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Human Resources welcomes new staff members

Jennifer Dodson, Recruiting and Employment Services Assistant
Stephanie Grepps, Part-time Administrative Assistant
Lisa Hajdasz, Assistant to the HR Director

Recapping the 43rd annual faculty & staff Service Recognition Programs

On October 13 and 14, JMU recognized 231 faculty and 210 staff members at Service Recognition Programs. Together, this group represents over 5,600 years of service to the University. Special recognition goes to the following individuals for milestone years of service: John Hanson, College of Science and Mathematics for 50 years of service; Charles Harris, Psychology, and Joyce Plymale, Kinesiology, for 45 years of service; Becky Armentrout, University Business Office, Shirley Cobb, Counseling Center, Arthur Hamilton, Finance & Business Law, David Herr, Education, Joan Houff, Residence Life, and Judy Marshall, Student Affairs, for 40 years of service.

ORP Open Enrollment

October is Open Enrollment for participants of the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE). The two providers available to plan participants are Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. For information on the providers visit their websites at and

Participants can change their provider by completing the Provider Change Form 52kb ( and sending it to Human Resources, MSC 7009. An enrollment form and beneficiary form also must be completed unless there is an existing ORPHE account with the provider.

In making your selection, you should be aware that Fidelity Investments’ and TIAA-CREF’s plan administration and record keeping fees are embedded within most fund expense ratios. Review fund prospectuses or other disclosure documents for more information about investment management fees, short-term trading fees and/or the investment restrictions for the funds you are considering. To learn more about the various fees and expenses associated with the providers’ programs contact provider representatives at:

 Fidelity Investments

1(800) 343-0860 Contact Center & IVR


1(800) 842-2776 Contact Center

1(800) 842-2252 IVR

The change of provider you make during Open Enrollment will be effective for ORPHE contributions sent to the provider on your behalf on or after January 1. In order for a provider change to take place, your signed Provider Change form and Enrollment and Beneficiary forms for your new provider must be received by Human Resources by close of business on October 30.

 National Disability Employment Awareness Month

James Madison University is proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Held each October, NDEAM aims to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

If you are a person with a disability and you wish to request an accommodation(s) for your disability you may do so by contacting a Human Resources Benefits Specialist or by completing the Employee Request for Accommodation Form on HR’s ADA website.

As a federal contractor, James Madison University is subject to section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In accordance with the university’s Affirmative Action Program and federal obligations under the Rehabilitation Act, we invite employees to self-identify their protected disability. Identification of disability is strictly voluntary. This voluntary process provides employees who wish to benefit under JMU’s Affirmative Action Program to self-identify for that purpose. No adverse consequences will result from providing this information, or from refusing to provide it. Any information provided will be used only in a manner consistent with the Acts.

You can also find information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and a list of resources on HR’s ADA website.

Support the Red Flag Campaign and wear red on Tuesday, October 27

The Red Flag Campaign is happening right now.  Through partnership with the Virginia Action Alliance, The Red Flag Campaign is implemented on campus with the help and support of students, faculty, and staff.  It’s all about recognizing the signs of unhealthy relationships, red flags, and saying something about them.  Show support and wear red on Tuesday, October 27.  Read more about The Red Flag Campaign at and see what events are happening at JMU,

Lactation rooms at the University Health Center

Did you know the University Health Center has two lactation rooms available to students, faculty, and staff?  One room has two workstations separated by a privacy curtain with a microwave for sterilizing pump equipment and a refrigerator.  The other lactation room also accommodates pumping or breastfeeding.

Both rooms have locking doors and low lighting available.  Individual, private restrooms are near each lactation room.  Availability for the rooms are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Contact Kristina Blyer, Associate Director of Clinical Operations,, or call the UHC at 540/568-6178 to reserve a lactation room.

Election Day and using leave appropriately

Election Day for Virginia’s statewide general elections is Tuesday, November 3, 2015. The polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Voters will be required to show a photo ID at the polls. As employees exercise their right to vote, there are a few rules to keep in mind:

Election Day Attendance

Election Day can present staffing challenges resulting from employees wanting to arrive late or to leave early. It’s important to ensure that employees have a reasonable opportunity to vote, to maintain sufficient staffing coverage throughout the day, and to employ an approach that is equitably applied to all staff.

  • Encourage employees to vote before work, after work, or during their lunch breaks, and to coordinate their schedules with supervisors and co-workers.
  • Advise employees that late arrivals and requests for early departures or extended lunch breaks will require the use of personal leave. Annual, family personal, overtime, compensatory or recognition leave may be used for this purpose.
  • Consider adjusting the schedules of non-exempt employees as an alternative to using leave.

Election Day Volunteers

Employees who serve as Officers of Election shall be allowed to use up to 8 hours of Civil and Work-Related Leave on Election Day. As with all leave, supervisory approval is required.

Employees who serve as Officers of Election shall be allowed to use Civil and Work-Related Leave to attend the required Officer of Election certification training only when the employee's locality does not offer the training during non-work hours. Training schedules are available from local registrars and are typically posted on the localities’ websites.

If an employee uses Civil and Work-Related Leave to work as an Officer of Election and receives payment for duties and/or training, (s)he must submit the payment to the Commonwealth.

  • If the employee wishes to retain the payment, (s)he must use annual, compensatory, overtime, family/personal, or recognition leave.
  • Employees who are reimbursed for expenses only (travel, parking, etc.) are permitted to keep such payments.
  • Neither Civil and Work-Related Leave nor School Assistance & Volunteer Service Leave may be used by employees who wish to volunteer on Election Day in another capacity (e.g., poll workers not certified as Officers of Election, political workers, etc.). These activities are considered political activities, not community services as defined in the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Policy 4.05-Civil and Work-Related Leave.

Virginia Department of Elections

CommonHealth is for everybody

HR‘s benefits team would like to thank everyone that participated in “Take a Ride, JMU” this year!  The sun shining down on Newman Lake made for a beautiful setting for such an exciting event.  Door prizes were drawn every 15 minutes, faculty and staff were able to test out bikes on the Bluestone Trail, and local bike shops were on-site to answer questions about cycling and to make minor adjustments on bikes for faculty and staff.  We look forward to having an event like this again in the future.

While this was a wonderful event, this was simply the beginning of our initiatives with CommonHealth. Look for other CommonHealth events and programs coming your way very soon!  If you are interested in learning more about CommonHealth or getting involved with this fun movement, contact Tara Roe at 540/568-5533 or

New employee discount program - Abenity

JMU employees are invited to join over 800 of their coworkers in signing up with Abenity, a discount program! Abenity is a perks program which provides over 200,000 local and national discounts to program members, amounting to well over $4,500 in personal consumer savings.  By offering these discounts, the university continues to strive to promote an enriched work-life balance. We hope you will find many uses for these discounts.

Simply log onto the Abenity website and register by using your JMU email.  Once you are registered, you will be eligible to receive the discounts either through your mobile phone or by downloading the discount. If you have any questions concerning Abenity, please send your inquiries to or 540/568-3593.

Madison Awards: An opportunity to recognize your peers

JMU is pleased to announce that we are now accepting nominations for Madison Awards. These awards recognize the contributions made to the university each year by faculty and staff. The university strives to promote the success of faculty and staff who contribute and support the university through their daily interactions, research and commitment to JMU.  You may nominate any employee in the following categories:

  • Agency Star
  • Community Service and Volunteerism
  • Innovation
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Career Achievement
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork
Nominations will be reviewed in the spring and winners will be announced at the President’s Opening Address to faculty and staff. 

To learn more and to submit your nomination, please visit the Madison Awards website.

Title IX training reminder

Employees are encouraged to participate in university-wide Title IX training as soon as possible.  Please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, 540/568-6991, for information about this training mandate.

 A snapshot of upcoming workshops offered by Training & Development

Oct 21: Leadership for Supervisors Series (TD1509)

Oct 21: JMU JobLink (IT195)

Nov 2: Workplace Substance Abuse Management for Supervisors (TD1398)

For additional information or to arrange customized sessions for your department, please contact Suzanne Vance, Training Coordinator at, or 540/568-4101.

October is Fire Safety Month

See the Office of Risk Management’s Fire Safety Tips at

An easy way to stay safe

Download the LiveSafe mobile safety app which enables you to: (1) Report tips anonymously to safety officials; (2) Share your location with safety officials in an emergency; (3) Start a SafeWalk with your friends or family (4) See crimes and safety info in your area. You can get the free mobile app from the iTunes Store or Google Play.

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter @JMUJobs and HR’s LinkedIn Group

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