Reimbursement for Work-Related Education or Training from an External Source
Date of Current Revision: September, 2013
Primary Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources
This policy outlines the university’s plan to reimburse full-time employees who receive approved work-related education or training from an external source.
The purposes of the policy are to train employees (a) with work-related education in the use of new or modified equipment, (b) with work-related education in skills and knowledge required by changes in current positions, (c) with work-related education that maintains or improves skills required in the job, or (d) with work-related education to meet degree requirements in a program for which the employee is enrolled and the university does not offer an equivalent course.
The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.
STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTE AND/OR REGULATION
Internal Revenue Code Section 132(d) allows employers to exclude job-related educational expenses from an employee’s income as a working condition fringe benefit. The exclusion is generally available for any form of educational instruction or training that improves or develops the job-related capabilities of the employee.
An individual who has a formal affiliation (a necessary relationship exists between the university and the individual to provide a service of value to the university) with the university, and receives some services from the university, but is not a student or employee of the university, and receives no remuneration from the university.
Education Not Qualifying as Work-Related
Education does not qualify as work-related if it is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements of the employee’s present job or is part of a program or study that will qualify the employee for a new job.
A source other than James Madison University.
Work-Related Education and/or Training
Education or training that is required by the university, law or regulatory agency to keep present salary, status or job; or training/education that maintains or improves skills required in the present job.
This policy applies to all full-time employees.
In support of the university’s commitment to professional development of faculty and staff, the university may authorize reimbursement to full-time employees for the tuition of work-related education or for the costs of certain work-related training programs taken at other institutions.
This policy is designed to aid full-time employees who are expected to continue employment with the university for a period that will justify such educational assistance. This period will be determined by the applicable department.
The following eligibility guidelines and restrictions apply:
5.1.1 Employees must have been continuously employed by the university for a period of one year before applying for reimbursement.
5.1.2 Classified employees must have successfully completed their probationary period before enrolling in a course to be reimbursed.
5.1.3 The training/education must meet the definition of work-related education (see section 3, Definitions) to qualify for reimbursement.
5.1.4 Reimbursement will only be made for courses in which the employee receives a passing grade for courses or programs in which grades are awarded.
5.1.5 The cost of instruction must be paid by the employee in advance and reimbursement will be based on advanced approval and availability of department funds.
5.1.6 Reimbursement for courses taken will be made for costs up to, but not exceeding, in-state JMU tuition.
5.1.7 Employees eligible to receive veteran's benefits for education will be eligible for tuition reimbursement for that portion of tuition not covered by the Veterans Bill.
5.1.8 Courses authorized by this policy must be unavailable at James Madison University. Courses available at JMU should be taken under the on-campus waiver of tuition programs (Policy 1402 or Policy 1405).
5.1.9 Short-term workshops, institutes, symposia and other non-credit activities are not eligible for consideration under this policy (Policy 1403).
5.2.1 Educational reimbursement will be limited to three courses per person during the fiscal year.
5.2.2 Educational reimbursement will not be made for dissertation-related courses, such as the courses required for ABD (All But Dissertation) status.
5.2.3 Classroom and study requirements will not be regarded as a basis for compensatory leave.
5.2.4 Tuition reimbursement will not be authorized for partial activity in, or for auditing, courses of instruction.
5.2.5 Application, readmission, laboratory fees, study materials, travel expenses, and meals are not to be included in the amount requested for reimbursement.
5.2.6 Courses meeting the IRS definition of work-related education will not be taxable.
5.2.7 Termination of employment, for any reason, prior to the completion of the course will make employees ineligible for any reimbursement.
Employees seeking reimbursement for courses taken under this policy must:
6.1 Prepare a Request for Tuition/Registration Reimbursement . Obtain authorization from the supervisor, department budget authority, and the appropriate vice president (or the appropriate designee) to participate.
6.2 Employees must arrange a schedule with their supervisor to make up missed time for course work taken during normal working hours.
6.3 The department budget authority will retain the Request for Tuition/Registration Reimbursement and provide a copy to the employee requesting reimbursement.
6.4 Within 30 days of the successful completion of work-related education or training, employees must submit the following information to the department budget authority:
6.5 The department budget authority will submit an accounting voucher payable to the employee, along with the supporting documentation listed above, to Accounts Payable.
6.6 The department budget authority will submit a report of all applications and awards to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring reimbursement is for work-related education or training. The responsibility of approving, denying, and paying reimbursement requests falls within the employee’s department.
Vice presidents (or the appropriate designees) are responsible for submitting annual budget initiatives for tuition reimbursement and managing division fund allocations. They are also responsible for ensuring that the guidelines of this policy are followed. Each division is responsible for maintaining accurate records of applications and awards of tuition reimbursement. The division will request an annual initiative for use in support of this policy and then will manage any funds granted through the initiative during the fiscal year.
Accounts Payable is responsible for refunding the employee through the reimbursement process.
The Office of Equal Opportunity will review records of applications and awards for OEO compliance on a quarterly basis.
Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.
This policy does not apply to part-time faculty, part-time employees, or affiliates.
The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.
Previous version: March, 2012
Approved by the President: