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X. EMPLOYEE AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Overview
JMU recognizes length of service for classified staff and faculty through an annual service awards event in accordance with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resources Management Service Recognition Policy 1.10.

JMU also recognizes employee contributions that support the overall objectives of JMU and state government. The university has established a recognition program that applies to classified and wage employees to reinforce positive behaviors, enhance good employee relations, raise morale, and improve agency and state government operations. Recognition awards include Individual Impact, Customer Service and Recognition Leave awards.

Purpose
Recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions to the organization is important. Recognition and reward programs play an important role in attracting and retaining employees. The purpose of this program is to recognize individuals or groups for exceptional performance, special acts or innovative ideas.

Eligibility
All classified and wage employees are eligible to participate in this program. Classified employees only are eligible for Recognition Leave.

Nomination Procedures
Nominations for Individual Impact awards and Customer Service awards may be submitted at any time throughout the year through the supervisory chain to Human Resources for processing.

The form for submitting nominations, Employee Recognition Nomination Form .can be found on the HR website.

Criteria
Each recognition award recognizes specific achievements or service. The total monetary awards shall not exceed $2000 per employee per leave year. Recognition Leave awards shall not exceed 40 hours per fiscal year. Monetary awards and Recognition Leave awards are not mutually exclusive, meaning that an employee may receive the maximum of both.

Funding
All awards are funded by the department submitting the nomination.

Payment
Lump sum payments to employees under the Employee Recognition Program are treated by the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of the employee’s regular rate of pay. These guidelines will be applied to payments. Monetary awards are considered income and are subject to taxes in accordance with IRS regulations.

Recognition for Degree Attainment
Employees who attain a degree may be eligible to receive a bonus for the attainment of that degree. The awarding of this bonus is contingent upon the availability of departmental funding and an approval by the appropriate AVP or Dean. The bonus amounts are as follows: associate’s degree-$500; undergraduate - $1000; graduate - $2000; and doctoral - $3000. In order to process a bonus for Degree Attainment, a PAR must be submitted to Human Resources. An official transcript is also required to be received in Human Resources before the PAR can be processed. The official transcript may be produced by the respective university/college’s registrar’s office or sent electronically to Human Resources. The bonus amount for degree attainment is not cumulative with other recognition bonuses.

Recognition Leave

Classified employees are eligible for Recognition Leave. Requests for Recognition Leave will be submitted on a form that will specify the reason(s) for the award, the number of days/hours awarded, and the date the leave is effective. Recognition Leave awards should be used within one year of receipt: however, in certain circumstances the time to use the leave can be extended. Requests will be submitted to Human Resources by the supervisor through the appropriate vice president. Human Resources will record the time awarded on the employees leave statement.

Wage employees are not eligible for Recognition Leave or any other paid leave.

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