The following overview of benefits will introduce you to staff programs provided by Whitman college. Detailed information on eligibility and enrollment can be obtained from Human Resources.
Group medical insurance is available to all regular staff who are appointed a minimum of 910 hours per year (44% of full-time). Medical coverage begins the first day of the month coincident with or following the date of employment. The college pays roughly 95-100% of the employee premium for full-time staff, based on annual salary. Part-time staff receive a pro-rated portion of the premium based on their FTE. Dependent coverage is available through pre-tax payroll reduction. Domestic Partner coverage is available through after-tax payroll deduction. For detailed information contact Human Resources.
The agreement for medical coverage is effective for the full calendar year while employment continues. Changes in coverage may be made only during our Open Enrollment period unless there is a change in family status (marriage, divorce, death, birth, adoption, or employment change of employee or spouse) which is consistent with a request for change in coverage. The change in coverage must be made within 31 days of the change in family status. Open enrollment changes will be effective January 1.
Upon termination you may qualify to continue your medical coverage for a limited time through COBRA. Contact Human Resources for details.
Eligible staff who do not enroll for medical coverage may qualify to receive a portion of the employee premium in their taxable salary. Staff applying for this option must certify they are covered by another medical plan before they can elect the cash option.
Dental insurance is provided by the college beginning the first day of the month coincident with or following the date of employment to all regular staff who are appointed at least 1,560 hours per year (75% of full-time) and to employees hired prior to January 1, 2018, that are appointed 1,350 hours per year (65% of full-time). Employee premiums are paid by the college. Dependent coverage is available through pre-tax payroll reduction. Domestic Partner coverage is available through post-tax deduction.
Changes in coverage may be made only during our Open Enrollment period in December unless there is a change in family status (marriage, divorce, death, birth, adoption, or employment change of employee or spouse) which is consistent with a request for change in coverage. The change in coverage must be made within 31 days of the change in family status. Open enrollment changes will be effective January 1.
You may qualify to extend dental benefits through COBRA when you terminate employment at Whitman. Contact Human Resources for details.
The Flexible Spending Plan allows staff to pay for certain unreimbursed health care expenses, dependent care costs and individual health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars by salary reduction. All medical and dental premiums for dependents and employee premiums paid by part-time staff are automatically paid with pre-tax dollars. Staff must be eligible for the medical benefit (appointed at least 910 hours per year); however, they are not required to be enrolled for medical coverage. You may make only one election per calendar year unless there is a change in family status (marriage, divorce, death, birth adoption, or employment change of employee or spouse) which is consistent with the new election. The new election must be made within 31 days of the change in family status. New staff may enroll at the time they are hired.
Staff must make a new annual election each calendar year to participate in the plan.
Life insurance is available to all regular staff who are appointed a minimum of 1,350 hours per year (65% of full-time). Life insurance coverage, at one and one-half times the staff member’s annual salary, begins the first day of the month coincident with or following the date of employment. Dependent and/or supplemental coverage paid by payroll deduction is available at the staff member’s option.
Employee group life insurance can be converted to an individual policy when you terminate employment. The insurance company must receive your request for conversion within 31 days of termination.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (ADD) insurance is available to all regular staff who are appointed a minimum of 1,350 hours per year (65% of full-time). ADD coverage, at one and one-half times the staff member’s annual salary, begins the first day of the month coincident with or following the date of employment. This benefit pays a lump sum to your beneficiary in the event you are killed in a covered accident or to you if you lose a limb or sight of an eye in a covered accident.
Beginning the first day of the month coincident with or following the date of employment, the college will provide long-term disability insurance to staff appointed at least 1,350 hours per year (65% of full-time). The benefit is equal to 60% of salary up to a maximum of $10,000/month. Benefit payments begin after six consecutive months of total disability based on physician statements and insurance company approval of the claim. Whitman College will pay full salary and benefits during the six-months elimination period for staff who have established eligibility for long-term disability. The six-months payout will encompass any sick leave, or vacation, to which the staff member may be entitled. The benefits are taxable to the staff member and will be offset by any other sources of income, such as workers’ compensation or social security benefits.
Travel accident insurance in the amount of $500,000 is provided by the college for all full-time staff who travel on college business. Exempt part-time staff are covered in the amount of $100,000. The policy protects the employee’s family in the event of death or total disability.
Whitman College 403(b) Plans
Whitman College currently offers two retirement plans to employees, both provided by TIAA-CREF.
The Whitman College 403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (GRA) is available to all regular employees who are appointed at least 1,000 hours per year (48% of full-time). Eligible employees may begin participation in this plan on a voluntary basis on or after the first day of the month after completing one year of service at Whitman College. An employee who has met the one year of service requirement at another institution of higher education during the 12 months immediately preceding their date of employment at Whitman College will be considered to have met the service requirements for Whitman and can join the plan immediately.
Whitman College may make a matching contribution for those participants voluntarily participating. The current college contribution is 10%. College contributions are based on appointed salary without overtime.
All GRA contributions are distributed into a pre tax elective deferral.
The Whitman College 403(b) TDA Plan (GSRA) is available to all Whitman College employees regardless of appointment level or length of service with the college. The college does not make any matching contributions to this plan. The GSRA salary reduction is voluntary and may be distributed into a pre tax elective deferral or a post tax Roth elective deferral at the employee’s discretion.
Retiree Medical Insurance
Staff who have the equivalent of 10 or more years of full-time service and are age 60 or older on June 30, 1992, will be reimbursed for private medicare supplemental insurance upon their retirement. The college will reimburse for supplemental insurance up to the premium paid for active staff.
All other staff hired prior to July 1, 1992, will be reimbursed for private medicare supplemental insurance upon retirement if they have 10 or more years of equivalent full-time service and are age 65 or older when they retire. The college will reimburse for supplemental insurance up to $62 per month beginning July 1, 1992. Thereafter, the monthly allowance will increase by a maximum of 5% per year.
Staff hired July 1, 1992, or later will not be eligible for any retiree medical insurance benefits paid by the college.
Whitman College will provide tuition assistance for the undergraduate college education of children who are legal dependents (IRS definition) of eligible staff and faculty of the college. The child must be under the age of 24, must be admitted to the college through the normal admission process, and must be attending an accredited college or university on a full-time basis. Assistance will be provided for a maximum of 4 years (8 semester or 12 quarters) in the following areas:
Attending Whitman College
Current staff who have been employed by the college for two years are eligible for a tuition waiver. Full-time staff are eligible for full tuition waiver; part-time staff receive a tuition waiver based on FTE at the beginning of each semester.
NW Tuition Cash Grant Program
This program replaces the NIC Tuition Exchange Program which will complete phase-out with the class of students entering college in the fall of 2015. Beginning in the fall of 2016, employees hired on or before September 1, 2011 and employed by the college a minimum of 75% for 5 years will be eligible to participate.
The cash grant for employee children will be equal to 100% of tuition of the four other institutions that participated in the NIC Tuition Exchange Program: Lewis & Clark College, Reed College, The University of Puget Sound, and Willamette University.
So long as nine or fewer employee children are participating in this program at any time, each of these students will receive a cash grant, subject to the limitations noted below, which is equal to 100% of the tuition of the institution that he or she is attending. If more than nine students attend any combination of these four schools in any given year, the tuition grant given each of these students will be prorated based upon a cash grant cap, calculated using Whitman College’s tuition for that year.
For example, based on the tuition for academic year 2014–2015, if 10 students attend these institutions the maximum tuition benefit will be 9 (cap number) x Whitman’s tuition for the year ($44,440) divided by 10 (number of students attending). Thus, 9 x $44,440 = $399,960 divided by 10 = $39,996. One-half of this will be reimbursed each semester, in this example $19,998.
Important Limitation: It is the college’s expectation that the combination of the NW Tuition Cash Grant and any financial aid package awarded by the receiving institution does not exceed the total cost of tuition, required fees, and room and board charged by the receiving institution. Recipients will be required to disclose to Whitman College any institutional financial aid awards and a billing statement of total cost of attendance, before the Cash Grant will be disbursed. For purposes of this policy, financial aid awards do not include scholarships awarded by organizations independent of the receiving institution. Should the combination of the NW Tuition Cash Grant and the awarded financial aid package exceed the total cost of tuition, required fees and room and board, the college will reduce the Cash Grant accordingly.
Attending Other Accredited Colleges and Universities
Current staff that have been with the college for five years are eligible for tuition remission at any other accredited college or university to a maximum of one-half of Whitman’s tuition, based on the staff member’s FTE at the beginning of each semester. A copy of the school’s tuition statement is required each semester/quarter.
Tuition benefits will also be extended to eligible children of full-time staff who have died or become totally disabled while in the employment of the college provided they had seven years of full-time employment.
Please see the Human Resources Office for additional information and to obtain the forms to request tuition benefits.
Course registration is on a space available basis with the approval of supervisor, instructor and Human Resources. Forms are available in Human Resources, but will not be distributed until student registration is complete, generally the first day of classes. If the class is conducted within normal work hours, your supervisor may grant permission to take a class only if work interruption is minimal, or you are willing to make up the time as required by your work responsibility. Course fees are in addition to tuition and should be paid prior to taking the class. Please see the Human Resources Office for additional information
Full-time regular staff may attend one class per semester at Whitman College without tuition charge.
Course registration will be extended to part-time regular staff after one year of employment at Whitman College.
Spouse/domestic partner of full-time staff
Spouse/domestic partner of regular full-time staff may be granted permission to register for one class per semester without tuition charge. Approval for such enrollment must be obtained from the instructor and Human Resources.
The college participates in the Washington State Worker’s Compensation Program. This program provides protection from a work related injury, illness, or disability. For specifics on what benefits are provided you should contact the Department of Labor and Industries at 1-800-547-8367.
All accidents must be reported on an Employee’s Report of Accident form to your supervisor within 24 hours. Forms are available from the Safety Officer.
Sick leave is provided by Whitman College to protect against loss of income when you are unable to work because of illness or injury, as well as for medical and dental treatment, care or consultations. Whitman’s sick leave policy complies with Washington Paid Sick Leave, Washington Family Leave, and the Federal Family Medical Leave Act.
Sick leave may be used when the workplace has been closed for any health-related reason and for absences that qualify for leave under the state’s Domestic Violence Leave Act. Sick leave may also be used to care for a family member requiring your presence. For purposes of this policy, family members includes your children, spouse, or domestic partner, your parents or the parents of your spouse or domestic partner, siblings, grandchild, grand parent or legal dependent as defined by the IRS.
Eligible salaried staff accumulate sick leave at the rate of one day per pay period. Eligible hourly staff accrue an equivalent proportion of sick leave based on hours worked (0.0462 hour of sick leave for each hour worked). Eligible staff may roll over a maximum of sixty (60) days of sick leave each January. Leave in excess of 60 days is not eligible to roll over to the new year, and is not paid out.
Only hours accrued may be used. If a sick leave period includes a college holiday, the day will be paid as a holiday, not deducted from the sick leave balance. Sick leave balances are non-transferable between staff members.
You are responsible for notifying your supervisor or department head as soon as possible if you are unable to be present for work and are further responsible for notifying him/her as to when you expect to return. Human Resources must be notified if sick leave is claimed for a continuous period in excess of five working days. If your supervisor or department head is not notified, your time away from work will be considered unauthorized and your pay will be deducted accordingly. Unauthorized time away from work may be considered to be a voluntary termination of your employment with Whitman College.
Temporary Employee Paid Sick Leave
Temporary employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Temporary employees can view their sick leave account balance, the amount earned and used on their Earnings Statement for any pay period in which they work, or by contacting Human Resources. The record is updated monthly at the completion of the payroll cycle.
Temporary employees are entitled to use accrued paid sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after the start of their employment. Paid sick leave will be paid to temporary employees at their normal hourly pay rate. Rate of pay and total hours available is based on the hourly rate the temporary employee would have earned for the time they used paid sick leave. If a temporary employee was assigned an indeterminate number of hours, the amount of paid sick leave time will be determined by either replacement hours or comparator hours. Sick leave will be paid in quarter-hour increments. Sick leave will not be paid in excess of the employee’s balance.
Unused paid sick leave of 40 hours or less will be carried over to the following year, which begins each January. Temporary employees will not be paid out for unused sick leave upon termination of employment. If you are rehired within 12 months of separation, the college will reinstate your unused leave balance up to 40 hours.
Paid sick leave is intended to protect against loss of income, upon certain situations listed below. It is not an entitlement or earned benefit. Temporary employees may use paid sick leave:
- To care for themselves or their family members (as defined in Washington Paid Sick Leave rules).
- When the workplace has been closed for any health-related reason.
- For absences that qualify for leave under the state’s Domestic Violence Leave Act.
Paid sick leave is designated on the temporary timesheet, and approved by the supervisor through the normal payroll review process.
Temporary employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor as soon as possible if they are unable to be present for work and keep them informed of the expected return. Sick leave may not be used for unauthorized leave from work.
Supervisors of temporary employees should not require verification of the need for leave, or that the temporary employee search for or find a replacement to cover hours as a condition of taking sick leave. A supervisor may consult Human Resources should unique circumstances arise requiring further review. Retaliation by the college and/or individual supervisors for the temporary employee’s lawful use of paid sick leave and other rights is prohibited.
Return to Work
A physician’s release to return to work may be required following an absence of more than five days. A physician statement may be required if your sick leave was used to care for a family member. If you anticipate the verification requirement will cause unreasonable burden or expense, you may submit a written justification which explains why you cannot comply with the verification requirement to Human Resources for consideration; alternatives to meet this requirement may be explored.
Staff who retire or separate employment with the college with 1 - 15 years of service will be paid out one day per year of employment, if they have accumulated the maximum possible sick leave.
- 1 year of employment, 12 days maximum sick leave accumulation = 1 day payout.
- 10 years of employment, 60 day maximum sick leave accumulation = 10 days payout.
Beyond 15 years of service, you will be paid out 25% of your sick leave account balance even if you do not have the maximum 60-day balance. Staff with more than 15 years of service who have maintained a maximum sick leave balance will be paid out one day for each year of employment.
- 17 years of employment, 20 days sick leave accumulation = 5 days payout.
- 17 years of employment, 60 days sick leave accumulation = 17 days payout.
If you are rehired within 12 months of separation, the college will reinstate your unused leave balance, but not any hours paid at time of separation.
Domestic Violence Leave
The Washington State Domestic Violence Leave Law allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to take reasonable leave from work, paid or unpaid, to take care of legal or law enforcement needs, seek treatment for physical and mental injuries, obtain services from a shelter or social services program, obtain mental health counseling, participate in safety planning, relocate or take other actions to increase safety from future incidents. Family members of the victim may also take reasonable leave to help the victim obtain treatment or seek help.
A family member is defined to include an employee’s child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or a person with whom the employee has a dating relationship. Domestic violence is not limited to violence between spouses or intimate partners. The term encompasses physical harm or the infliction of fear of physical harm between the family and household members, such as adult persons related by blood or marriage, or persons with a biological or legal parent-child relationship.
Employees who take Domestic Violence leave will be returned to the position held prior to taking leave, or a position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. The employee’s coverage under any health insurance plan will be maintained during the duration of the leave.
Employees who request Domestic Violence leave must provide five (5) days advance notice in writing. If the employee cannot give five days advance notice because of an emergency or unforeseen circumstances due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the employee or employee’s designee must give notice by the end of the first day of leave.
Regarding an employee’s request for leave, the college may ask the employee to verify his/her need for leave, as defined under Washington State Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking laws. All information provided by the employee when requesting leave will be kept confidential, including the fact that the employee or employee’s family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or that the employee has requested or obtained leave.
Whitman College staff may donate accrued sick leave or vacation hours to the Shared Leave Pool for use by other Whitman College staff.
- Staff may donate up to 96 hours of accrued sick leave or vacation in a 12 month period.
- Staff must maintain a minimum of 80 hours in both their sick leave and vacation accounts.
- Donations are made by completing a Shared Leave Donation form, available on-line or in Human Resources.
Requesting Shared Leave
The following criteria must be met to request shared leave:
- The recipient must be appointed at least 60% of full-time (1,250 hours per year) and have completed 12 months of service as a regular staff member.
- The recipient must have used all available sick and vacation accrual.
- The recipient must be eligible for sick leave as defined in the Staff Handbook.
- The recipient’s usage of shared leave cannot exceed 160 hours in any five year period. A “rolling” five year period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any shared leave.
- Medical certification of a serious illness or injury is required. The certification must verify the severity of the condition and the expected duration.
- Adequate donated hours must be available in the Shared Leave Pool.
Requests for shared leave are made by completing a Request for Shared Leave form in Human Resources. All requests are confidential.
Three days of bereavement leave per fiscal year (noncumulative year to year) is provided. An explanation must be provided in the comments section of your time reporting form. If additional leave is necessary, the use of earned sick leave may be granted with the approval of your department head and the Human Resources Office.
Vacation benefits are provided for regular full-time staff, regular part-time non-exempt staff, and regular part-time exempt staff who work a 12-month per year schedule. Vacation is not provided for regular part-time exempt staff who work less than 12 months per year and any temporary staff, including leave of absence replacement staff.
If a vacation period includes a college holiday, the day will be paid as a holiday, not deducted from the vacation balance.
Eligible staff can accumulate a maximum balance of vacation hours equivalent to two years of accrual. After reaching the maximum vacation balance, you will not accrue vacation leave until vacation time is taken. However, all staff are encouraged to work with their supervisors to take a year’s vacation accrual each year and to not “bank” more than 200 hours at any given time. Vacation balances are available on your home page of your BambooHR account, or by calling Human Resources.
Vacation hours accrue during each pay period in which a salaried staff member is paid for a minimum of ten days. Eligible hourly staff accrue vacation based on hours worked.
Vacation schedules must be approved by your supervisor and be compatible with the work schedule in your department. Payment in lieu of vacation is not available. Vacation balances are non-transferable between staff.
Full-time Employee Accrual Schedule
Exempt and Professional Non-exempt full-time staff accrue 20 days of vacation per year regardless of length of service.
Non-exempt full-time staff accrue vacation based on the length of continuous full-time service:
- 1–4 years of employment = 10 days of vacation
- 5–9 years of employment = 15 days of vacation
- 10+ years of employment = 20 days of vacation
Part-time Employee Accrual Schedule
Non-exempt part-time staff who work less than 12 months per year earn vacation based on annual FTE. The benefit does not increase with length of service.
Non-exempt part-time staff who work a 12-month per year schedule accrue vacation based on annual FTE and length of continuous part-time service:
- 1–4 years of employment = 10 days of vacation
- 5–9 years of employment = 15 days of vacation
- 10+ years of employment = 20 days of vacation
Exempt part-time staff who work a 12-month per year schedule accrue 20 days of vacation (based on their annual FTE) per year.
Exempt part-time staff who work less than 12 months per year do not accrue vacation benefits, but do have the flexibility to adjust their work schedules within their annual FTE appointment.
Part-time staff who become full-time staff will receive credit toward length of service based on their previous annual FTE. For example, a staff member who has worked half-time for eight years will be given four years length-of-service credit for vacation purposes.
Temporary staff who become regular staff will not receive credit for temporary employment in calculating their length-of-credit service for any benefit.
Staff who have successfully completed their orientation period will be paid for accrued vacation which has not been used prior to their termination date. Vacation payout will be included in their final paycheck.
Whitman College observes the following holidays:
- New Year’s Eve Day (December 31)
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- President’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day and the work day before or the work day after
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day and the work day before or the work day after determined annually by the Human Resources Office
For part-time staff working a fixed schedule, the college observes the following guaranteed holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
If a holiday occurs on a Saturday, it is observed on the preceding Friday. If a holiday occurs on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. The Human Resources Office distributes an annual holiday calendar.
All regular staff are eligible for holiday pay upon their hire date. Part-time staff must be scheduled to work, or on authorized paid leave, both the work day before and the work day after the holiday (except guaranteed holidays). If they work or are on leave only one of the days, they will be paid for half of their usual holiday hours. Holiday pay for part-time staff is calculated based on their average scheduled work day.
Salaried staff required to work on a holiday will be paid for the day and given a day off in their regular schedule as soon as possible following the holiday worked. Hourly staff required to work on a holiday will be paid straight time for the holiday in addition to the hours actually worked unless compensatory time has been arranged with the supervisor. Overtime will be paid only if the hours worked qualify under the Federal Labor Standards Act overtime definition.