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September HR Update

Virginia Retirement System Participants - ACT NOW

Is your VRS membership date before July 1, 2010 (Plan 1)? Do you have less than five years of service? If you answered yes to both questions, your retirement plan and other provisions to the Virginia Retirement System will change if you are not vested by January 1, 2013 (www.varetire.org/actnow). You need five years (60 months) of service credit to become vested. You are in Plan 1 if your membership date is before July 1, 2010.

Prior service credit counts toward the five years needed to become vested. If you are in Plan 1 and not vested: 

  1. Determine if you have prior service eligible for purchase and enough prior service to become vested. Types of prior service include active military service, federal and other public service, non-covered service with a VRS-participating employer, and VRS refunded service.
  2. Look up your Benefit Comparison in MyVRS to see if purchasing service to become vested by January 1, 2013 is your best option at www.varetire.org/myVRS.
  3. If you decide to purchase prior service or have questions regarding the purchase of service, contact Human Resources at (540) 568-6165 or byersje@jmu.edu  to schedule an appointment with Julie Byers.

If you are currently in a payroll contract to purchase prior service, only the months of prior service you pay for by December 31 will count toward vesting. If these months are enough to bring you to 60 months of service credit, you will be vested by January 1, 2013.

Optional Retirement Plan Open Enrollment

October is open enrollment month for participants in the Optional Retirement Plans for higher education. Participants may transfer between ORP providers TIAA-CREF and Fidelity during this open enrollment period. Plan changes become effective January 1, 2013.

JobLink/PositionLink Update

Human Resources will upgrade our JobLink/PositionLink site to a new platform this fall. As part of this upgrade there are several new features that we hope you will find useful, including the ability to use your back and forward browser buttons and the ability to have multiple windows open at one time. Look for upgrade details in October’s HR Horizons newsletter.

JMU’s Faculty Ombudsperson

Dr. Philip DuBose, longtime faculty member and administrator in the College of Business, has assumed new responsibilities as JMU’s Faculty Ombudsperson. He is available to consult with faculty on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the Wine Price Building, Room 3047. Additional meeting times may be arranged as needed. Scheduling appointments is recommended. Contact Phil at
(540) 568-FACO (3226), dubosepb@jmu.edu.

Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

Effective July 1, any person employed by a public or private institution of higher education is required by state law to report suspected instances of child abuse or neglect within 24 hours to the Department of Social Services, to his/her supervisor, or other university officials. JMU Policy 1406, which is pending approval, includes methods and steps of reporting such suspected abuse or neglect as outlined below:

  1. Reports of suspected child abuse or neglect must be submitted by the employee to the Department of Social Services in the locality in which the child resides or where the abuse or neglect is believed to have occurred, or to the Department of Social Services (DSS) toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline (1-800-552-7096).
  2. JMU employees may also report suspected child abuse or neglect to their supervisors or other university officials, including Public Safety (540-568-6912), Human Resources (540-568-6165), or a member of their department’s administration. Such an internal report will relieve the employee of the responsibility of reporting the matter to Social Services if the employee received the information in the course of his or her professional services to the university. 

If you have any questions regarding your requirement to report or matters related to the pending policy, contact HR at humanresources@jmu.edu.

2011 - 2012 Performance Cycle Ends Soon

This year’s annual performance evaluation process for non-probationary, classified employees ends soon. Completed performance evaluations are due in Human Resources, Wine Price Building, MSC 7009, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 28.

An overview of the process, forms and applicable policies can be found at http://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/hrsc/performance.shtml.

For assistance with this process, contact your HR Employee Relations Representative.

Promoting Positivity - The Evaluation Meeting

The purpose of the evaluation meeting is to provide the supervisor and employee an opportunity to discuss job performance and the Individual Professional Development Plan during the previous performance cycle and to plan for future performance objectives. The evaluation meeting requires careful planning and preparation on the part of both the supervisor and employee. The supervisor should be prepared to discuss what input/feedback was considered in the employee's evaluation, the rationale for each of the individual and overall performance ratings, future performance expectations and employee development results.

JMU Job Shadow Day

There is still time to join in the fun! Volunteer to chaperone area eighth graders in a department for JMU’s Job Shadow Day on Friday, October 19. Want to take part in this enlightening and energizing event? Contact Natasha Butler, JMU JSD Committee Co-Chair, (540) 568-4115, butlernm@jmu.edu.

Test Your Return to Work Knowledge

Q: I used six weeks of FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) when I broke my leg and had to be off work. My doctor is getting ready to release me to return to work. What do I need to do when I return from this leave of absence?

A: When the leave of absence is due to your serious health condition, you will be required to present a release from your physician, or other qualified health care provider, authorizing you to return to work. Your return to work will be delayed until a release is received.

A Snapshot of Upcoming Training Sessions Offered by JMU Training and Development

Changing Lanes: Getting From Here to There Transitions Seminar
Congratulations! You’re the Supervisor, Now What?
Developing Team Leaders: Aiming for By-In

Developing Team Leaders: Directing the Process
Difficult Negotiations

EveryONE Makes a Difference: Emotions
Negotiation Skills

Preparing for Generation Z

Rethinking Stress

Understanding and Using the Grievance Procedure

Understanding the Virginia Sickness & Disability Program (VSDP)

For additional information or to arrange customized sessions for your department, contact Jennifer Testa, Director of Training and Development, (540) 568-3845, testajc@jmu.edu.