The Catholic University of America

Responsibilities of Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

Section 127 Educational Assistance Programs

26 U.S.C. § 127, 26 CFR 1.127-1 et seq

This provision of the code allows amounts paid by an employer for the education of an employee to be excluded from the employee's gross income as long as the program attended is a qualified educational assistance program. The I.R.C. § 127 tax exemption for employer-paid education assistance allows up to $5,250 to be excluded from gross income annually. The 127 exemption covers not only employer provided educational assistance for undergraduate education, but graduate education as well. This $5,250 tax free income may be used by employees for tuition, books, and fees for both job-related and non-job related education.

The program qualifies as an educational assistance program if the following requirements are met:

  • The benefit must be offered on a non-discriminatory basis that does not favor highly compensated employees.
  • Reasonable notification of the availability and terms of the program must be provided to eligible employees.
  • There must be a separate written plan for the program.
  • The program may only be for the benefit of employees (including retired, disabled or laid off employees), and not for the benefit of the employee's spouse or children and
  • The plan cannot offer the employee a choice of taxable income or educational assistance.

The AVP for HR is responsible for implementation and oversight of the 127 plan at CUA, with assistance as needed by the Manager of Benefits.


Labor Management Relations Act
29 U.S.C. § 141 et seq.; 29 C.F.R. § 103.1

Protects the rights of employees to unionize, etc. Applies to private postsecondary institutions with gross annual revenues of a least $1 million dollars. There are specific cases limiting application of this law to religious colleges and universities. The AVP for HR will consult with the General Counsel as needed.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (amends Title VII)

42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k); 29 C.F.R. Part 1604.10 and Appendix

 

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related illness in employment opportunities, health or disability insurance programs, or sick leave plans. The AVP works with the EO Officer or OGC on any issues that arise under this law.

The Campus Security Act of 1990

Distribution of annual security report as it relates to employees 34 CFR 668.41

The institution must provide a notice to prospective employees (as well as current employees) that includes a statement of the report's availability, a description of its contents, and an opportunity to request a copy. An institution must provide its annual security report, upon request, to a prospective employee. If the institution chooses to provide its annual security report to prospective employees by posting the disclosure on an Internet website, the notice described in this paragraph must include the exact electronic address at which the report is posted, a brief description of the report, and a statement that the institution will provide a paper copy of the report upon request. The Office of Public Safety provides the report to current employees. HR is responsible for ensuring that prospective employees receive the report.

Most Recent Report

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Prohibits employment discrimination based on age with respect to persons who are at least 40 years of age.
The Chief Human Resource Officer is responsible, along with the General Counsel, for ensuring that any waivers under the law are valid, as well as for ensuring general oversight of the law and training. The CHRO should ensure that employment job postings are in compliance with the law, and that they notice of non-discrimination text is included on employment applications, both online and on paper.

D.C. New Hire Law and The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996

Reporting New Hires

Within 20 days of hiring a new employee, the employer is required to complete a "reporting form" which requires: (1) the employee's name, home address, social security number, date of birth and first date of work and salary; and (2) the employer's name, work address and federal employer identification number (EIN), and D.C. unemployment insurance number. It is also encouraged that employers include the employee's suffix, gender, and availability of medical benefits.

Resources:
DC Department of Employment Services New Hire Frequently Asked Questions


DC New Hire Fact Sheet

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (as amended)I-9 Forms

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify that individuals hired after November 7, 1986 are legally entitled to work in the U.S. The 1986 amendments prohibit employers from knowingly hiring undocumented aliens and authorize fines of up to $2,000 for each illegal hire. This is known as the employment eligibility verification process, and a Form I-9 must be completed and kept on file for all employees. The form must be kept for three years after the date of hire or one year after termination. See 8 C.F.R. § 274a.2. The law also protects against discrimination on the basis of alienage and national origin. See 8 U.S.C. § 1324B. I-9 verification is not required for independent contractors.

E-Verify

Current implementation date is June 30, 2009, which means any contracts awarded after that date will be covered. CUA has date of contract plus 30 calendar days to enroll in E-Verify, and then Date of Enrollment plus 90 calendar days to begin process of verifying (through E-Verify) employment eligibility for all newly hired individuals within 3 business days of hire.

The AVP for HR will be the designated Administrator for the E-Verify system which must be used by CUA which is effective for government contracts awarded after June 30, 2009 with a performance period of longer than 120 days and a value above $100,000. An e-verification must be done on all employees directly performing work on the contract. Contractors have 30 days to enroll in E-Verify after the award of the contract, and must initiate verification within 90 days of enrollment. Existing employees assigned to the contract must be run through E-Verify within 90 days of enrollment or 30 days of assignment to the K, whichever is later. Federal Contractors already enrolled for 90 days or more have to start the verification process within 3 business days of hire.

Subcontracts for services (except COTS) with a value of more $3,000 are also included, and CUA will require the E-Verify clause in the contract (this will be done by the Vice Provost for Research). The AVP for HR will seek out the PI on the contracts and identify who is working on the contract with the PI. The AVP will also follow up on the tentative non-confirmations, and be involved in any decision (in conjunction with the General Counsel) on if and how to terminate an employee who work authorization cannot be confirmed.

Resources: Memorandum titled Mandatory E-Verify for Research and Educational Institutions with Federal Contracts (December 2008) by Denise C. Hammond, Esq. Hammond Claxton, P.C.


I-9 Power Point Training by Helene Robertson
(Training for Staff presented by Helene Robertson, Director of International Student and Scholar Services, July 2003)

I-9 Checklist

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Family and Medical Leave Act, DC Parental Leave Act of 1994

Posting and Other Notices: See 29 C.F.R. § 825.208, 29 C.F.R. § 825.300 and 301. Employers must post notices detailing provisions of the law and incorporate the information into employee handbooks. Employers must advise employees which of four systems will be used to count leave: the calendar year; any fixed 12-month leave year (e.g., a fiscal year or a year starting on employee's anniversary date); the 12-month period measured forward from the date any employee's FMLA leave first begins; or a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. Sixty days notice must be given before a new system can be implemented. See 29 C.F.R. § 825.200.

Notice must be given of where to file a complaint of violations of the FMLA. Notice must be given detailing the expectations and obligations of the employee and explaining the consequences of failing to meet these expectations. FMLA notice must be given to the employee at the beginning of each FMLA leave. This must be done within two business days of the employer obtaining the knowledge that the leave is being taken for an FMLA required reason. Oral notice must be confirmed in writing. In all circumstances, it is the employer's responsibility to designate leave, paid or unpaid, as FMLA-qualifying, and to give notice of the designation to the employee as provided in 29 CFR 825.208.

Recordkeeping: Records must be kept for three years. Confidentiality provisions apply, and medical records must be kept in separate files from the usual personnel files. See 29CFR§825.500.

Resources:
CUA FMLA Page

DOL FMLA Poster

Executive Order 11246 and Collection of Hiring Data for Affirmative Action Plans

As the person who oversees the hiring process at the university, the HR director must ensure data on gender, race and ethnicity is captured in the hiring process, and that the appropriate records are kept. Recordkeeping is actually governed by several different laws. Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require a three-year retention period for the records which must be kept to file the Fall staff survey of the IPEDS report. (Regulations still refer to higher education staff information report, Form EEO-6, but this has not been used for a while.) The final rule, 62 Fed. Reg. 44,174 (Aug. 17, 1997), sets forth a two-year record retention requirement for any personnel or employment record made or kept by a contractor. This applies to records made or kept on or after September 18, 1997. See 41 C.F.R. § 60-1.12.

For specific records related to Internet Applicants, see the NACUANOTE on Internet Applicant Data Collection and Recordkeeping, which covers recordkeeping whenever the search yields applicants through both the internet and traditional means. HR is responsible for collecting race and gender data on employees on the employee demographic form, and for applicants on a postcard that goes out to each applicant who applies in the traditional manner. To date, email applications are treated in the traditional manner, which is the postcard is sent to the mailing address on the resume. The web interface for (e-Recruit) job applications on the web has not yet been delivered by CPIT to HR. (This was supposed to occur in April 2006 per BC.) Race and gender data on faculty is collected by the EO Director.

Resources:
NACUANOTE: OFCCP "Internet Applicant" Data Collection and Recordkeeping Rule Feb. 6, 2007

Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws
Issued by President Obama Jan. 30, 2009. imposes an obligation on all federal contractors to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Within 120 days of the effective date (January 30) of this order, the Secretary of Labor will initiate rulemaking to specify the form and content of notice to be used to advise employees of their right to bargain collectively and to be protected in the exercise of their right to association, self-organization and designation of representatives for purposes of negotiating terms and conditions of employment.

See the Jackson Lewis newsletter dated Feb. 2, 2009 titled President Obama Issues Trio of Pro-Union Executive Orders; Significant Impact on Federal Contractors. This order comes under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, so please check that web page for updates.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The AVP for HR is responsible for keeping general personnel records, including data on race and ethnicity. See 29CFR§1602.13, and 29CFR§1602.14, posting the EEO Poster and ensuring the policy compliance statement is given to applicants and employees.

Equal Pay Act of 1963

A summary of the law must be posted.

Recordkeeping: See 29 C.F.R. § 1620.32. Employers must keep and preserve all records required by the applicable sections of 29 C.F.R. § 516 (Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)) and, in addition, shall preserve any records made in the regular course of business relating to wages, job evaluations and descriptions, merit systems, seniority systems, collective bargaining systems, and any other matters which explain the difference for any wage differential for employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment. Records explaining the wage differential must be kept for two years.

Title IX Education Amendments of 1972

Notification of non-discrimination to applicants for employment.

Resources for above four Equal Protection Laws:

Federal Non-Discrimination Compliance Obligations Chart

Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act
Regulations effective Sept. 7, 2007 require that covered employers list employment openings with the appropriate employment service where each job opening occurs. The regulations indicate that this may be accomplished by listing the job opening with the applicable state workforce agency job bank or the local employment service delivery system in which the opening occurs (e.g., D.C. Department of Employment Services). In other words, posting with America's Job Bank is no longer sufficient. As before, covered employers are not required to post executive or senior management jobs, or temporary jobs lasting three day or less. This posting is done by the Employment Manager. The AVP for HR has oversight for the recordkeeping and outreach provisions of this law.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) as amended by the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004

Employers must provide notices to employees of their rights under USERRA, which may be done by posting a notice where employees are customarily placed. Other ways of distributing the notice are also acceptable.

Resources:
Sample USERRA poster

Department of Labor web page on USERRA

Fair Credit Reporting Act

Employers, before obtaining a consumer report (and this includes criminal background checks) must disclose in writing to the applicant or employee that it may obtain a consumer report for employment purposes, and secondly, secure the written consent of the applicant or employee. The employer must also certify to the consumer reporting agency that it will comply with the Act's disclosure requirements and that any information obtained will not be used in violation of any applicable federal or state equal employment opportunity law or regulation.

The FTC rule implementing the FACT Act requires any employer using a credit report from one of the big three credit reporting agencies for a "business purpose" to properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access. Some of the examples given in the rule are as follows:

(1) Implementing and monitoring compliance with policies and procedures that require the burning, pulverizing, or shredding of papers containing consumer information so that the information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
(2) Implementing and monitoring compliance with policies and procedures that require the destruction or erasure of electronic media containing consumer information so that the information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
(3) After due diligence, entering into and monitoring compliance with a contract with another party engaged in the business of record destruction to dispose of material, specifically identified as consumer information, in a manner consistent with this rule. In this context, due diligence could include reviewing an independent audit of the disposal company's operations and/or its compliance with this rule, obtaining information about the disposal company from several references or other reliable sources, requiring that the disposal company be certified by a recognized trade association or similar third party, reviewing and evaluating the disposal company's information security policies or procedures, or taking other appropriate measures to determine the competency and integrity of the potential disposal company.

New Rules for Users of Consumer Reports

The new rule at §681.1 deals with the duties of users of consumer reports regarding address discrepancies. The rule applies to users of consumer reports that are subject to administrative enforcement of the FCRA. CUA does use consumer reports. CUA uses an outside agency to perform criminal background checks, which qualifies as a consumer report. Enforcement is set forth in 15 USC § 1681s(a)(1) and applies to consumer reporting agencies and all other persons subject thereto, with certain exceptions as listed where enforcement is by other agencies. Under the provision dealing with consumer reports, CUA must have a process in place to deal with any notice of a substantial address discrepancy (between the address provided by CUA and the address on file with the agency) received from a consumer reporting agency when the address discrepancy relates to a person CUA is investigating. What is required is a process that allows CUA to form a reasonable belief that the identity of the potential employee or employee in question has been properly authenticated. The university must also send back to the consumer reporting agency any corrected address for the consumer.

The AVP for HR is responsible for implementation of this provision, i.e. insuring that a substantial address discrepancy is properly dealt with. Text on this requirement should be added to the draft background check policy.

Resources

What Employers Need to Know about the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its Updated Regulations by Paula Zimmerman, of Wolf Block, dated 2/7/05.

Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act
The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) applies to federal service contracts and federal and federally assisted construction contracts over $100,000. Requires payment of minimum wage and overtime to laborers and mechanics on government contracts. Employers are required to notify employees of hazards in the workplace, describe hazards, symptoms and precautions. Includes contracts for work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the U.S. or any agency.

CUA does not currently have any contracts triggering this compliance requirement. If there was such a contract, the VP for HR would be responsible for the wage provisions of the law.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Title I of the Law amends portions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code, and addresses the use of genetic information in health insurance. Title II prohibits the use of genetic information in employment, prohibits the intentional acquisition of genetic information about applicants and employees, and imposes strict confidentiality requirements. GINA requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to issue regulations implementing Title II of the Act by May 21, 2009 (one year after the law's enactment).

Title II applies to private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor unions, and joint labor-management training programs. It also covers Congress and federal executive branch agencies. Title II of GINA is effective Nov. 21, 2009.

Genetic information includes, for example, information about an individual's genetic tests, genetic tests of a family member, and family medical history. Genetic information does not include information about the sex or age of an individual or the individual's family members, or information that an individual currently has a disease or disorder. Genetic information also does not include tests for alcohol or drug use.

Title II of GINA prohibits use of genetic information in making decisions related to any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, prohibits covered entities from intentionally acquiring genetic information, requires confidentiality with respect to genetic information (with limited exceptions), and prohibits retaliation.

The AVP for Human Resources is responsible for putting a system in place to avoid any accidental or intentional disclosures of employee genetic information, and to ensure that any acquisition of genetic information meets one of the exceptions in the law. See the March 4, 2009 article titled: EEOC Issues Proposed Rules to Implement Title II of GINA.

Fair Labor Standards Act

At CUA the Director of HR is the person responsible for oversight of the proper categorization of employees (executive, administrative, professional, as well as nonexempt employees). The HR Director is also responsible for ensuring that discipline of professional employees is handled in such a manner that the exemption for salaried employees is not lost. This refers to special rules about when deductions may be made from the pay of exempt employees who are paid on a salary rather than hourly basis.

Resource:
Fair Labor Standards Act Summary Memo (Sept. 24, 2004)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

HIPPA imposes privacy/security obligations on employers who sponsor group health plans. At CUA two health plans are considered covered plans under ERISA: The Flexible Spending Plan and The Health Insurance Plan. The Plan may not disclose protected health information to the Plan Sponsor unless the Plan Document restricts uses and disclosures of such information by the Plan Sponsor consistent with the requirements of 45 CFR § 164.504(f) and 164.314(b)(1) the relevant federal regulations under HIPAA. The Omnibus Plan Document defines (in section 9) the conditions under which the Plan Sponsor may disclose summary health information. Section 9 of the Omnibus Plan Document also sets forth provisions for protection of protected health information. The Director of HR is responsible for ensuring that these conditions are met.

Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
The Polygraph Protection Act applies to most private employers. Federal, state and local governments are excluded. An employer may not use lie detector tests in connection with employment. There are exemptions for government and national defense, security reasons, manufacture of controlled substances, and ongoing investigations as to economic loss to the employer's business. Restrictions apply when operating under an exemption. Posting requirements. The AVP for HR is responsible for ensuring that the posting requirement under this law is met. CUA does not use these tests.

Resources

DOL Overview of the EPPA: Includes link to poster, fact sheets, info on recordkeeping.
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DC Laws

DC Safe and Sick Leave Act
This new legislation requires employers in the District of Columbia to provide paid leave for employees for illness and absence associated with domestic violence or sexual abuse. Terms of the act vary depending upon the size of the employer.

Responsibilities: Ensure proper posting of notice of the law. The DC Employment Law Poster has been updated to include a reference to this law. To the extent necessary to achieve compliance with this law, allow absences without loss of pay in those situations described in the law for the employees covered by the law. Instructional staff and full time students employed for less than 25 hours per week at the institution they attend are not covered by the law. In addition to sick leave as defined in the law, safe leave for absences related to domestic violence and sexual abuse must be provided in accord with the law.


Policy Oversight:

A list of policies that the Associate VP for HR is responsible for reviewing and overseeing implementing

Policies Related to Associate VP for Human
Resources Responsibilities

Staff Benefits: Leave
Staff Benefits: Plans
Staff Categories of Employment
Faculty and Staff Code of Conduct
Staff Compensation
Staff Complaint Resolution Procedure
Staff Conflicts of Interest
Staff Discipline and Termination
Staff Employment Practices and Procedures
Employee Responsibility
Staff Definition of Employment Status
Confidentiality of Records
Campus Smoke-free Policy
Distribution of Handbills

Faculty and Staff Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy

Worker's Compensation