2022-2023 Administrative Policy Manual Published September 2, 2022 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Administrative Policy Manual Published September 2, 2022 [ARCHIVED COPY]

Relocation Expense

Policy Number: 8.50
Effective Date: February 27, 2023
Revision History: May 26, 2016
Policy Contact: Chief Human Resource Officer

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

Recruiting talented faculty and staff are essential to Georgia Gwinnett College’s ability to fulfill its mission. Occasionally it may be necessary to provide a relocation benefit in the total rewards package for a candidate. This policy outlines circumstances where relocation expenses may be considered for faculty and staff new hires, provided the expenses are paid from College funds and set out in the original written offer of employment.

II. Scope

This policy pertains to all employees and candidates of employment of Georgia Gwinnett College who meet the conditions stated herein.

III. Definitions

Regular full-time employment: Defined as 30 or more hours per week or .75 FTE and greater, and considered continuous; may also be defined by agreement, contract, term, or restricted funding source(s).

IV. Roles and Responsibilities
  1. Chief Human Resource Officer (“CHRO”) or designee: Oversees policy updating and maintenance; provides interpretation of the policy when questions arise.
  2. Human Resources: Maintains the policy; fields, researches and responds to questions; responsible for all official offers of employment including documentation of approved relocation.
  3. Direct Manager: Keeps updated on policy guidelines and responds to employee questions; submits any requests for relocation to the Office of Human Resources for review and approval.
  4. Cabinet Member or delegate: Responsible for being familiar with the policy and guidelines; responsible for review of all requests including submission of exceptions to the President for consideration and approval.
V. Applicability and Compliance
  1. A faculty or staff recruit or existing employee being reimbursed from College funds may be considered for a one-time relocation expense stipend under the following conditions:
    1. Written Offer. The specific relocation stipend amount must be stated in the written offer of employment in accordance with the distance guidelines provided below.
    2. 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 in this policy. In instances where the President or their delegate places the operating group budget under spending restrictions, relocation expenses may not be considered without approval from the President.
    3. Title and Rank. Relocation expenses may only be considered where the recruit is either a faculty member or will hold the title of director or above at the College, in a regular full-time benefits eligible position.
    4. Approval. Relocation stipends are not automatic. All relocation stipends require a written recommendation from the appropriate chief officer and written approval by CHRO, before a relocation stipend offer can be extended.
    5. Distance. The distance between a new hire’s new work location and their former residence must be 50 miles or greater than the distance between their old work location and former residence. Maximum stipend amounts are as follows:
      1. At least 50 miles but under 100 miles (one way): If the individual’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;
      2. At least 100 and under 300 miles (one way): If the individual’s commuting distance has increased by at least 100 miles, but under 300 miles one way, a one-time relocation stipend up to $5,000 may be considered;
      3. At least 300 miles (one way) and above: If the individual’s commuting distance has increased by at least 300 miles (one way), a one-time relocation stipend up to $10,000 may be considered.
  2. Exceptions.
    1. 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.
    2. In extraordinary circumstances the President may consider stipends for individuals  who do not meet the title and rank requirements, minimum distance of at least 50 miles (one way), or request additional funding beyond the limits. In these cases, documentation of the extraordinary circumstances must be presented to the President by the appropriate chief officer for consideration. Tax consequences are the employee’s responsibility as outlined below.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
VI. Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures

BOR Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual Policy on Relocation Expenses
IRS Publication 521 Moving/Relocation Taxation Rules