Employment

Customer Relations

Customers are among our organizations most valuable assets.

Depending on your position, your customers may include students, parents, fellow employees, and/or other members of the public.  Every employee represents the University of St. Thomas to our customers and the public.  The way we do our jobs presents an image of our entire organization.  Customers judge all of us by how they are treated with each employee contact.  Therefore, one of our first business priorities is to assist any customer or potential customer.  Nothing is more important that being courteous, friendly, helpful, and prompt in the attention you give to customers.

Requests to fellow employees and campus departments should be reasonable and fair, and should be made with respect to the individual and the department’s area of expertise.  Individual differences should be handled in a professional, non-confrontational manner.

All communication should be honest, and an attempt should be made to communicate in a manner understood by the customer.  Communication and actions should be productive in nature, not degrading or demeaning.

Conflict of Interest

The University of St. Thomas is committed to protecting its interests in any situation where the University contemplates entering into a business transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of a Board of Trustee member, university officer, faculty, or staff. Trustees, officers, faculty, and staff shall not engage in any business activity that adversely affects or is detrimental to the best interest of the University.  In addition, a trustee, officer, faculty, staff, or a related person or entity shall not be disqualified from contracting with the University merely because of his or her relationship with the University.  This policy is intended to supplement, but not replace, any state or federal law or legislation governing conflicts of interest that is or may become applicable to a nonprofit educational corporation.

All trustees, officers, and key employees shall file an and report any known conflicts of interest as required by this policy.  In addition, key employees shall complete this annual disclosure statement as requested by the University's annual tax return, Form 990.  These key employees include the Executive Vice Presidents and the "five highest compensated employees" that are reported on the Form 990.  This disclosure statement must be completed at the time of appointment and then annually on or before October 31.

Trustees and officers shall also notify the Vice President for Business Affairs immediately if a change in his or her disclosure statement occurs during the year.  All faculty and staff shall complete and file a and report conflicts of interest as required by this policy.  This disclosure statement will be presented to new faculty and staff at the time of employment.  In addition, all academic and administrative leaders will be required to file this disclosure statement annually in the fall, due to the University no later than October 31st of each year.  All other faculty or staff will be requested to file an updated disclosure statement periodically.  A complete copy of the University’s Conflict of Interest policy can be found on the Human Resources website.

Consenting Relationships

The University of St. Thomas is committed to maintaining an academic and work environment in which the principles of mutual respect, professional ethics, fairness, and objectivity are honored.  Central to this commitment are the interactions among those in whom the University has placed its trust to uphold these principles.  This trust is put at risk when faculty, administrators, staff, or students engage in consenting romantic, intimate, or sexual relationships that involve persons of unequal power, for example, faculty and student, supervisor and supervised employee, administrator and student, or anyone who holds an evaluative or decision-making role over another.  Such relationships represent a special form of conflict of interest and, therefore, are prohibited. 

A complete copy of the University's Consenting Relationship policy can be found on the Human Resources website.

Employee Recognition

Service Awards:  On an annual basis, a ceremony is held to honor faculty and staff who have completed 5,10,15,20,25,30,35, and 40 years of service with the University of St. Thomas during the calendar year.  Employees also receive a gift of appreciation of their choosing from a varied selection.

Quarter Century Club:  Full and part-time regular employees, upon completion of 25 years of service, will also become members of the Quarter Century Club.  Quarter Century pins are normally provided for members, in addition to an annual dinner celebration.

Retirees:  Each spring the university recognizes employees who retired during the academic year.  A special reception is given to honor retiring employees.  Gifts are provided to the retirees as an expression of appreciation for their years of service to the university.

Employee Records

The University of St. Thomas retains information on each employee that is directly related to the employee's position with the university.  The information retained will include, but is not limited to, a job application and/or resume, payment authorization forms, personal data changes, performance evaluations, letters of commendation and disciplinary records. 

If you wish to review your employee records, you can submit a request in writing to the Department of Human Resources to schedule an appointment.

It is your responsibility to assure that your personal information (i.e. name, home address, telephone number, emergency contacts, etc.) is accurate.  Please see the self-service function via Murphy Online or contact the Department of Human Resources.

Employer-Employee Relationships

The University of St. Thomas is dedicated to providing quality education for its students and a pleasant work environment for its employees.  This dedication has enhanced the fine reputation of the university, and has contributed to its growth and success.  In order to continue this tradition of excellence, it is important that you and the university work together.  A successful work environment at St. Thomas will be the result of everyone's efforts.

Employment At Will

Employees at the University are considered to be extremely valuable, and it is the intent of the university to provide a work environment that promotes career opportunities within the spirit of this handbook.  University of St. Thomas employees who do not have a written employment contract may resign their employment from the University at any time, for any reason.  The university has the right to end the employment relationship under the same conditions.

Nothing contained in this employee handbook nor any other materials provided to the employee in connection with their employment prohibits the University from terminating an employee at any time for any reason.

Equal Employment Opportunity

In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the University of St. Thomas will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities.

The University of St. Thomas affirms its policy of providing Equal Opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment in accordance with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action laws, directives and regulations of Federal, State and Local governing bodies or agencies, specifically including Chapter 139.50 and 141 of the Minnesota Civil Rights Ordinance and the Rules and Regulations as applicable.

The University of St. Thomas will not discriminate against or harass any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age (40 and over), marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.  With respect to religion and creed, as permitted by law, the university reserves the right to exercise discretion in employment decisions to employ persons who share and are committed to the values and mission of the university.

The University of St. Thomas will take affirmative action to ensure that all employment practices are free of such discrimination.  Such employment practices include, but are not limited to: hiring, upgrading, demotion, transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, selection for lay-off, disciplinary action, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training including any future apprenticeships or internships.  We will provide reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees with disabilities.
 
The University of St. Thomas prohibits the harassment of any employee or job applicant on the basis of their protected class status.
 
The University affirms the value of cultural diversity for all students and employees.  Therefore, the University of St. Thomas will commit the necessary time and resources, both financial and human, to achieve the goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.
 
The University of St. Thomas fully supports the incorporation of nondiscrimination and affirmative action rules and regulations into contracts.

The University of St. Thomas will evaluate the performance of its management and supervisory personnel on the basis of their involvement in achieving affirmative action objectives in addition to other criteria.  Any employee of this university, or sub-contractor to this university, who does not comply with the equal opportunity policies and procedures as set forth in this statement and plan may be subject to disciplinary action.

The University of St. Thomas has appointed the Executive Advisor to the President as the Affirmative Action Officer.  Her responsibilities includes monitoring the efforts of the University in meeting its responsibilities in this area and reporting the effectiveness of the affirmative action program, as required by Federal, State and Local agencies.  The Associate Vice President for Human Resources oversees the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy related to the terms and conditions of the employment relationship between the University and its employees. If any employee or applicant for employment believes he/she has been discriminated against, please contact either the Associate Vice President for Human Resources Department at (651) 962-6511 or the Executive Advisor to the University President at (651) 962-6031.

Grievance Procedure

Reasons for filing

Employees may file a grievance when they feel a term or condition of their employment has been violated.  Examples of actions that may be the subject of grievances include: disagreement with employment or disciplinary actions; treatment considered unfair by an employee, such as coercion, reprisal, harassment or intimidation; alleged discrimination; and improper or unfair administration of benefits, promotion, retirement, performance review, salary or seniority.  The elimination of a position may not be the subject of a grievance.

Employees are encouraged to use the grievance procedure and will not be penalized for doing so.

Steps for filing

  1. Notify supervisor of grievance.
    • The employee should notify his/her immediate supervisor, orally or in writing, of the grievance within 14 calendar days of learning of the situation.
    • The supervisor should respond to the employee, orally or in writing, within a reasonable time (usually 7 days).
    • If the employee’s problem concerns the immediate supervisor, the employee will be permitted to discuss the problem first with the department head or the associate vice president of Human Resources.
  2. Submit grievance to the Department of Human Resources.
    • If the employee is not satisfied with the supervisor’s response, they will have 7 days from the date of the receipt of the supervisor’s response to file a formal grievance at the second step.
    • The employee must submit his/her grievance in writing to the associate vice president of Human Resources.  The employee’s written grievance should be as specific as possible, and should include a statement of the facts surrounding the grievance, documentation supporting the grievance, and the requested remedy.
    • The associate vice president of Human Resources will have 7 days after the receipt of the grievance to schedule a meeting with the employee.  The associate vice president of Human Resources will respond in writing within 7 days after the meeting.
  3. Request grievance to be presented to the Employment Personnel Committee.
    • If the employee is not satisfied with the response from the associate vice president of Human Resources, a written request must be made within 7 days to the associate vice president of Human Resources to present the grievance to the Employment Personnel Committee.  A meeting will be scheduled with this committee within 30 days of receipt of the request.
    • Within 7 days after the date of the meeting, the Employment Personnel Committee shall report its finding(s), a summary of the reasons for its judgment, and its recommendation(s) in a written statement to the complainant, respondent, and the appropriate Executive Vice President or University President, where applicable.  The appropriate Executive Vice President or University President, where applicable, shall give careful consideration to the recommendation of the Committee but shall not be bound by such recommendations. The appropriate Executive Vice President or University President, where applicable, shall make the final decision in the case and communicate his or her decision in writing to the complainant and respondent within ten (10) days of receiving the written report of the Employment Personnel Committee.

All parties are expected to file and respond to grievances within the specified time limits.  Failure by the employee to follow these time limits will result in either rejection of the grievance, or the findings of the preceding step will be viewed as the final decision.  Failure on the part of administration officials to follow the time limits will allow the employee to proceed immediately to the next step in the grievance procedure.

Time spent by employees in grievance meetings during normal work hours will be considered hours worked for pay purposes.

Temporary employees may not use the grievance procedure.

Terminated probationary employees have no right of appeal through the grievance procedure.

Hiring

The University has established procedures for advertising, selecting, and hiring applicants for regular and temporary positions.  Positions are listed on the Human Resources website http://www.stthomas.edu/jobsatust.

Hours of Work

Work week

The normal work week consists of 40 hours, five days per week, Monday through Friday.  The hours and days an employee works is dependant upon the needs of the department, and may vary from one department to another or work groups within a department.

Lunch and rest periods

Each full time employee will be allowed a meal period near the middle of the workday.  Except for service employees (food service, security, trades and employees covered by a union contract), the meal period shall normally be 60 minutes.  In departments that operate more than one shift, the meal period will normally be 30 minutes.  Length and time of the lunch period is based on departmental needs and the discretion of the department head.

Full-time hourly paid employees are also entitled to two paid, 15 minute rest periods, to be taken at the approximate mid-point of the first and second halves of their shift.  Lunches and rest periods may not be accumulated for later use if they are not taken at the scheduled times.

Overtime

Hourly paid employees who work more than 40 hours in a week will receive overtime pay at the rate of 1½ times their normal hourly rate.  For the purposes of computing overtime pay, the work week begins at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 12:00 midnight on Saturday.  Hourly employees must receive approval in advance to work overtime.

Hourly paid employees may take time off instead of receiving overtime pay, but only if the time off is taken during the same week as the overtime is worked.  All approved hours worked over 40 hours in one week must be paid at the overtime rate.  Hours worked over 40 hours in one week may not be accumulated for the purpose of taking compensatory time off at a later date.

Employees may be required to work overtime when deemed necessary by their supervisor.  The supervisor may assign overtime to employees working in the jobs for which overtime work is required.

Exempt salaried employees do not receive overtime pay and are not entitled to take time off at a later date to compensate for additional hours worked.

Outside Employment

The University realizes that some employees may have a job in addition to their employment with the University.  Outside employment must not compromise the University’s interests or adversely affect the employee’s job performance.

Outside employment will not be considered an excuse for poor job performance, absenteeism, tardiness, leaving early, refusal to travel, refusal to work overtime or different hours, or any other failure to meet the requirements of the job.

Employees who are injured or become ill as a result of employment outside the university are not eligible for the University’s short-term disability benefits.  Long-term disability benefits are not affected by outside employment.

Separation of Employment

Employment at the University of St. Thomas may end due to retirement, resignation, discharge, or as a result of the elimination of a position.

Retirement

There is no mandatory retirement age at the University of St. Thomas.  It is requested that an employee planning to retire notify his/her supervisor, department head, and the department of Human Resources in writing at least 90 days in advance of the anticipated retirement date.

Resignation

Whenever possible, an employee should notify his/her supervisor and the department of Human Resources in writing in advance of the anticipated resignation date.  Employees who decide to leave the University are expected to provide their immediate supervisor at least a two weeks notice.  The employee may rescind a written notice of resignation if approved by the supervisor, department head, and the appropriate vice-president.

Discharge and/or suspension

  • An employee may be discharged at any time for any reason.
  • In situations other than described below, a regular employee, who is disciplined, suspended, or discharged may appeal this action through the University's grievance procedures.
  • An employee who is discharged, transferred or demoted as a result of the elimination of a position may not grieve this decision.
  • An employee filling a temporary position may not use the grievance procedure (See Grievance Procedures).
  • A terminated probationary employee has no right of appeal through the grievance procedure.
  • An employee who is absent from work for three consecutive days without notifying his/her immediate supervisor prior to the absence will be seen as having voluntarily terminated his/her employment with the University.
  • A terminated employee will receive his/her final paycheck within 24 hours of the termination. This check should include payment for unused vacation/paid leave time, up to the maximum permitted for eligible employees.

Exit Interview

  • An exit interview will be conducted through the Department of Human Resources for employees leaving the University.  Comments regarding employment at the University are welcome during that interview.
  • Forms outlining benefit continuation opportunities will be mailed to the employee’s home address from the university’s third party administrator.

Types of Appointments

Non-faculty staff appointments are designated as regular full-time, regular part-time, temporary, extended temporary, interim, or per diem.  The following provisions define the various employment appointments available at the University.

Regular Full-time:  An appointment that is expected to continue indefinitely and requires an employee to work a regular schedule of at least 40 hours per week.   

Regular Part-time:  An appointment that requires employees to work a regular schedule of less than 40 hours per week and whose duration is expected to continue indefinitely.

Temporary:  The appointment of an employee to a position or job assignment that has a definite end date and whose duration is less than six (6) months.

Extended Temporary:  An appointment intended to meet the needs of a unit that has extra or cyclical work or special projects that have clearly defined beginning and ending periods.  These types of appointments must be made for a minimum of six (6) months and may last no longer than twelve (12) months.

Interim:  The temporary assignment to a regular position, which generally occurs following the promotion, transfer, or departure of an employee who held a regular appointment.  The interim assignment shall not exceed six months.

On-Call:  The assignment of an employee whose appointment is not a part of the labor budget or regular work schedule of a unit and the employee is scheduled to work only on an "as needed" or “on-call” basis.  

Term Appointment:  A benefits eligible appointment to a position whose term is more than 12 months but lasting not more than two years for the purpose of staffing new or existing programs for a limited duration.  The term may not be extended beyond the original appointment period.  President’s Staff approval is required.

Work Schedule Options

Flextime

Flextime is defined as a work schedule that permits flexible starting and quitting times within the limits set by management.  The university supports flextime in situations that will benefit both the employee and the university.  In many cases, it is expected that flexible work arrangements contribute to a higher level of employee satisfaction and productivity.  An employee must outline in writing to their supervisor their request for a flexible work schedule.

Job Sharing Policy

Job sharing is a work option that allows two individuals to share the work responsibilities of one full time position.  It is expected that all job duties will be the responsibility of both individuals. A job sharing agreement must be entered into between the job sharing employees and the department head.  The initial duration of the agreement should not exceed six months.  Two individuals in an approved job sharing arrangement, each approved to work 20 hours per week, would both be benefit eligible.  The full-time benefits would be split equally between the two individuals sharing the job.  Policy guidelines are available on the Department of Human Resources website.

Telecommuting

is a voluntary work arrangement that may be appropriate for some employees and some positions, functions, or activities.  Telecommuting allows an employee to work at an offsite location for part or all of their work week, substituting telecommunications technology for the trip to and from campus.  The university considers telecommuting a viable alternative work option for situations that are well-suited to such an arrangement.

Telecommuting can be an informal or formal arrangement.  An informal telecommuting arrangement is short-term and ad hoc in nature (i.e. working from home on a short-term project with an approaching deadline).  A formal telecommuting arrangement is long-term ranging from two or more weeks and is not a response to a specific project.  Informal arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis at the departmental level.  A telecommuting arrangement does not change the terms and conditions of employment with the University of St. Thomas.  Formal telecommuting arrangements must be requested in writing and follow general telecommuting guidelines.

In a voluntary telecommuting arrangement, the employee is responsible for all equipment that may be necessary for work effectiveness (i.e. computer, fax machine, telephone, etc.).  Telecommuting guidelines and forms are available on the Department of Human Resources website.