Temporary, Limited Term or Part-Time Instructional Personnel:

See APM 8.3.9.3 Discipline and Removal of Temporary, Limited Term or Part-Time Instructional Personnel

Discipline and Removal of Administrative Staff:

Employees may be subject to demotion, suspension, or dismissal in the sole discretion of institutional management.

Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures

Federal Laws
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)  
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX)
 

University System of Georgia Policies
Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.1.2 Non-Discrimination
Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.2.16 Sexual Harassment
Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct

 

 

 

8.3 Additional Policies for Faculty

Reviewed May 26, 2016

8.3.1 Faculty Employment

Reviewed May 26, 2016

8.3.1.1 Recruitment and Appointment

Reviewed May 26, 2016

GGC will establish effective processes for the recruitment of high-quality prospective faculty members that are in accordance with BOR Policy 8.3.1.1. The search process shall be in complete accordance with affirmative action and non- discrimination policies. All searches shall be conducted in a timely and professional manner that respects the right to confidentiality, to the extent permitted by state law, of prospects and candidates.

Faculty Recruitment Procedure

The Deans will determine the need for full-time and/or visiting faculty for their respective schools communicate the request to the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost.

The Deans will notify the Office of Human Resources (OHR) of position openings and Faculty Search Committee within each school (FSC) of any impending full-time faculty need that has been approved by the Provost.

The FSC membership will be appointed by the Dean and/or supervisory authority. The membership of the committee will reflect the constituencies of the appropriate College and must include at least one faculty member from other Colleges or disciplines. The number of members will be determined by the supervisory authority.

The FSC will coordinate with the Office of Human Resources in recruitment efforts for full-time faculty. Recruitment efforts will include, but not be limited to, placement of classified advertisements in general academic outlets (for example, Chronicle of Higher Education), faculty referrals, placement of advertisements in specific discipline outlets, recruitment at conferences, as well as placement of advertisements in vehicles targeting minorities as deemed necessary.

The Office of Human Resources will respond in writing to applicants as their credentials are received. An applicant demographic form will also be included.

At the close of the recruitment period, all members of the Committee will individually review applications and complete Applicant Review forms. The FSC will meet to discuss applicants and develop an ordered ranking of up to ten candidates.

In the process to identify applicants who will be invited for campus interviews the FSC can choose to do preliminary telephone interviews.

Once the top candidates have been determined the FSC will coordinate the scheduling of campus interviews, make candidate CV’s available for faculty review, and publish a candidate interview schedule.

The candidate interview process will generally include the following activities: interviews with individual faculty; interview with the appropriate Dean, interview with the faculty of the relevant school and other interested faculty and administrative officers of the College as appropriate. A formal presentation to the faculty may be included in the interview.

Upon completion of the candidate interview process, faculty members who met with and/or attended a presentation by the candidate will complete and submit Candidate Evaluation forms to the Dean’s office

The FSC will review the Candidate Evaluation forms for each candidate. Using this and other data, the FSC will identify acceptable candidates in no ranked order and communicate the results to the Dean. Depending upon the preference of the individual Dean, the FSC may or may not rank-order or provide a specific recommendation for hire to that Dean. The Dean will review the files of acceptable candidates and select a candidate(s) for hire. The Dean will then send that/those file(s) to the Promotion and Credentialing Committee (P&C) for determination of initial appointment academic rank in accordance with their published policies and procedures. The P&C will notify, in writing, the Dean and the Provost of their decisions.

The Provost, along with the President, will review the candidate evaluation forms; the Dean’s recommendation for hire and initial appointment rank; and the P&C’s recommendation before individually approving or denying the right to proffer a position to the selected candidate.

After receiving approval from the Provost and the President, the Dean may extend an informal offer to one or more of the acceptable candidates. This will be followed by a binding formal offer that may only be made by the HR office in writing. In the event that the candidate does not accept the offer, the Dean will either extend an offer to another FSC acceptable candidate or reopen the recruitment process.

The Dean will communicate the hiring decision to the FSC. Those candidates accepting offers of employment in writing will then be issued an appropriate length faculty appointment by HR along with an employment contract. Candidates not chosen will be notified by the Office of Human Resources that the position has been filled. The Office of Human Resources will maintain files on each position for three calendar years.

8.3.1.2 Minimum Qualifications for Employment

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.1.2.

8.3.2 Regents’ Professorships

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.2.

8.3.2.1 Regents’ Researchers

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.2.1.

8.3.2.2 Establishment of Named Faculty Positions

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.2.2.

8.3.3 Intrasystem Recruitment and Inter Institutional Faculty Appointments

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.3.

8.3.3.1 Intrasystem Recruitment

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.3.1.

8.3.3.2 Inter-Institutional Faculty Appointments

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.3.2.

8.3.4 Notice of Employment and Resignation

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.4.

This schedule of notification does not apply to Georgia Gwinnett College, as noted in Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.4.4.

8.3.4.1 Tenured Faculty

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.4.1.

GGC is exempt from this policy.

8.3.4.2 Non-Tenured Faculty with Academic Ranks of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, And Professor

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.4.2.

GGC is exempt from this policy.

8.3.4.3 Lecturers and Senior Lecturers

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.4.3.

8.3.4.4 Georgia Gwinnett College Faculty

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.4.4.

8.3.5 Evaluation of Personnel

Reviewed May 26, 2016

GGC has established definite and stated criteria, consistent with Board of Regents’ policy and the statutes of the institution, against which the performance of each faculty member will be evaluated.

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.5. For specific procedures of the evaluation process, see GGC Faculty Manual of Policies and Procedures Faculty Evaluations/Annual Performance

8.3.5.1 Faculty

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.5. For specific procedures of the evaluation process, see GGC Faculty Manual of Policies and Procedures Faculty Evaluations/Annual Performance

8.3.5.2 Graduate Teaching/Laboratory Assistants

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.5.2

GGC is exempt from this policy.

8.3.5.3 Senior Administrators

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.5.3

Senior administrators shall be evaluated by the administrator’s supervisor, using a performance management instrument which emphasizes:

  1. Leadership qualities;
  2. Management style;
  3. Planning and organizing capacities;
  4. Effective communication skills;
  5. Accountability for diversity efforts and results; and;
  6. Success at meeting goals and objectives.

All senior administrators shall be evaluated by their subordinates (one level down) and peers through a 360 assessment at least once every five (5) years. Evaluation results will be the basis for the senior administrator’s development plan.

8.3.5.4 Post-Tenure Review for Tenured Faculty And Administrators

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.5.4.

GGC is exempt from this policy.

8.3.6 Criteria for Promotion

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.6. Also see GGC Faculty Manual of Policies and Procedures Promotion.

8.3.6.1 Minimum for All Institutions in All Professional Ranks

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.6.1.

8.3.6.4 State and Two-Year Colleges

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.6.4.

8.3.7 Tenure And Criteria For Tenure

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.7.

GGC is exempt from this policy. GGC does not have a tenure system.

8.3.7.10 Program Modification

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.7.10.

8.3.8 Non-Tenure Track Personnel

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Manual Section 8.3.8.

8.3.8.1 Employment of Full-Time Lecturers

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.8.1.

8.3.8.2 Senior Lecturers

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.8.2

8.3.8.3 Academic Professionals

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.8.3

8.3.9 Discipline and Removal Of Faculty Members

Reviewed May 26, 2016

The president may at any time remove any faculty member or other employee of GGC for cause. Cause shall include willful or intentional violation of the policies of the Board of Regents or the approved statutes of GGC.

8.3.9.1 Grounds for Removal

Reviewed May 26, 2016

A faculty member, before the end of his/her contract term, may be dismissed for any of the following reasons, provided that the institution has complied with procedural due process requirements:

  • Conviction or admission of guilt of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude during the period of employment–or prior thereto if the conviction or admission of guilt was willfully concealed;
  • Professional incompetency, neglect of duty, or default of academic integrity in teaching, in research, or in scholarship;
  • Unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, use or possession of marijuana, a controlled substance, or other illegal or dangerous drugs as defined by Georgia laws; teaching or working under the influence of alcohol, which interferes with the faculty member’s performance of duty or his/her responsibilities to the institution or to his/her profession;
  • Conviction or admission of guilt in a court proceeding of any criminal drug offense;
  • Physical or mental incompetency as determined by law or by a medical board of three or more licensed physicians and reviewed by a committee of the faculty;
  • False swearing with respect to official documents filed with the institution;
  • Disruption of any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service or other authorized activity;
  • Theft, intentional destruction, or defacing of the College’s property or the personal property of others;
  • Deliberate or careless conduct endangering the safety of self or other employees, including provoking/instigating a fight during working hours, on College property, or while conducting College business matters;
  • Abusive, threatening, or coercive treatment of another individual while on duty or on College property;
  • Harassment (including sexual harassment), discrimination, or other violations under federal/state laws or in accordance with Board of Regents and/or campus harassment and discrimination policies;
  • Possession of firearms or explosives on College property without written permission from management, except as authorized under Georgia law.
  • Violation of, among other policies, BOR Policy 8.2.1 (non-discrimination), BOR Policy 8.2.16 (sexual harassment), or BOR Policy 8.2.23 (amorous relationships, including but not limited to inappropriate relationships with students), and/or corresponding College Policies.

Standards governing faculty conduct, including sanctions short of dismissal, and procedures for implementation of such sanctions, are found in the Faculty Manual of Policies and Procedures and the Administrative Policy Manual. Procedures for implementation of sanctions are published in Administrative Policy Manual 8.3.9.2 Procedures for Dismissal.

8.3.9.2 Procedures for Dismissal

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.9.2.

8.3.9.3 Dismissal of Temporary, Limited Term, Or Part-Time Instructional Personnel

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.9.3.

8.3.9.4 Suspension for Violation of State Or Federal Laws

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.9.4.

8.3.10 Faculty Employment Application Forms

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.10.

8.3.11 Faculty Contract Forms

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.11.

8.3.12 Compensation

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.

8.3.12.1 Salaries

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.1.

8.3.12.2 Criteria for Determining Salaries

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.2.

GGC uses the annual Oklahoma State University Faculty Salary by Discipline as the basis for determining the range of entry-level salaries. When merit salary increases for full time teaching faculty are given, merit is determined according to criteria in the Faculty Manual of Policies and Procedures Appendix 1: Faculty Evaluation.

8.3.12.3 Summer School Salaries

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.3.

8.3.12.4 Research, Saturday Classes, and Off Campus Continuing Education

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.4.

8.3.12.4.1 Instructional Overloads

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Under certain circumstances, qualified teaching faculty, administrative faculty, and professional staff may be called upon to teach an overload(s).

When teaching and administrative faculty with contracts take on extra instructional responsibilities, adjusting the individual’s primary duties to incorporate the extra duties associated with the teaching overload(s) will be considered. The president will determine if the individual’s contract should be amended to reflect a change in compensation warranted by the additional responsibilities. Contract modifications will be done using the USG Academic Year and Fiscal Year Contract Addendum. Because instructional overloads involve a contract modification, Business Procedures Manual Section 5.3.2 Extra Compensation does not apply to instructional overloads for contracted employees.

When full-time exempt professional (i.e., non-contract) employees with the appropriate qualifications take on extra instructional responsibilities, adjusting the staff member’s job description to incorporate the extra responsibilities associated with teaching will be considered.

When workload adjustments cannot be made, the president will determine if extra compensation is warranted for the overload(s). When extra compensation is to be paid, it should be consistent with Business Procedures Manual Section 5.3.2 Extra Compensation. It is atypical for non-exempt personnel to serve as instructors of record. In the rare cases in which a non-exempt employee does serve as an instructor of record, policies and procedures governing overtime compensation must be adhered to.

Contract employees, full-time exempt employees, and non-exempt employees shall be made aware of requested modifications of primary duties when such modifications are made to incorporate extra duties associated with teaching overloads. The applicable extra compensation amount for additional teaching overload duties shall be disclosed at time of notification to the employee, or as soon as practical. For contract employees, the extra compensation shall be noted on the Academic Year and Fiscal Year Contract Addendum, below.

Academic Year and Fiscal Year Contract Addendum For Temporary Overload Compensation  

8.3.12.5 Salary Supplements from Cooperative Organizations

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.5.

8.3.12.6 Employment for Faculty Members with Agency Funds

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.12.6.

8.3.12.50 Pay for Class Coverage

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In the case of the illness or other unexpected absence of a faculty member, those faculty who cover the classes missed during the absence of the instructor of record will be compensated after one full week has passed. Beginning with the second week that a faculty member covers the class, the faculty member will be paid a rate of $100 per credit hour per section taught per week and shall be compensated at the same rate also for the first week that the faculty member taught, provided that the faculty member has or will have fulfilled a full teaching load requirement. A faculty member who is receiving compensation for covering a class shall be paid for a full week regardless of the number of classes met during the week.

The Dean will verify that the absent full time faculty member has submitted sick leave, or in the case of part time faculty, generate a memo explaining the absence to comply with financial audit requirements.

8.3.13 Emeritus/A Title

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.13.

8.3.14 Faculty Development

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.14.

To promote faculty development, faculty are encouraged to attend programs offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence or through off-campus development opportunities, that address effective instructional practices, innovative uses of technology, and other instructional approaches that lead to student engagement. By attending these programs, faculty demonstrate their commitment to their own professional development and to the standards of teaching excellence of the college. The Center’s activities correlate to the academic and professional standards set forth by the faculty evaluation in these areas: excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, and student engagement. Georgia Gwinnett College also promotes the development of senior administrative personnel and encourages their participation in opportunities that advance their institutional effectiveness. By participating, administrators demonstrate their commitment to their own professional development and to the administrative and managerial standards of the college.

8.3.15 Enhancing Teaching and Learning In K-12 Schools And USG Institutions

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.15.

8.3.15.1 Work In K-12 Schools

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.15.1.

8.3.15.2 Work in USG Institutions

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.3.15.2.

 

8.4 Additional Personnel Policies and Procedures

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.4. See also APM 8.2.95 Classified Personnel Performance Evaluation.

8.4.5 Disciplinary Procedures for Classified Employees

Reviewed May 26, 2016

Supervisors are responsible for setting standards of performance and behavior for their employees. Employees are responsible for following performance standards, work expectations and rules of conduct, as articulated through institutional policies, Board of Regents policy and/or work expectations and rules communicated by the supervisor. In those instances where an employee fails to meet acceptable standards of performance or violates established rules of conduct, supervisors are expected to take action. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the unsatisfactory conduct, an employee may be subject to immediate discipline, including but not limited to, dismissal, demotion, and/or suspension. Disciplinary actions may be administered separately, in combination, and/or as part of a progressive discipline plan; which may also include a combination of the above actions and/or verbal discussion, written warning or other appropriate disciplinary The Office of Human Resources should be consulted when a Supervisor deems a progressive disciplinary plan is warranted.

Progressive Discipline

Progressive discipline is encouraged where appropriate. In any discipline matters, it is recommended that the supervisor document the steps of the discipline process as they occur, as well as warnings of further potential actions if the unacceptable performance and/or behavior is not corrected.

The steps involved in the process may include verbal discussion, written warning, suspension, demotion and dismissal. Any disciplinary step may be omitted depending upon the severity of the incident.

Dismissal

Dismissal of an employee may be effected by an employee’s immediate supervisor who has been granted the authority to impose action up to and including dismissal when the supervisor determines the employee’s performance of duty or personal conduct is unsatisfactory. An employee may be terminated for just cause.

Demotion

A demotion is defined as a reassignment from one position to another position at a lower pay grade or salary range. A demotion can also be defined as a reassignment of duties to a lower level of pay or responsibility even if there is not a change in the employee’s job title or position. Involuntary demotions may occur if work is eliminated, abolished or reorganized, as a disciplinary action or if a classified employee is unable to perform the work satisfactorily.

Suspension

An employee may be placed on suspension with or without pay (to be determined by the College), as part of either a disciplinary action determination or pending resolution and/or investigation of an alleged infraction under an institutional policy, Board of Regents Policy, or under federal/state/local law.

Verbal Discussion

The initial disciplinary action should be verbal, whenever possible. The discussion should be firm, but fair, and should ensure that the employee clearly understands the established standards and expectations with respect to the unacceptable performance or behavior. A written record of the date and content of such discussions should be maintained in the appropriate files in the department.

Written Warning

Written disciplinary warnings usually follow verbal disciplinary action of an employee that does not result in the needed improvement or if the initial situation indicates a need for stronger action. The written warning outlines the undesired behavior, states expectations and lists consequences if issues continue.

Other Disciplinary Action

Other disciplinary actions may also be imposed under special circumstances.

Supervisors and employees are reminded that in any disciplinary matter, the circumstances shall dictate the nature of the disciplinary action imposed and whether or not progressive discipline or immediate termination is appropriate. Further, where warranted, any of the above actions may occur separately or in combination.

For certain disciplinary matters, an impacted employee shall be afforded an appeal opportunity, where requested, as outlined in institutional statutes and/or Board or Regents Policy. After the disciplinary action is presented or mailed to an impacted employee, the employee shall have ten (10) working days to file an institutional appeal, where applicable, under the GGC Employee Grievance Policy. Refer to APM 802.50 Employee Grievance Policy and for discussion of matters eligible for appeal.

Supervisors who are considering dismissal, demotion, suspension or other disciplinary actions should contact the appropriate Vice President and Human Resources for guidance prior to initiating a disciplinary action. Legal Affairs shall be consulted where appropriate. Actions involving dismissals, demotions or suspensions require prior approval from the President or his designee.

For additional guidance on the college’s work expectations and unacceptable conduct, supervisors and employees are encouraged to review the examples noted below and the established rules for their work areas, other applicable institutional policies and Board of Regents policies.

Work Expectations and Rules

Some examples of unacceptable conduct and violations of work rules include:

  • Falsification of employment or other records, including timesheets
  • Working under the influence of alcohol which interferes with the performance of the employee’s job duties or working under the influence of an illegal substance
  • Inappropriate handling or disclosure of confidential information or records
  • Excessive absenteeism, lateness, abuse of leave, or failure to adhere to established work schedules
  • Sleeping on the job
  • Failure to maintain professional standards or conduct with co-workers, affiliates, students, or visitors
  • Neglect of duty or failure or refusal to perform job-related duties and assignments
  • Illegal manufacture, possession, use, sale or distribution of drugs, or unauthorized use of alcoholic beverages on college premises
  • Refusal to cooperate with a Georgia Gwinnett College or Board of Regents Investigation
  • Larceny, misappropriation, or unauthorized possession or use of property belonging to Georgia Gwinnett College or any employee, student, or visitor
  • Creating unsafe conditions or contributing to such conditions by act of omission
  • Misappropriation of institutional or organizational funds
  • Unauthorized possession, copying or use of college records to unauthorized persons
  • Threatening, intimidating, harassing or coercing of another employee
  • Gambling on college premises or while engaged in college business
  • Violation of the college discrimination and harassment policies
  • Attempting to obstruct or disrupt any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary or public service activity, or any other activity authorized to be discharged or held on property owned or operated by Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Insubordinate or willfully disobedient acts toward the supervising authority
  • Bringing a weapon on Georgia Gwinnett College property or to college events, including licensed weapons, except as authorized under Georgia Law.
  • Abusive treatment by an intentional or grossly negligent act, or failure to act, which causes harm or potential harm to a student, guest, visitor or an employee; including, but not limited to, assault or battery.
  • Insubordinate or willfully disobedient acts toward the supervising authority
  • Acceptance of gratuities, courtesies, or gifts from any persons or organizations that, directly or indirectly, may seek to use that connection for securing favorable comment or consideration on any commercial activity (Meals in the course of normal business or in accordance with Board of Regents policy are excluded)
  • Conviction of any felony or conviction of a misdemeanor charge, if the misdemeanor is materially related to the employee’s job

The list above is not an exhaustive list of unacceptable conduct at Georgia Gwinnett College. Violations under other GGC institutional policies are also actionable and employees participating in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary actions.

 

8.5 Financial Exigency

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.5.

8.5.1 Definition of Financial Exigency

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.5.1.

8.5.2 Layoffs or Terminations

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.5.2.

8.5.3 Program Modification or Discontinuance In The Event Of Financial Exigency

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.5.3.

 

8.6 Application for Discretionary Review

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.6.

 

8.50 Relocation Expense Policy

Reviewed May 26, 2016

In accordance with Board of Regents policy, USG institutions are permitted to offer employment candidates relocation expenses as part of the overall employment package. Effective immediately, this document governs the terms and conditions under which relocation expenses may be considered for Georgia Gwinnett College faculty and staff, where said expenses are paid from college funds.

Conditions of Eligibility:

The employees being reimbursed from college funds may be considered for a one-time relocation expense stipend under the following conditions:

Written Offer. The specific relocation stipend amount must be stated in the written offer of employment.

Budget Constraints. Where college funds are utilized, relocation stipends must be paid from the designated operating budget and may only be considered within the distance guidelines noted herein. In instances where the President places the operating group budget under spending restrictions, relocation expenses may not be considered.

Title and Rank. Relocation expenses may only be considered where the employee is either a faculty member or hold the title of at least Director at Georgia Gwinnett College, in a regular full-time position.

Approval. Relocation stipends are not automatic. All relocation stipends require a written recommendation from the appropriate Vice President and written approval by the President, before a relocation stipend offer can be extended to the employee.

Distance. The distance between the employee’s new work location and the former residence must be 50 miles greater than the distance between the employee’s old work location and former residence. Maximum stipend amounts are outlined below.

At least 50 miles greater but under 100 miles (one way)-If the employee’s commuting distance has increased by at least 50 miles, but under 100 miles one way, a one-time relocation stipend up to $2,500 may be considered;

At least 100 and under 300 miles (one way)- If the employee’s commuting distance has increased by at least 100 miles, but under 300 miles one way, a one-time relocation stipend up to $3,500 may be considered;

At least 300 miles (one way) and above- If the employee’s commuting distance has increased by at least 300 miles (one way), a one-time relocation stipend up to $7,500 may be considered.

Stipends of lesser amounts may be offered based on the operating budget for a specific operating area; however a stipend shall not exceed the amounts highlighted above when paid from college funds. Further, in extraordinary circumstances the President may consider stipends for employees who do not meet the title and rank requirements or minimum distance of at least 50 miles or more (one way), as described above. In these cases, documentation of the extraordinary circumstances must be presented to the President by the appropriate Vice President for consideration. Tax consequences are the employee’s responsibility as outlined below.

Tax Implications under IRS Regulations and Method of Payment. If a relocation stipend is approved under this Policy for any of the distance categories noted, the stipend will be issued as a one-time relocation payment and will be reported on the annual W-2 as taxable income subject to applicable income and employment taxes.

Prohibited Actions. In accordance with Board of Regents guidance documents, relocation expenses paid from college funds that are not set out in the written offer of employment and are paid after the fact would constitute a gratuity and are prohibited under this policy.