Human Resources

Updated: February 2014

Benefits

C.16.1 Leaves and Absences

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/December 1, 2013/January 1, 2014
Approval Body: Chancellor's Cabinet
Applicable Board Policy: C.16 Leaves and Absences


PURPOSE

HCC provides a comprehensive and systematic program of leave for all benefits-eligible employees. The program includes both compensated and uncompensated leave.

The Human Resources Department develops, administers and monitors all leave policies and procedures. Hiring authorities and supervisors are responsible for the fair and consistent application of these policies and adherence to procedure.

APPLICABILITY

All full-time benefits eligible employees - leave time shall accrue on the first day of each month that the employee is in an active status.

PROCEDURES

Supervisory Approval

The immediate supervisor receives and reviews all unprotected leave requests to determine that there will be no adverse impact on unit operations before making a decision to approve/disapprove the request. The immediate supervisor receives and acknowledges all protected leave requests (FML and Military Leave) and forwards such requests to the Human Resources Benefits Department for approval/disapproval.

Full-time Voluntary Uncompensated Leave

Full-time Voluntary Uncompensated Leave (FVUL) is available to full-time employees who have at least one year of service and satisfactory job performance for the purpose of educational advancement, caring for a sick relative, caring for a child, or service in a political appointment. The leave is unprotected and may be granted for a period of three weeks to one year. Under extraordinary circumstances, FVUL may be granted for a period greater than one year. FVUL is an unpaid, unprotected leave.

Usage of Full-time Voluntary Uncompensated Leave requires supervisory review and approval, President/Vice Chancellor review and approval, and final approval from the Chancellor. 

Full-time Voluntary Uncompensated Leave is an unprotected leave.  Employees who return from FVUL may be returned to their previous position within the organization if it has not been filled or eliminated. However, employees who utilize FVUL will not be guaranteed a position within the organization upon their return from leave.  If the employee's previous position has been filled or eliminated, the employee will have 30 days in which to apply for another position within the College. If the employee is unable to obtain another position within 30 days, the employee will be terminated.

 Administrative Leave

The Chancellor or his/her designee may determine that granting an employee an administrative leave is in the best interest of the organization and/or the employee. In such cases, the employee will be placed on administrative leave, either with or without pay depending upon the circumstances surrounding the leave and the employee's status as a contracted or at-will employee. Employees who are under contract should always be paid while on administrative leave. 

Usage of Administrative Leave requires President/Chief Human Resource Officer review and approval and final approval from the Chancellor or his/her designee. The Chancellor has appointed the Chief Human Resources Officer as the designee to approve recommendations for administration leave with or without pay.

Personal Business Leave*  

Employees may use up to a total of 24 hours of personal business leave for personal business that cannot be conducted outside of regular work hours. 

Examples of such personal business include urgent family matters (other than illness), legal transactions such as house closings, religious observances, extension of a Bereavement Leave, attendance at a funeral that doesn't qualify for Bereavement Leave, and professional growth/ development opportunities.  Up to 24 hours of Personal Business Leave may be utilized from the Sick Leave Bank, provided the employee has the requested amount of hours in his/her Sick Leave Bank.  Requests for Personal Business Leave in excess of 24 hours per fiscal year will be paid from the Vacation Leave Bank or may be unpaid. In no event will an employee be allowed to use more than 24 hours of Sick Leave for Personal Business per fiscal year.

After submission of written resignation of employment, no further paid personal business leave may be used or approved.  Any personal business time paid after submission of resignation will be deducted from vacation, if any, or pursued through collection after separation.

*Usage of Personal Business Leave requires supervisory review and approval.


Court Appearance/Jury Duty*

An employee who is subpoenaed as a court witness may be absent without loss of pay, provided that a copy of the subpoena is provided to the employee's immediate supervisor with the appropriate Application for Leave form. An employee called for jury duty may be absent without loss of pay, provided that a copy of the jury duty summons is provided to the employee's immediate supervisor with the Appropriate Application for Leave form.  In addition, for jury duty service, subsequent verification from the court of time served will be required from the employee upon return to work. The employee is encouraged to contact the supervisor when time served is complete. Return to work, if court appearance/jury duty is not for a full day, is at the discretion of the supervisor.

*Usage of Court appearance/Jury Duty Leave requires Supervisory review and approval. The employee is required to notify the supervisor promptly upon receipt of the subpoena or jury duty summons. 

Sick Leave  

Employees may use personal sick leave for a medical disability or illness that prevents the employee from performing the employee's job function.  Sick Leave allows employees to take paid time off from work for an illness or injury, including catastrophic injury or illness, disability due to childbirth, medical appointments or when the medical condition of the employee prevents the performance of the employee's regularly assigned duties.  In addition, sick leave may also be used in cases of illness or injury of the employee's spouse, children, grandchildren, mother, father, mother-in-law or father-in-law.

For employees who are eligible for FML, sick leave usage of more than 3 consecutive workdays will count as FML from the first day of absence.  In cases where the employee utilizes more than 3 consecutive days of Sick Leave for his or her own personal illness, an unconditional medical release is required before the employee will be allowed to return to work. Before an employee can return, official documentation is required when employee is absent for more than 3 consecutive days to care for a spouse, children, grandchildren, mother, father, mother-in-law or father-in-law.  The official document should be a medical release for the spouse, children, grandchildren, mother, father, mother-in-law or father-in-law.  

Full-time employees earn sick leave at the rate of four (4) hours per pay period. Sick leave may accumulate up to a maximum of 680 hours. Leave hours accrue each pay period and are not available for use until accrued. Accruals are prorated based on days worked in the month when an employee is on leave or docked. Newly hired and newly benefits eligible employees begin accruing sick leave in the first pay period of benefits eligibility.

In cases where the employee utilizes more than 3 consecutive days of Sick Leave for his or her own personal illness, a medical release without restrictions is required before the employee will be allowed to return to work. Refer to Procedure C.09.01 Attendance & Punctuality regarding employee Call In responsibility when ill. When an employee is absent for more than 3 consecutive days to care for a spouse, children, grandchildren, mother, father, mother-in-law or father-in-law, an official statement documenting illness is required before the employee can return to work. The official document may be a medical release for the spouse, children, grandchildren, mother, father, mother-in-law or father-in-law or a return to work release for the employee.

The release shall be submitted to Human Resources Benefits Department (Leave Administrator) before the employee's return to work. HCC has the right to require the employee to provide a physician's excuse at any time to substantiate an illness for which sick leave is requested. Failure to submit this excuse when requested may result in denial of sick leave usage for the event.

For employees who are eligible for Family Medical Leave (FML), sick leave usage of more than 3 consecutive workdays may count as FML from the first day of absence. If the employee is unable to act, the supervisor is required to submit an initial FML request to the Human Resources Benefits Department (Leave Administrator) not later than the business day following more than 3 consecutive workdays of sick absence.

Sick leave requires supervisory review and approval. Sick leave is unprotected leave and shall count against the employee's attendance record, unless protected by the Family and Medical Leave job protection.

Following submission of resignation, any absence thereafter due to claims of illness must be supported by a treating provider's statement in order for sick time to be used. In absence of physician documentation, absences will be deducted from vacation, if any, or pursued through collection action after separation.

Catastrophic Leave 

Full-time employees earn catastrophic leave at the rate of two (2) hours per pay period to a maximum of 1,000 hours. When the sick leave bank has accrued the maximum 680 hours, catastrophic leave accrues at the rate of six (6) hours per pay period.

Leave hours accrue each pay period and are not available for use until accrued. Accruals are prorated based on days worked in the month when an employee is on paid sick leave, unpaid leave or docked. Newly hired and newly benefits eligible employees begin accruing sick leave in the first pay period of benefits eligibility.

An employee may use catastrophic leave for the employee's own major illness when a physician has certified that employee is unable to perform two or more of the five activities of daily living. The five activities of daily living are defined as dressing, feeding oneself, transferring (moving from place to place), bathing and toileting.

HCC may require a second or third medical opinion at its cost to confirm that the illness or injury qualifies for catastrophic leave. When catastrophic leave is approved, the employee will be paid from the catastrophic leave bank first. When the catastrophic leave bank balance reaches zero, the employee will be paid from the Sick Leave Bank. When the Sick Leave Bank balance reaches zero, the employee may utilize Vacation.

For employees who are approved for FML, catastrophic leave will count as FML. An unrestricted medical release is required before the employee will be allowed to return to work from catastrophic leave. The release shall be submitted to the Human Resources Benefits Department (Leave Administrator) before the employee returns to work.

Catastrophic leave use requires approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Bereavement Leave  

Bereavement Leave may be utilized in cases where the employee has a death of a member of his/her family from the following list of relatives:

  1. Spouse (husband, wife)
  2. Children (son, daughter, step-son, step-daughter)
  3. Grandchildren, great-grandchildren
  4. Parents (mother, father, step-mother, step-father)
  5. Spouse's Parents (mother, father, step-mother, step-father)
  6. Parent's Siblings (aunts, uncles)
  7. Siblings (brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister)
  8. Spouse's Siblings (brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister)
  9. Grandparents 

For events that qualify for bereavement leave, an employee may be absent for up to three days per occurrence without loss of pay and without leave deductions. Generally, bereavement leave requested and taken should occur concurrently with the death of the family member but in no case shall the beginning of the period of bereavement leave be greater than fourteen (14) calendar days following the death of the family member. The length of the leave granted may depend on the particular circumstances such as the distance the employee must travel, the employee's involvement in the funeral arrangements, etc. The employee's immediate supervisor will determine how much leave is granted per occurrence (not to exceed three days). In cases that qualify for bereavement leave, but for which the employee must utilize more than three days of leave, additional leave may be taken as Personal Business Leave or Vacation Leave, subject to the maximums or accruals of those types of leave. If the employee has exhausted the Personal Business Leave maximum and Vacation Leave Bank, then the additional leave will be unpaid. HCC may require verification of the bereavement in order to grant bereavement leave.

An employee may attend the funeral of a relative or other individuals not included on the list above, however, no bereavement leave will be granted. The employee must use Personal Business Leave or Vacation Leave for such occurrences, subject to the maximums or accruals of those types of leave. If the employee has exhausted the Personal Business Leave maximum and Vacation Leave Bank, then the leave will be unpaid. If the fourteen (14) day calendar period following relative's death ends on a day the college is closed, no funeral leave is granted upon return following the college closure.

* Bereavement Leave requires supervisory review and approval.

Military Leave

An employee who is required to miss work due to voluntary or involuntary service in the military shall be entitled to Military Leave, all re-employment rights, and benefits as outlined in the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

Military Leave may be paid, partially paid, or unpaid, depending upon the duration of the leave and the total amount of cumulative Military Leave the employee has utilized as an employee of HCC. The first 120 hours of Military Leave per occurrence will be paid at full base salary plus longevity pay to an employee called to active duty or for training purposes. Fully paid military leave will not exceed 120 hours per fiscal year. Military Leaves greater than 120 hours will be paid supplemental pay, which is calculated as full base salary plus longevity pay, minus any compensation received from the military for service. Supplemental pay in conjunction with a military leave will not exceed five cumulative years. After the employee exceeds five cumulative years of protected military leave, the employee may take unpaid leave to meet military obligations with the supervisor's approval. 

Advance notice of intent to take Military Leave as outlined in USERRA is required unless military necessity prevents the employee from giving such notice. The employee should notify the Supervisor upon receipt of call-up orders. The supervisor should review and acknowledge the request for Military Leave and forward the request to the HR Benefits office or their assigned Senior HR Generalist. The Human Resources Benefits Department will review the request for Military Leave and issue final approval or denial.

An employee on Military Leave may keep his/her benefits while on Military Leave or may make changes in their benefits coverage in conjunction with the leave. The employee will continue to pay his/her portion of benefits' premiums while on Military Leave, which may be deducted from pay received from HCC. In the event that the pay received from HCC does not fully pay the employee's portion of the benefits' premiums, the employee is responsible for making arrangements with the Human Resources Benefits Department for premium payment. 

Military Leave is a protected leave under USERRA for a period of time not to exceed five years cumulatively per employee. After a cumulative total of five years of Military Leave, an employee's Military Leave will be deemed unprotected.  In addition, an employee is responsible for returning to work in the time frames and deadlines outlined in USERRA. An employee who fails to adhere to the timelines and deadlines outlined in USERRA may lose job protection.

Religious Holy Days

An employee who observes a Religious Holy Day not designated as a holiday by HCC may use Personal Business Leave and/or Vacation leave subject to the maximum and accruals in order to be compensated for the time off for the Holy Day.  If maximums and accruals are expended for the fiscal year, the employee will not be compensated for time-off associated with Religious Holy Days.

*Religious Holy Days require advance notice to the immediate supervisor. 

Vacation Leave

All twelve (12) month, full-time benefits-eligible employees are eligible for vacation based on length of full-time continuous employment. A break in full-time continuous service will result in treatment as a new employee for vacation determination.

Executives (E40 and above along with contracted executive positions reporting directly to the Chancellor) earn vacation at a rate of 20 hours per month with a maximum accumulation of 400 hours or as otherwise specified in their employment agreement. Employees serving in an interim executive position (E40 and above along with contracted executive positions reporting directly to the Chancellor) have all rights, privileges and benefits accorded to a full time regular executive including vacation accrual.  The executive employees earn their vacation accrual from the first day of employment.

Eligibility for vacation shall be determined at the beginning of the fiscal year of the employee's anniversary year.  All vacation time will be accrued each pay period and is not available for use until accrued and with the advance approval of the immediate supervisor.  When an employee is on paid sick leave, unpaid leave or is docked, accruals will be prorated based on days worked in the pay period.  Accrual adjustments may occur in the current pay period or a later pay period.

Employees can take vacation only after it is accrued.

Vacation leave is calculated and earned on a per pay period basis.  For newly benefits eligible employees, vacation accrual begins in the first pay period provided employee works on the first day of the period, otherwise accrual begins in the next pay period.

Examples:

1.   New Employee hired 3/1.   Earns 3.334 hours on 3/15 payroll if entire period 3/1-3/15 is worked.

2.   New Employee is hired 3/5.  Does not earn a 3/15 accrual.  First accrual is on 3/31 payroll when 3.334 hours are earned if entire period is worked.

 

Eligible employees will earn vacation according to the following schedule:

Tier Years of Service Accrual Hours Each Pay Period
1 0-4 3.334
2 5-19 5.000
3 20 or More 6.667

 

Employees who attained 15 years of service within the 2011-2012 fiscal year or who currently earn 160 hours annually but who are not yet at 20 years of service will be grandfathered into Tier 3 (4 weeks per year), accruing 6.667 hours of vacation each pay period.  

Unused Vacation Leave

Vacation Carryover

If vacation is earned but not taken, a maximum of eighty (80) hours shall automatically be carried into the following fiscal year. Carryover hours shall be used first before newly accrued vacation and should be exhausted by the last business day of February.  Executives (E40 and above along with contracted executive positions reporting directly to the Chancellor) may carryover up to 400 hours; however they are not required to use the carryover vacation prior to the last day of February.

Upon Move to a Position not Eligible for Vacation

Upon change of assignment that is not vacation eligible, unused but earned vacation time will be paid to the employee.

Upon Separation of Employment

After submission of a written resignation from employment, no further vacation may be used or approved.  However, after separation due to resignation, retirement, death or termination, unused but earned vacation time will be paid to the employee.

Employees in an executive position (E40 and above along with contracted executive positions reporting directly to the Chancellor), either interim or full time regular, and regardless of whether they are an internal or external hire, will receive after separation due to resignation, retirement, death, return to their previous position or termination; unused earned vacation time up to 400 hours, unless otherwise stated in their employment agreement, will be paid to the employee at the rate of pay as specified in their employment agreement or interim assignment Personnel Action Form (PAF).

Maximum Leave Usage

The maximum usage of catastrophic, sick, vacation or leave without pay (combined or individually) may not exceed more than 26 weeks in a 12 month period. An employee's position will only be held for up to 12 continuous weeks of approved FMLA leave. Upon return from 12 continuous weeks of FMLA leave, the employee will be restored to the employee's original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. If leave continues past the approved 12 weeks of continuous FMLA leave, an employee may be returned to a vacant position at the employee's current grade level or lower, provided that the employee meets the qualifications of that position.

Holidays

The official employee holiday calendar shall be posted annually on the HCC website. Each full-time benefits eligible employee is granted all designated holiday leaves occurring within the employee's employment period. The employment period ends on the last day worked.  No holidays are paid after the last day worked.  Benefits eligible employees are required to be on active payroll status the day before and the day after a holiday to be granted holiday leave pay.  Employees on unpaid leave status will not be eligible for holiday leave pay.

Official College Closures

The Board of Trustees may approve funds, by passing a Board resolution, to pay standard hours to non-exempt and part-time employees during an official evacuation or official college closure.  This resolution would clearly state which employees are to be included in the payment process.  If no resolution is passed, employees will only be paid for actual worked hours.  Official college closures are based upon who are ordered to evacuate from an area because of imminent danger to their lives as a result of a severe weather condition or other emergency situation. The Chancellor or a designated official must make the determination that an employee was officially ordered or authorized to evacuate.

Employees whose salary or hourly rate is paid from a grant must adhere to the personnel guidelines as stated in the grant.  

Inclement weather closures may not affect all College campuses.  Thus, the inclement weather closures may not affect all employees.  The Chancellor or a designated official must make the determination that a campus should be closed due to inclement weather.  Once the determination is made, the Human Resources department will send a notification via an HR Alert to inform each campus or location of the official hours of the closure.

 1. Authority of Designating Inclement Weather Leave:
    a. The Chancellor (Entire System closing)
    b. College President (Designated campuses and site closing)

The Chancellor or designee will designate the employee groups that will be excused from work assignments during inclement weather closings.

2. Inclement Weather Leave 

In case of inclement weather or other emergency closing of Houston Community College or its locations, full-time employees who are absent from work assignments shall receive regular pay, if the following conditions are met:

  1. The full-time employee reports for work and is later sent home during the workday because of emergency closing, or
  2. The full-time employee does not report to work because HCC announces an emergency closing prior to the beginning of the workday.

If a full-time employee does not report to work when an inclement weather closing has not been announced, the absence shall be charged against the employee's personal business or vacation leave bank, unless there is no such leave or vacation time remaining, in which case the absence will be uncompensated.

There are designated television and/or radio stations that will broadcast any decision determined by the appropriate HCC authority as to whether or not here has been a single- or multiple-site closing due to inclement weather. Houston Community College also participates in the School Closing Notification system services available at www.school-closings.net.

NOTE:  It is the employee's individual responsibility to monitor and make sure that he/she follows hourly updates on any announcements regarding inclement weather in and around the Houston Community College locale.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY   : Human Resources

C.17.1 Family and Medical Leave

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/December 1, 2013
Approval Body: Chancellor's Cabinet
Applicable Board Policy: C.17 Family and Medical Leave


Family and Medical Leave - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The Human Resources Department administers and monitors all leave policies and procedures. All hiring authorities and supervisors, however, are responsible for being familiar with this procedure and for assisting Human Resources in the fair and consistent application of this procedure. 

APPLICABILITY

The procedure applies to all full-time benefits eligible employees.

PROCEDURES

Employee Rights

  • 12 weeks of job-protected leave per rolling calendar year for eligible employees.           
  • Maintenance of health care benefit for employee during the period of leave. (The employee will continue to pay his/her portion of the health insurance premium.)
  • Job restoration to the same or equivalent position upon expiration of FMLA leave.
  • Assurance that the taking of FMLA leave will not count against the employee's attendance record.

Employee Work Restrictions

Except in circumstances in which an employee has been approved to take intermittent, or reduced hour leave, employees who are approved to take Family and Medical Leave are prohibited from engaging in any employment with HCC or with another employer.  Employees found in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

 

Employee Responsibilities

  • Provide reasonable notice to HCC of the employee's need for leave and the reasons for the leave so that HCC can determine whether the leave qualifies under the FMLA. 
  • Provide periodic reports on status and intent to return to work, when requested.
  • Provide medical certification, when applicable, within 15 calendar days of HR's request.
  • Provide medical re-certification every 30 days, when requested.
  • Follow HCC and departmental call-in policy and procedure to report absences.

Step 1:

Employee Gives Notice and Supervisor Forwards Information to HR Benefits

Notice when the need for leave is foreseeable:  When the need for FMLA leave (including intermittent or reduced work schedule leave) is foreseeable, the employee must provide his supervisor with 30 days' prior notice. The employee shall complete and submit a HR-104 Request for Family or Medical Leave. The supervisor shall promptly transmit this information to HR Benefits and/or an HR Generalist. If the employee fails to give timely advance notice when the need for leave is foreseeable, HCC may delay FMLA leave until the employee provides 30 days notice.

Notice when the need for leave is not foreseeable:  When the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, the employee must give notice as soon as practicable (generally within two workdays after the leave begins). The employee shall complete and submit the HR-104 Request for Family or Medical Leave. The supervisor shall promptly transmit this information to HR Benefits and/or a Senior HR Generalist.

Employee must provide the reason for requesting leave: An employee seeking leave must explain the reason for the leave so as to allow HCC the opportunity to determine whether the leave qualifies under the FMLA. When an employee provides insufficient information regarding the reason for leave, HR Benefits may ask the employee for additional information to determine whether the leave is potentially FMLA-qualifying. If the employee is incapacitated and unable to provide information, HR Benefits may seek additional information from the employee's family or other representative. 

Requesting FMLA status after returning from leave:  If an employee takes leave for an FMLA reason but has not informed HCC, and the employee desires that the leave be counted as FMLA leave, the employee must notify HR Benefits within two business days of returning to work. In the absence of such timely notification by the employee, the employee may not assert FMLA protection for a previous absence.

Supervisor's responsibility:  Supervisors do not determine FMLA eligibility. The role of the supervisor is to transmit information to HR Benefits and to apprise HR Benefits of employee absences that might be due to an FMLA-qualifying reason. Further, because the FMLA imposes deadlines on HCC for communicating with employees, supervisors shall not delay in communicating information to HR Benefits. A supervisor shall immediately notify HR Benefits whenever the following occur:

  • When an employee provides oral or written notice that there is a medical reason for an absence. The employee need not specifically reference "FMLA" leave or "medical" leave when requesting leave. Additionally, in some instances, the supervisor might receive notice from a family member rather than the employee. For example, if an employee's spouse calls the supervisor to report that the employee suffered a heart attack and has been hospitalized, the supervisor shall notify HR Benefits and/or a Senior HR Generalist.
  • When a supervisor becomes aware that an employee was absent or is absent due to an FMLA-qualifying reason. In some instances, an employee will be absent but will not request FMLA leave or medical leave. If the supervisor becomes aware that the reason for the absence potentially qualifies under the FMLA, the supervisor shall promptly notify HR Benefits and/or an HR Generalist. For example, if the supervisor learns that an employee was hospitalized for a serious health condition while on business travel or if an employee requests extended personal leave to tend to a hospitalized child, the supervisor shall inform HR Benefits and/or a Senior HR Generalist.
  • When an employee is absent due to a work-related injury covered by Workers' Compensation: In most instances, FMLA leave and Workers' Compensation leave will run concurrently. FMLA leave ordinarily will commence on the first full-day absence due to a work-related injury. Supervisors must inform both Risk Management and HR Benefits when a work-related injury occurs. HR Benefits will evaluate whether the injured employee satisfies the FMLA's duration of employment requirement (see Step 2 below) and will inform the employee that Workers' Compensation and FMLA will run concurrently.

Step 2:

HR Benefits Determines Eligibility

HR Benefits will determine employee eligibility, based upon the employee's duration of employment and hours worked requirements. If both requirements are satisfied, HR Benefits will proceed to evaluate whether the employee has presented an FMLA-qualifying reason for leave, such as a serious health condition. 

Step 2(A) – Evaluation of duration of employment and hours worked:  Upon notice of a request for leave, HR Benefits will evaluate the following:  (i) whether the employee has worked at HCC for at least 12 months; (ii)  whether the employee worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding commencement of the leave; and (iii) and whether the employee has already used 12 weeks of FMLA time in the rolling calendar year before the request. If the employee does not satisfy these requirements, the employee is not entitled to FMLA leave and will be so notified, ordinarily within two business days of the employee's notice. It is unnecessary to proceed to Step 2(B).

Step 2(B) – Evaluation of the reasons for leave:   If the employee satisfies the requirements in Step 2(A) and has not already used 12 weeks of FMLA leave, then HR Benefits will evaluate whether the employee has presented an FMLA-qualifying reason. FMLA allows leave for the following:

  1. Birth of a child to the employee and in order to care for the child
  2. Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  3. Serious Health Condition of the employee, employee's spouse, child or parent:
  • any period of incapacity or treatment connected with an inpatient stay; or
  • a period of incapacity requiring absence of more than three consecutive calendar days that also involved continuing treatment; or
  • any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care; or
  • any period of incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g. diabetes, asthma, etc.); or
  • a period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g. Alzheimer's, etc.); or
  • absences to receive multiple treatments for a condition that likely would result in incapacity of more than three consecutive days if left untreated (e.g. chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.)

    4.  Any qualifying exigency due to the employee's family member's (spouse, son, daughter, or parent) status as a covered military member on "covered     active duty."  Up to twenty-six workweeks of military caregiver leave during a single 12-month period may be granted to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.  Covered service members include the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next-of-kin of the employee.

In instances where the employee has provided insufficient information regarding the reason for leave, HR Benefits may, as discussed in Step 3, preliminarily designate the leave as FMLA leave pending receipt of additional information from the employee.

Births, adoptions, and foster care:  Medical certification is not required for adoptions, or foster care; however, non-medical documentation may be required to substantiate a claim when necessary (such as a birth certificate, court order, official correspondence from a foster care agency or adoption agency, or other official documentation). 

Second and third opinions:  If HCC has reason to doubt the validity of a medical certification, it may require, at HCC's expense, that the employee obtain a second opinion from a health care provider designated by HCC. If there is a conflict between the first and second opinions, HCC may also require (at HCC expense) a third opinion by a health care provider designated jointly by HCC and the employee. The opinion of third provider shall be final.

Recertification Employees may be required to submit medical recertifications from their health care providers either every 30 days or the minimum duration of the incapacity or treatment period designated by the health care provider, whichever is greater. HCC also may require recertification when (1) the employee requests an extension of leave, (2) the circumstances of the original certification have changed significantly, and (3) if HCC receives information that casts doubt on the continuing validity of the original certification.

Step 3:

HR Benefits Provides Forms and Preliminary Correspondence to Employee

Upon receipt of information indicating that an employee is absent or will be absent due to a reason that qualifies under the FMLA, HR Benefits shall send an FMLA-information packet to the employee by certified mail with instructions for completing the required forms. The information packet ordinarily will be sent within two business days of the employee's notice. HR Benefits also may, as necessary or appropriate, send the packet by regular mail or by electronic mail to an email address provided by the employee.

The FMLA-information packet ordinarily will include the following:

  1. A letter approving or preliminarily approving leave as FMLA leave pending receipt of medical certification or other necessary information. The letter will explain that other paid or unpaid leaves will run concurrently in the following order:
  • Workers Compensation, if applicable
  • Catastrophic Leave, if available and approved by separate documentation
  • Personal Sick Leave, if available
  • Vacation, if available
  • Short and/or Long Term Disability, if applicable

Employees may not be required to use compensatory time during FMLA leave.

  1. The initial letter will advise whether the employee is a "key" employee (among the highest-paid 10 percent of all HCC employees) who might be denied job restoration after expiration of leave.
  2. The packet will include the following forms and information sheets:
    1. HR-104 Request for Family or Medical Leave if not already turned in
      • FMLA "Information Sheet" for Employees
      • FMLA "Checklist" for Employees
  3. If the reason for leave is the employee's or family member's serious health condition, then the packet also will include a The Certification of Catastrophic Illness FormCertification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition Cert. of Health Care Provider for Family Member's Serious Health Condition  and, when appropriate, a copy of the employee's job description listing his or her essential job functions. When the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must return the completed medical certification before beginning the leave. When the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee shall return the completed medical certification within 15 calendar days of receipt. Failure to return the completed form may result in denial of leave and loss of job protection.
  4. If the reason for leave is the employee's serious health condition, the initial letter shall inform the employee that he or she will need to submit a fitness-for-duty certification from his or her health care provider prior to returning to duty and that failure to submit the certification could delay reinstatement.

Step 4:

Employee Returns Required Forms

The employee or his representative shall return the required forms to HR Benefits (not to the employee's supervisor). All forms shall be completed. Failing to return the forms on a timely basis or submitting incomplete forms may result in a delay or denial of leave and could result in the employee's absence being designated as unexcused and unprotected. 

It is the employee's responsibility to obtain and submit a properly completed Certification of Health Care Provider.  The health care provider must describe the appropriate medical facts regarding the employee's condition. If the employee's health care provider fails to answer all items on the form or if the information on the form is illegible or otherwise deficient, the incomplete form may result in a delay or denial of leave. When HR Benefits receives a deficient form, HR Benefits will notify the employee and provide a reasonable opportunity (typically 10 calendar days) to cure the deficiency. Failure to timely cure the deficiency may result in denial of leave and could result in the employee's absence being designated as unprotected and unexcused.      

All submitted health care certifications shall be treated as confidential medical records and shall be maintained separately from personnel records and supervisory files.

Step 5:

HR Benefits Notifies the Employee of Final Approval/Denial

HR Benefits will consider the information provided by the employee in evaluating whether the employee has substantiated an FMLA-qualifying reason. In conducting this evaluation, HR Benefits may not directly contact the employee's or family member's health care provider. However, the FMLA does permit a health care provider representing HCC to contact the employee's health care provider, with the employee's written consent, to clarify information in the medical certification or to confirm that the information was provided by the health care provider.

Denial of leave:  If the employee's information does not substantiate a qualifying reason, HR Benefits shall inform the employee and the employee's supervisor in writing that the employee's absence does not qualify for FMLA protection and that any preliminary designation has been withdrawn. The letter ordinarily will be transmitted within two business days of HCC's confirmation that the leave does not qualify under the FMLA.

Approval of leave:  If the employee's information substantiates a qualifying FMLA reason, then HR Benefits will notify the employee, the employee's supervisor, and the assigned HR Generalist that the leave has been officially designated as FMLA leave. HR Benefits will transmit notice of approval to the employee ordinarily within two business days of HCC's receipt of information substantiating an FMLA-qualifying reason. The employee's supervisor shall notify the timekeeper in the employee's department that the employee has been placed on FMLA leave. HR Benefits will prepare a Personnel Action Form (PAF) for signature of the benefits manager.

Step 6:

Employee Gives Notice of Intent to Return

Employee notice of intent to return to duty:  Employees must give notice of their intent to return to duty before expiration of the FMLA leave. The employee ordinarily shall give two business days' notice of his or her projected date of return. Such notice is necessary to minimize potential workplace disruption and to allow for the smooth transition of assignments from other employees to the returning employee.

Fitness-for-duty certification:  If the employee was absent due to his or her own serious health condition, the employee must submit a fitness-for-duty certification from his or her health care provider before expiration of the FMLA leave. The certification need not be on a particular form but must be signed and dated by the health care provider and must contain a statement about the employee's ability to return to work. If the employee fails to provide a requested fitness-for-duty certification, HCC may delay job restoration until the employee submits the certificate. The costs associated with obtaining the certification shall be the employee's responsibility. The fitness-for-duty requirement also applies to employees returning from intermittent or reduced schedule leave. 

The fitness-for-duty certification is not required for adoptions, foster care or for caring for a child, spouse or parent; however, non-medical documentation is required to restore the employee and return the employee from leave. The non-medical documentation from his or her child's, spouse's or parent's health care provider  must be submitted before expiration of the FMLA leave. The documentation need not be on a particular form but must be signed and dated by the health care provider.

Responsibilities of HR Benefits:   Upon notice that the employee has returned from leave and has submitted a fitness-for-duty certification (when applicable), HR Benefits shall prepare a Personnel Action Form for the benefits manager and shall update the employee's information in the PeopleSoft system and Employee Retirement System of Texas.

Consequences of employee's failure to communicate his or her status:  An employee who does not report to duty upon expiration of FMLA leave and who fails to notify his supervisor or HR Benefits about his status is subject to termination. The employee no longer has job protection rights under the FMLA.

Employee's inability to perform the essential functions of the job:  The FMLA states that an employee returning to duty must be able to perform the essential functions of his or her position. The FMLA does not require the creation of a "light duty" position. If the employee is unable to perform an essential job function upon returning to duty, the employee is not entitled to job restoration/reinstatement. When such a situation arises, the employee is subject to termination, unless the employee is otherwise protected by policy or law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employee who has a disability as defined by the ADA may be eligible for a reasonable accommodation such as an extension of unpaid leave or modification of job duties. The employee will need to comply with HCC Policy C.6 – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability and establish through appropriate medical documentation that he or she has a medical or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.  Employee requests for reasonable accommodations are handled by the Employee Relations Office. Employees should contact the Employee Relations Office or Senior HR Generalist prior to expiration of their FMLA leave. 

Effect of other HCC policies pertaining to unpaid leave:  As previously noted, an employee who does not return from FMLA leave will lose his or her job protection rights under the FMLA. The employee, however, may be eligible to continue on a paid or unpaid leave status, pursuant to HCC Procedure C.16.1, in certain circumstances. An employee who wishes to be considered for further compensated or uncompensated leave shall contact his or her supervisor and Senior HR Generalist in writing prior to expiration of the FMLA leave. Human Resources Leaves and Absences under HCC Procedure C.16.1 offers no guarantee of reemployment.

Maximum Leave Usage

The maximum usage of catastrophic, sick, vacation or leave without pay (combined or individually) may not exceed more than 26 weeks in a 12 month period.  An employee's position will only be held for up to 12 continuous weeks of approved FMLA leave. Upon return from 12 continuous weeks of FMLA leave, the employee will be restored to the employee's original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. If leave continues past the approved 12 weeks of continuous FMLA leave, an employee may be returned to a vacant position at the employee's current grade level or lower, provided that the employee meets the qualifications of that position.

Other FMLA Issues

Intermittent/Reduced Schedule Leave

The FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule under certain circumstances.

  • Intermittent/reduced schedule may be taken when medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member or to care for oneself due to a serious health condition. The Certification of Catastrophic Illness FormCertification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition , or Cert. of Health Care Provider for Family Member's Serious Health Condition must be submitted.
  • Under the FMLA, HCC is not required to provide intermittent/reduced schedule leave to take care of a healthy newborn or newly placed adopted child or foster care child. However, HCC will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis in light of departmental workload, project deadlines, and other operational needs.  
  • When intermittent/reduced schedule leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must try to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt HCC's operation.
  • An employee on intermittent/reduced schedule leave may be requested to provide an updated medical certification every 30 days or at other intervals as permitted by law.

 Married Employees

Married employees are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 workweeks of family leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition. Where the husband and wife both use a portion of the total 12-week FMLA leave entitlement for an authorized purpose, the husband and wife would each be entitled to the difference between the amount he or she has taken individually and 12 weeks for FMLA leave for other FMLA-qualifying reasons. For example, if each spouse took 6 weeks of leave to care for a healthy, newborn child, each spouse could use an additional 6 weeks due to his or her own serious health condition or to care for a child with a serious health condition.

Contacting Employees Who Are On FMLA Leave

Supervisors must be mindful of the fact that the law provides the employee with a legal right to refrain from any work during the period of leave. During an approved FMLA absence, to avoid confusion or disputes, supervisors may not require the employee to work while on leave or to take projects home, and employees may not volunteer to work while on leave or to take projects home. Supervisors shall keep any contact to an absolute minimum.

Employees on intermittent or reduced schedule leave may not be required to work beyond the hours of their approved, modified schedule.

Recording FMLA Time

During an FMLA absence, all available leave accruals for which the employee is eligible are to be used before an employee is to be placed in a leave without pay status. No additional paid leave is accrued during FMLA leave. Return to active status is required to resume paid leave accrual.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that absence(s) are timely and properly recorded as FMLA in the HCC timekeeping system as:

1st:      FMLA Catastrophic until exhausted (if HR Benefits has advised supervisor of approval);

2nd:     FMLA Sick until exhausted (unless advised by HR Benefits that employee has been released to return to work and no additional sick leave may be paid); then

3rd:      FMLA Vacation until exhausted.   Note:  HR Benefits will place employee on FMLA Leave Without Pay beginning with the day following all other available paid leave.  All available leave balances are accessible for view in the timekeeping system. The supervisor/employee must enter all FMLA leave time in the HCC timekeeping system. The supervisor is responsible for approving all time in the timekeeping system.  Both FMLA and non-FMLA leave may occur in the same pay period and require separate recording. For example, an employee might qualify for FMLA intermittent leave to care for a family member but also may be absent due to personal illness. Both FMLA Sick and Personal Sick time need to be distinguished and recorded in the same period.

The maximum hours of leave taken as FMLA in any one rolling calendar year may not exceed 480 hours (12 weeks) (prorated by full-time employee (FTE)).

HR Benefits Role in Timekeeping, PeopleSoft (PS) and Employee Retirement System (ERS) Keying During Unpaid Leave 

  • Monitor paid leave usage keyed through supervisor approved timekeeping.
  • Advise employee when available paid leave is exhausted and the last day that paid leave is expected.
  • Place employee on an unpaid leave of absence (FMLA) in PS and, as of the first of the fully unpaid month, in ERS for the balance of the FMLA entitlement period. This will ensure that the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) notifies the employee to make arrangements to continue necessary insurance premiums to assure optional and dependent coverage, if applicable. Note: Only employee health and basic life (base benefits) are protected during FMLA leave.
  • Key a Leave of Absence (FMLA ended) in PS and ERS system as of the first of the month after end of FMLA protection if employee does not return to active service because no medical release has been provided. This will result in ERS billing employee for the entire premium for the month, both state contribution and employee share of premium. If employee does not pay ERS directly within deadline established by ERS, insurance coverage will be canceled by ERS.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.18.1 Workers' Compensation

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.18 Workers' Compensation

 

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding the Workers' Compensation process. The Human Resources Department has administrative procedural requirements as it relates to various leave types. However, the Risk Management Department manages Workers' Compensation leave.

APPLICABILITY
This procedure applies to all full-time benefits eligible employees.

PROCEDURES
The Workers' Compensation procedures and the Claim Filing Procedure can be found here.

Workers Compensation and FMLA:

For FMLA procedures, see C.17.1 Family and Medical Leave

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: General Counsel-Risk Management

Compensation

C.14.1 Employee Compensation

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.14 Employee Compensation


Employee Compensation - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

Houston Community College strives to be competitive in Texas Urban Community Colleges market. Being competitive in the Texas Urban Community Colleges market supports HCC's mission and focus in providing high quality education. Recognizing the vital role that non-instructional employees play in supporting the mission of the organization, HCC commits to compensating non-faculty employees in a manner that matches the external market where practical and in accordance with the fiscal and funding restrictions. For both faculty and non-faculty employees, compensation is comprised of salary, stipends, health and welfare benefits, paid time off, and retirement benefits.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all full-time employees

DEFINITIONS

  • Internal Equity: Positions within HCC that are comparable in duties, authority, and working conditions will be graded similarly.
  • External Competitiveness: The compensation that HCC offers will be competitive with the applicable external market.
  • Continuity and Flexibility: HCC will accommodate new jobs and changes in existing jobs in response to changes in economic conditions or the job market.
  • Effective Administration and Communication: HCC will have clearly defined policies, procedures, and guidelines for salary budgeting and administration.

PROCEDURES

HCC Compensation & Pay Practices

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.14.2 Wage Overpayment / Underpayment

Date Approved/Updated: February 2013
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.14 Employee Compensation



Employee Compensation - See Board Policy

PURPOSE
HCC takes all reasonable steps to ensure that employees receive the correct amount of pay in each paycheck and that employees are paid promptly on the scheduled paydays.  This procedure sets out the requirements for HCC Employees in the event they receive a wage overpayment or underpayment.

APPLICABILITY
This procedure applies HCC employees.

PROCEDURES
In the unlikely event that there is an error in the amount of pay, the employee should promptly bring the discrepancy to the attention of the Senior HR Generalist or Payroll Manager so that corrections can be made as quickly as possible. If the employee has been underpaid, HCC will pay the employee the difference as soon as possible. If the employee has been paid in excess of what he or she has earned, the employee will need to return the overpayment to HCC as soon as possible. No employee is entitled to retain any pay in excess of the amount he or she has earned according to the agreed-upon rate of pay. If a wage overpayment occurs, the overpayment will be regarded as an advance of future wages payable and will be deducted in whole or in part from the next available paycheck(s) until the overpaid amount has been fully repaid. Each employee will be expected to sign a wage deduction authorization agreement authorizing such a deduction.  Failure to remit overpayment of wages unearned may result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination and legal action.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources - Compensation Department

Employee Expectations & Responsibilities

C.04.1 Nepotism and Personal Relationships in the Workplace

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/February 2013
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.4.1 Nepotism


Nepotism - See Board Policy

PURPOSE
HCC permits the employment within the college community of individuals of the same family or those who have a personal relationship. However, the employment within the same department normally is prohibited for individuals of the same family or for those who have a close or intimate personal relationship.  This procedure provides specific guidance on maintaining an operational environment at the College that is free of potential undue influence from conflicts of interest or personal relationships.

APPLICABILITY
This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • For the purpose of this procedure, "direct or indirect" supervision exists when the applicant or the current employee would, under an existing policy or procedure, be required to approve an employment action or would have authority over terms or conditions of employment of the other.
  • "An individual's relatives within the third degree by consanguinity (computed by civil law method)" are: (1) first degree: the individual's parent or child; (2) second degree: the individual's brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild; or (3) third degree: the individual's great-grandparent, great-grandchild, aunt who is the sister of a parent, uncle who is the brother of a parent, nephew who is the child of a brother or sister, or niece who is a child of a brother or sister.
  • Affinity within the third degree: "Affinity" refers to a relationship created by marriage. Two individuals are related by affinity if they are married to each other or if the spouse of one of the individuals is a blood relative of the other. An individual's relatives within the third degree by affinity are: (1) anyone related by consanguinity to the individual's spouse within the first, second or third degrees; or (2) the spouse of anyone related to the individual by consanguinity within the first, second or third degrees.
  • Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationship: refers to a relationship where the parties are romantically or sexually intimate, or are involved in a relationship in which sexual intimacies would ordinarily be presumed between members of the HCC community that is willingly undertaken or mutually agreed upon.

PROCEDURES
Supervision
All employees shall not participate in, directly or indirectly, decisions involving a direct benefit (e.g., initial employment or appointment, retention, promotion, salary, course of work assignments, research funds, leave of absences, etc.) to a person related within the third degree of consanguinity, second degree of affinity as defined by the state nepotism statute or a person with whom they have a romantic or sexual relationship.

Transfer of Employee
If employees become related by affinity (marriage) after employment with HCC and a violation of this procedure results, or if reorganization creates such a conflict, one of the related employees must transfer to another position within the HCC system so that the conflict is resolved. Such transfer must occur within sixty (60) calendar days of the event if possible. An extension to the sixty (60) days may be granted if a suitable position is not immediately available, however, long term exceptions are not permitted. One of the employees may be required to resign if an alternate position is not available within a 6 month period.

Failure to Report
The consequences for an individual who fails to report to the appropriate supervisor a relationship of first or second degree of affinity, the first, second, or third degree of consanguinity or a romantic or sexual relationship will result in discipline up to and including termination of both parties to the relationship.

Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationship
Conflict of interest also exists when there is a consensual romantic or sexual relationship in the context of employment supervision or evaluation. Therefore, no supervisor may influence, directly or indirectly, salary, promotion, performance appraisals, work assignments or other working conditions for an employee with whom such a romantic or sexual relationship exists.

Any supervisor involved in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship, in the context of employment supervision, must discuss the matter on a confidential basis with his or her own supervisor or with the appropriate Senior HR Generalists, the Director of Human Resources or the Chief Human Resources Officer to assess the implications for the workplace and make arrangements to ensure that employment–related decisions are made in an appropriate and unbiased setting.

Although both employees involved in a consensual relationship are individually responsible for disclosure, a supervisor's failure to report such a relationship will be regarded as a serious lapse in his or her management of the workplace and grounds for appropriate disciplinary action, including termination of employment (particularly in cases where bias or harassment has occurred in connection with a benefit)

Household
No employee shall initiate or participate in, directly or indirectly, decisions involving a direct benefit to members of their immediate family or household. Household includes individuals regularly sharing the employee's residence.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.04.2 Conflicts of Interest

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.4.2 Conflicts of Interest


Conflicts of Interest - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides specific guidance on potential or real conflicts of interest and who the potential conflicts should be reported to.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent will determine if there is a conflict of interest and will ask employee to stop the activity in question, if appropriate, after consulting with the Director of Human Resources and/or HCC General Counsel.

Vendor Relationships/Purchasing
All HCC employees are expected to use good business practices in complying with the Conflict of Interest Policy to avoid conflicts of interest related to the purchasing of supplies, services, and equipment by the Institution. An employee who purchases supplies, services and/or equipment with a potential or real conflict and obtains signature authority is required to describe in writing to the College President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent, how this conflict would be managed. The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent will either approve the purchaser's plan or disapprove it, after consulting with the Director of Human Resources and/or HCC General Counsel.

Dual Employment
Employees are prohibited from performing a second job/assignment during his/her regular work hours at HCC. Work for an employer other than HCC must be performed on the employee's own time and shall not conflict with the employee's full-time employment with HCC. Employees are required to report immediately any potential conflict of interest arising out of other employment to the College President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent with a copy of the report sent to the Director of Human Resources Department. The report shall include length of employment, work schedule, and employer. Employees may not, without prior approval of their College President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent, use HCC facilities, equipment, and supplies to perform services for which any other organization, client, or employer directly compensates them.

Contract Services
Employees may not hold an employment status as an employee and be a contractor for HCC within the similar scope of duties.

Failure to Report
Failure to report a conflict of interest will result in disciplinary action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, loss of signature authority, loss of position, and/or criminal prosecution. Appeal of these actions can be made following the procedures of the HCC Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy, C.22.

Advisory Committees/Community Board Memberships
Employees who are members of external boards and/or external advisory committees are expected to recuse themselves when addressing matters that may affect HCC.

Additional References
Please refer to the Finance and Operations policies for further information on conflicts of interest.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.05.2 Work Schedules

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.5 Status, Assignments and Duties


Status, Assignment and Duties - See Board Policies

PURPOSE

This procedure establishes general guidelines regarding the work schedules for HCC employees.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • A "work schedule" is identified by the appropriate supervisor as dictated by departmental needs or college needs.

PROCEDURES

All full-time employees are expected to work a minimum of forty (40) hours per week (with a maximum one-hour lunch break each day or other period determined by the appropriate supervisor). Part-time employees are expected to work the total number of hours for which they are hired. Individual work schedules will be determined by the immediate supervisor.

All part-time employees have a work schedule of less than twenty (20) hours per week. Individual work schedules of more than twenty (20) hours per week for a period of less than three (3) months for part-time employees may be authorized by the immediate supervisor, when required for peak periods (e.g., registration, etc.).

Employee-Initiated Schedule Changes
Individuals seeking to make changes in their work schedule must obtain prior approval from their immediate supervisor and the budget authority. All employees are expected to work the required work schedule as identified by their appropriate supervisor. Employees have to be available when called upon to complete their work assignments.

Supervisor-Initiated Schedule Changes
Supervisors may implement alternate schedules or changes in the current schedule as dictated by departmental needs or college needs and approved by the appropriate budget authority.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.06.1 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.6 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability


Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding the process for approving an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation for a qualified disability.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • An "individual with a disability" is a person who: (1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a "major life activity," or (2) Has a record of such an impairment, or (3) Is regarded as having such impairment.
  • A "qualified" individual with a disability is one who meets the essential eligibility requirements for the position. The "essential eligibility requirements" will depend on the type of service or activity involved.
  • "Reasonable accommodation" means: (1) Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or (2) Modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or (3) Modifications or adjustments that enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges or employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.

PROCEDURES

The employee must use the HCC Request for a Qualified Accommodation Under the ADA Form to submit a request for accommodation. This form and an additional packet of information are available from the Director of Human Resources.

Procedure for Requesting an Accommodation Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Employee requesting accommodation submits Employee Request for Accommodation Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Form with a copy of his/her current job description (1) to his/her Immediate Supervisor and (2) to the ADA Coordinator or his/her designee.When completing the form the employee's disability must be identified.

  • ADA Coordinator or his/her designee will determine if additional medical information is needed and will furnish the employee with any additional questions necessary for the health care provider to complete.
  • ADA Coordinator or his/her designee will evaluate information to determine eligibility within the guidelines of ADA.
  • ADA Coordinator or his/her designee will then coordinate with the necessary staff, the employee and the employee's supervisor to identify the essential functions of the job and determine whether there is an effective, reasonable accommodation that will enable the employee to perform those essential functions.
  • ADA Coordinator or his/her designee will follow up on Employee's status/progress on annual basis, or earlier as need arises.

Qualified Individuals With Disabilities
The ADA requires HCC to provide equal employment opportunities for "qualified individuals with disabilities."

Examples of physical or mental impairments include, but are not limited to, such contagious and non-contagious diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

"Major life activities" include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

Individuals who currently engage in the illegal use of drugs are not protected by the ADA when an action is taken on the basis of their current illegal use of drugs.

Reasonable Accommodation
Employers are required under the ADA to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified disabled applicants and employees, unless it can be demonstrated that a particular accommodation would be unreasonable or impose an undue hardship. As examples of reasonable accommodations, an employer might be required to rearrange office furniture to allow for passage of a wheelchair, relocate some offices or classrooms to a ground floor or other accessible location, or relieve a hearing impaired clerk of non-essential phone responsibilities. Accommodations may also include job restructuring or modified work schedules, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, making facilities accessible, etc.

Undue Hardship
Undue hardship is the point at which a public entity is no longer required to make accommodations under the ADA if the action involved would require significant difficulty or expense. The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the nature and cost involved in the accommodation, overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved, number of people employed at the facility, the type of operation(s) of the employer, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce.

Confidentiality
All medically-related information shall be kept confidential and maintained separately from other personnel records. However, supervisors and managers may be advised of information necessary to make the determinations they are required to make in connection with a request for an accommodation. First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment or if any specific procedures are needed in the case of fire or other evacuations.

Retention
The Request for Accommodation Form, the Health Care Provider Information Form, and attached documentation submitted to the ADA Coordinator for Employees will be maintained in a confidential manner in accordance with applicable federal and state mandated retention schedules.

ADA Coordinator for Employees
Director of Human Resources
Human Resources Department
Houston Community College System
PO Box 667517, MC 1104
Houston, TX 77266-7517
Telephone: 713.718.8606

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.07.1 Whistleblowers

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.7 Whistleblowers


Whistleblowers - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides specific guidance regarding the reporting of violations of the law, HCC policies and procedures or rules and regulations.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • A "whistleblower" reports violations of law, policies and procedures or rules and regulations.

PROCEDURES

An employee who alleges a violation of this policy may sue for injunctive relief, damages, or both, but only after exhausting appeals under the System's complaint procedures.

If the College does not render a final decision on an employee's complaint brought under this policy before the sixty-first (61st) day after grievance procedures are initiated, the employee may elect to:

  • Exhaust the College's complaint procedures, in which case the employee must sue not later than the thirtieth (30th) day after those procedures are exhausted, (i.e., completed all steps of the HCC complaint process) to obtain relief under the Government Code chapter 554; or
  • Terminate College complaint procedures and sue not later than the ninetieth (90th) day on which the employee reports a violation of law, or the suspension, termination, or adverse personnel action (i.e., action that adversely affects compensation, promotion, demotion, transfer, work assignment, or performance evaluation).

The Board directs the Human Resources department to inform its employees of their rights under this provision by posting a sign in prominent locations in the workplace.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.08.1 Personal Appearance & Uniforms

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.8 Personal Appearance & Uniforms


Personal Appearance & Uniforms - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance for employees on the appropriate and professional attire for HCC employees.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

All HCC employees are expected to arrive for work in appropriate, professional attire. Some basic essentials of appropriate dress include the need for the individual and for clothing/uniform to be neat and clean.

Managers and supervisors have a responsibility to determine a professional standard of dress for their work area. Management may make exceptions for special occasions. Certain employees must adhere to special dress standards or uniforms that have been established in their department.

Employees who do not meet the professional standard may be sent home to change and will not be paid for time off. An employee who is unsure of dress standards that are appropriate for the particular workplace should check with their manager or supervisor for clarification.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.09.1 Attendance & Punctuality

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.9 Attendance & Punctuality


Attendance & Punctuality - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding what the expected attendance and punctuality is for HCC employees.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • An "absence" is defined as (a) time off without pay or (b) time charged to one's personal sick leave.
  • "Excessive absenteeism" is defined as exceeding ten (10) personal leave days per rolling 12-month period. Excessive absenteeism does not include FMLA approved absences, vacation time, personal business days, bereavement leave, military leave or leave granted due to a court subpoena.
  • An "unauthorized absence" is an absence that does not have supervisory approval.
  • A "tardy" is defined as not being at one's assigned workstation prepared to work at the beginning of the scheduled work time.
  • An "early departure" is defined as leaving one's assigned workstation before the scheduled end of the workday.
  • "No Call/No Show" is defined as not reporting to work and not calling to report the absence to one's supervisor.
  • "Electronic Time Reporting System" for employees is defined as the official system of records that captures an employees worked and non-worked time. Non-exempt employees must use the HCC electronic timekeeping system to record all worked time and authorized absences. Exempt employees must use the electronic system to record all (weekly elapsed) exceptions or authorized absences. Any exceptions for employees using the electronic timekeeping system must be approved in advance by Human Resources.

GENERAL

To maintain a productive work environment, HCC expects employees to be reliable and to be punctual in reporting for scheduled work. Absenteeism and tardiness result in a burden on other employees and on the HCC's overall operations. Both non-exempt and exempt employees are subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment or non-renewal of contract, for excessive absenteeism, tardiness, and early departures. HCC considers these behaviors/conduct to be performance issues and reserves the right to use its discretion in applying this policy under special or unique circumstances.

PROCEDURES

Supervisor's Responsibilities

  • The supervisor shall inform each employee of his/her approved work schedule and document approval of any adjustments made to the scheduled workday or work schedule.
  • The supervisor shall establish written departmental standards that explain the HCC attendance and punctuality procedures to ensure understanding by reporting staff and document distribution to all reporting staff.
  • The supervisor shall monitor and maintain a record of the attendance of his/her staff. In the event of an extended unscheduled illness or similar situation, the supervisor shall enter the appropriate Time Reporting Code (TRC) in the time reporting system in the employee's absence to ensure accurate and timely leave reporting. The application for Leave form shall be given to the employee for signature upon his/her return to work. The department will retain the attendance record for a period of three (3) years.
  • The supervisor shall discuss any problems arising from excessive or repeated absences and/or poor attendance, tardiness or early departures with the employee as soon as it is noted.
  • Based upon the employee's past attendance record, and information resulting from the discussion, the supervisor shall document appropriate coaching regarding the situation and follow up with the employee if needed.
  • If the situation warrants progressive corrective action, the supervisor shall consult with the HR Generalist to determine the course of action.
  • In the event of an error on the employee's time, it must be reported to the supervisor immediately. The supervisor and employee must approve all additions, corrections or changes to the employee's electronic time record. This approval is received on the "Time Correction Form" which must be forwarded to the Payroll department.
  • In addition to the supervisor, areas that have approval for Data Validation Agents (DVA) can authorize DVAs to make corrections, additions and changes. However, the modifications to the employee time records require final approval of the supervisor.

Electronic Time Reporting System
Non-exempt employees are expected to comply with HCC's assigned work schedules and record their time worked and authorized absences using HCC's electronic timekeeping system.

Time worked is time actually spent on the job performing assigned duties for or on behalf of HCC. Non-exempt employees must login using the electronic time keeping system (web clock) when they are ready to work. They must log out for meal breaks and in after the meal break is completed, and log out at the end of the day.

Non-exempt employees will be paid only for hours worked. Authorized leave time is where leave banks are decremented (decreased by the amount of leave), is not considered when calculating overtime. Overtime occurs when more than 40 hours is worked, excluding all leave time. Any adjustment to the scheduled workday required approval of the supervisor.

All overtime must be pre-approved by the employee's supervisor. Working unauthorized overtime may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Overtime is paid in accordance with all federal and state overtime laws and regulations.

Exempt employees, while not subject to FLSA overtime rules, are expected to work a minimum 40-hour week and be at their assigned workstation, ready to begin work and provide managerial oversight for their work area. They are expected to record all their exception time using HCC's electronic timekeeping system.

The Electronic Time Reporting system is HCC's system of record. All logged time is to remain as it is logged by the employee, unless a "Time Correction Form" is completed. No log in or out should be changed to eliminate the accumulation of overtime. Disciplinary action, up to and including termination may occur if a supervisor changes an employee's logged time without the employee's authorization.

Employee's Responsibilities
The employee is expected to be at his or her assigned workstation, ready to begin work at their regular starting time each day on which he or she is scheduled to work.

Employees are prohibited from recording hours worked on another employee's electronic time record. Tampering with another employee's electronic time record or falsification of hours worked are expressly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

The employee is required to notify their supervisor in advance, whenever possible, of any absence, tardy or early departure. When prior notification is not possible, the employee should call the supervisor/designee no later than thirty (30) minutes after his or her regularly scheduled starting time or well in advance of an early departure.

When providing notification, the employee is expected to give the reason(s) and the estimated duration of the absence, tardy or early departure and the date or time of expected return.

The employee should enter the hours into the electronic time reporting system and complete the "Application for Leave Form," if required by the supervisor, prior to being absent. If the absence is an unscheduled occurrence, the hours must be keyed by the supervisor to ensure timely reporting and the employee shall sign the application form upon his/her return to work.

An employee who is absent for three (3) consecutive workdays without notifying his or her supervisor is subject to termination as a "voluntary resignation" (see No Call/No Show procedure).

HCC has the right at any time to require an employee to submit a doctor's note to verify absences due to claims of illness.

Non-exempt employees will be paid only for hours worked. Any adjustment to the scheduled workday requires approval of the supervisor.

Absences Due to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Absences that qualify under an approved FMLA leave will not be counted against the employee's attendance record. Medical documentation within the guidelines of the FMLA is required in these instances (See Policy and Procedure C.17 Family and Medical Leave).

No Call/No Show
Not reporting to work at the scheduled time and not calling to report the absence is a very serious matter. The first occurrence of No Call/No Show will result in a written warning and the second separate offense may result in termination of employment with no additional corrective action steps. Any No Call/No Show lasting three (3) days is considered a "voluntary resignation" or "job abandonment" and may result in immediate termination of employment or non-renewal of contract. If the supervisor has already begun corrective action for attendance and/or punctuality when a No Call/No Show occurs, the corrective process may be accelerated to the final step. HCC may consider extenuating circumstances when determining corrective action for No Call/No Show and has the right to exercise discretion in such cases.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.10.1 Discrimination and Harassment (Note Change)

Procedure C.10.1 has changed to G.1 (effective 4/15/2011 per the General Counsel's Authorization)

It can be found under HCC Procedures, Section G - Institutional Equity.

C.11.1 Workplace Violence

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.11 Workplace Violence


Workplace Violence - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding HCC commitment to a safe and secure workplace and academic environment that is free of violence, etc.


APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • "Workplace Violence" is defined as threats of harassment, intimidation or coercion.

GENERAL

HCC has a long-standing commitment to promoting a safe and secure academic and work environment that promotes the achievement of its mission. All HCC employees are expected to maintain a working and learning environment free from violence, threats of harassment, intimidation or coercion.

PROCEDURES

Prohibited Conduct
HCC does not tolerate any type of workplace violence. Employees are prohibited from making threats or engaging in violent activities. This list of behaviors, while not exhaustive, provides examples of conduct that is prohibited:

  1. Causing physical injury to another person
  2. Making threatening remarks or engaging in behavior that can be perceived as threatening by another employee or other person on HCC property or while engaged in HCC business
  3. Aggressive or hostile behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person
  4. Intentionally damaging HCC property or property of another employee or other persons on HCC property or engaged in HCC business
  5. Committing acts motivated by, or related to, sexual harassment or domestic violence

General Reporting Responsibilities
Incidents and threats of workplace violence are not to be ignored by any HCC employee. Workplace violence should promptly be reported to HCC Police Department or call 911. Additionally, faculty and staff are encouraged to report behavior that they reasonably believe poses a potential for workplace violence.

Incidents of workplace violence shall be reported consistent with HCC Policies for Incident Reporting to the HCC Police Department.

Commission of a Crime
All individuals who believe they have been the victim of a crime have the right, and are encouraged, to report the incident to the HCC Police Department and their supervisor.

False Reports
HCC employees who knowingly make false and malicious complaints of workplace violence will be subject to disciplinary action and/or referral to civil authorities as appropriate.

Education
HCC is responsible for the dissemination and enforcement of this policy as described herein, as well as for providing opportunities for training in the prevention and awareness of workplace violence.

Confidentiality
HCC shall maintain the confidentiality of investigations of workplace violence to the extent possible. HCC will act on the basis of anonymous complaints where it has a reasonable basis to believe that there has been a violation of this policy, and that the safety and well being of HCC employees would be served by such action.

Retaliation
Retaliation against anyone for acting in good faith for making a complaint of workplace violence is a violation of this policy. Those found responsible for retaliatory action will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.12.1 Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.12 Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace


Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding HCC's goal of a drug-and alcohol-free workplace environment.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • "Drug" or "drugs" means a controlled substance as defined by the Texas Controlled Substances Act and a dangerous drug as defined by the Dangerous Drug Act, including, but not limited to marijuana, narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or barbiturate; alcohol or alcoholic beverage; abusable glue, aerosol paint, or other chemical substance for inhalation; and any other intoxicant or illegal, controlled, or unauthorized substance that may cause addiction; alter moods, behavior, or brain function; and/or affect coordination or memory.
  • "System premises" shall include all land, whether improved or not improved; buildings, whether vacant or occupied; structures, campuses; teaching sites; installations; roads; parking lots; walkways; passageways; classrooms; automobiles or other vehicles, whether owned or leased, under the control of the System; and any part thereof, including desks, lockers, cabinets, quarters, rooms and equipment.
  • "Possession" means having any amount of drugs or alcohol on one's person, in one's belongings, or in one's vehicles, rooms, offices, baggage, desks, or lockers.
  • "Use" means having any trace amount of drugs in the applicant or employee's system, or physical consumption of drugs.
  • "OTA-covered employee" means all employees covered by the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act (OTA) and includes all employees who are required to hold commercial driver's licenses and operate commercial motor vehicles and/or perform a "safety-sensitive function," as defined below.
  • "Safety sensitive position" means a position or function in which improper action or failure to take appropriate action could result in irreparable consequences leading to injury or death of the employee or others and/or significant property or environmental damage. System procedures identify, by position, all employees who are considered to hold safety-sensitive positions.
  • "Safety-sensitive function," as applied to an OTA-covered employee, means: (1) Operating the driving controls of a commercial motor vehicle; (2) Waiting to be dispatched; (3) Inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle; (4) Loading or unloading a commercial vehicle, whether supervising, assisting, or attending; (5) Remaining in readiness to operate a commercial vehicle; (6) Giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded; (7) Performing the driver requirements associated with an accident;(8) Repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance with a disabled vehicle.

PROCEDURES

Prohibited Conduct
The System prohibits the use, possession, sale, offer to sell, distribution, dispensation, purchase, solicitation, manufacture, or being under the influence of illegal or unauthorized drugs on the System's premises, while driving a System vehicle, or while conducting System business, whether on System premises or at a System-related or sponsored activity. The System also prohibits the use, possession, sale, offer to sell, distribution, dispensation, purchase, solicitation or manufacture of contraband of any kind including, but not limited to, paraphernalia and equipment related to illegal or unauthorized drug use.

Persons who are not employees of the System, but who perform work on-site for its benefit (such as contractors or their employees, visitors engaged in joint projects at the System, etc.) are required to comply with this Policy. Violation of this Policy by such persons may result in their being barred from System premises even for a first time offense.

Exceptions
An employee who uses or possesses a drug authorized by and in the manner prescribed by a licensed physician through a prescription specifically for that employee's use, and who notifies his or her supervisor of any effects such use may have on work performance, will not be considered to have violated this Policy.

The Chancellor is authorized to permit the serving and consumption of alcohol at appropriate System functions.

Employee Testing
Drug and/or alcohol testing may be required by urinalysis, blood test, breathalyzer, or any other screening device as required or permitted by law and designated and paid for by HCC. The System will conduct drug and/or alcohol testing as permitted by and in accordance with applicable law and HCC procedures under the following circumstances:

  1. Periodic testing as required by OTA for every OTA-covered employee of the System
  2. Random testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions when the intrusiveness of the search is minimal and the testing furthers the interest of ensuring the safety of HCC employees, students, and property;
  3. Testing of an employee when the employee's supervisor or other HCC administrative official reasonably suspects that the employee's work performance or on-the-job behavior is, or may be affected in any way, by use or impairment due to the use of a drug or alcohol, or that the employee has otherwise violated the System's Drug-Free Workplace Policy; and
  4. Testing of an employee following an accident or unsafe practice that occurred during the course and scope of the employee's employment with HCC and under circumstances that create a reasonable suspicion that the employee may have been impaired by, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which contributed to the accident.

Confidentiality
All information from drug or alcohol testing will be confidential to the extent required by law.

Notification
The System shall provide a written copy of the Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy to each employee.

Consequences
Refusal to take a drug or alcohol test under the circumstances set forth in this Policy will be considered voluntary resignation. The failure to appear for unannounced testing within two hours of notification constitutes refusal to submit to a test. Employees who test positive for illegal drug substances will be subject to termination. Employees found to be in violation of the System Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.13.1 Communicable Diseases

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.13 Communicable Diseases


Communicable Diseases - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding the process and decision making on communicable disease situations.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Communicable diseases include, but are not limited to, measles, influenza, viral hepatitis-A (infectious hepatitis), viral hepatitis-B (serum hepatitis), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection), AIDS, AIDS-Related Complex (ARC), meningitis, meningococcal infections, and tuberculosis. The complete list of communicable diseases subject to this policy is identified in rules promulgated by the Texas Department of Health.

PROCEDURES

The College decisions involving persons who have a communicable disease will be based on current and well-informed medical judgments concerning the disease, the risk of transmitting the illness to others, the symptoms and special circumstances of each individual who has a communicable disease, and the identified risks and available alternatives for responding to an employee with a communicable disease.

The Communicable Disease Coordinator for the Houston Community College is:

Gwen Drumgoole
Manager, Risk Management
3100 Main, P.O. Box 667517, MC 1119
Houston Texas 77266-7517
713.718.5100

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.21.1 Employee Standards of Conduct

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.21 Employee Standards of Conduct


Employee Standards of Conduct - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding expectation of appropriate and proper conduct by employees, students, community members, vendors and visitors using resources and facilities.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College (HCC) which include faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

When accepting an administrative, faculty or staff position with HCC, employees agree to practice:

  • Integrity by maintaining an ongoing dedication to honesty and responsibility;
  • Trustworthiness by acting in a reliable and dependable manner;
  • Evenhandedness by treating others with impartiality;
  • Respect by treating others with civility and decency;
  • Stewardship by exercising custodial responsibility for College property and resources;
  • Compliance by following State and Federal laws and regulations and College policies related to their duties and responsibilities;
  • Confidentiality by protecting the integrity and security of college information such as student records, employee files, and contract negotiation documents.
  • Good judgment in seeking appropriate guidance when faced with ethical dilemmas.

With these Standards of Conduct, based upon the HCC guiding principles: freedom with responsibility, commitment to excellence, respect for the person, and sound stewardship, Houston Community College (HCC) establishes its expectations for professional conduct by those acting on behalf of the College, including executive officers, faculty, staff, and other individuals employed by the College, those using College resources or facilities, volunteers and representatives acting as agents of the College. HCC employees are expected to use professional courtesy, discretion and sound judgment when engaging in any contact with co-workers, students, community members, vendors, visitors and other HCC employees.At HCC, there is no place in the work or learning environment for conduct that demeans or belittles another person.

Those acting on behalf of the College have a general duty to conduct themselves in a manner that will maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of the College and to act in accordance with their obligations to the College.

Consequences for Intimidating, Threatening, Violent or Disruptive Behavior

Any person (employee, student, vendor, visitor, community member, etc.) who intimidates, threatens, or exhibits violent or disruptive behavior while on campus or when acting on behalf of HCC away from campus will be immediately removed from the classroom/workplace.

Employees exhibiting these behaviors are subject to further disciplinary action. Non-employees are subject to HCC Police Department action and civil or criminal procedures in accordance with the HCC Police procedures.

Reporting Responsibility

Incidents and threats of workplace violence should not be ignored. Workplace violence should promptly be reported to HCC Police Department (713-718-8888) or call 911. Faculty and staff are encouraged to report behavior that they reasonably believe poses a potential for workplace violence. See HCC Policy/Procedure C.11 Workplace Violence for more information.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.22.1 Employee Complaints and Grievances

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/June 2012
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.22 Employee Complaints and Grievances


Employee Complaints and Grievances - See Board Policy

PURPOSE
The purpose of this procedure is to establish guidelines for processing employee complaints and grievances that are filed and processed by HCC's Human Resources Department.

APPLICABILITY
This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

Retaliation, intimidation, harassment, coercion or reprisal in any form against any employee for presenting the complaint or for participating, or assisting another employee in the presentation of a complaint pursuant to this procedure is strictly prohibited.

HCC supports positive employee relations and harmonious working conditions.  The Employee Complaint Process provides employees an orderly process for the prompt and equitable resolution of disputes with the exception of issues governed by Titles VI, VII, or IX, Sexual Harassment, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Complaints or Grievances based on allegations of discrimination and/or sexual harassment must be filed with the HCC's Office of Institutional Equity and not pursuant to this procedure.  To file a complaint of discrimination or retaliation related to Titles VI, VII, or IX, or the ADA, see Policy and Procedure G.1 Discrimination and Harassment or contact the Office of Institutional Equity.

DEFINITIONS

  • Complaint – For the purposes of this procedure, the terms "grievance" and "complaint" are the same and can be used interchangeably.  A complaint is a claim brought by an employee against a supervisor regarding the terms or conditions of employment or against another employee for work related issues or problems.
  • Complainant-The employee who is alleging that his or her rights have been violated under this procedure and that is filing the complaint.
  • Human Resources Generalist – The Human Resources Personnel located at the College or District Office that is responsible for assisting employees regarding the terms and conditions of employment and receiving and responding to employee complaints under this procedure.
  • Regular Employee:  A full-time or part-time college employee who is employed on a regular basis, excluding students employed in positions which require student status as a condition of employment.
  • Complaints or Grievable Actions: Employment actions taken against regular employees that are subject to the Informal or Formal Complaint Procedures.  The types of complaints that fall under this procedure are generally limited to the following:  demotions, involuntary transfers to another job classification, suspensions with or without pay, pay issues which do not involve complaint issues regarding the HCC compensation procedures and work or behavior related complaints.
  • Informal Complaint Procedure: An Informal process established to resolve disputes regarding complaints as quickly as possible and is available to all employees, regardless of classification, hours worked or length of appointment.  This procedure does not include a formal investigation.  A complainant is required to attempt to resolve any disputes through the Informal Complaint Procedure prior to seeking recourse through the Formal Complaint Procedure.
  • Formal Complaint Procedure: The Formal Procedure is the process established to resolve those work-related issues specified above that could not be resolved through the Informal Complaint Procedure.  This procedure is available only to regular employees.
  • Complaint Review Panel:  Three (3) Employees that convene as the review panel and render a finding as to whether the matter contained in the complaint was consistent or inconsistent with HCC policy and/or procedure.
  • Variances: A deviation in this procedure which gives the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent an option to send a complaint to mediation or to a review panel.
  • Mediation:  Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people discuss their differences.  The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong or issue a decision.  Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to problems.
  • Supervisor: The employee within the functional work unit to whom the complainant directly reports.
  • Management/Administration: The individuals at HCC accountable for the management, development, implementation, evaluation, and improvement of employee conduct and performance.  

PROCEDURES
The employee is responsible for filing a good faith complaint and is required in the process to comply with all timelines and not unnecessarily delay the formal complaint process.  The employee also has an obligation to cooperate with the Administration in seeking successful resolution to the complaint.

Human Resources Generalist
An employee with a complaint is required to contact the Human Resources Generalist assigned to his or her college or District department before making an informal and subsequent formal complaint, and at any time during the complaint process, to obtain guidance regarding the complaint process and procedures.

Employee
The employee is responsible for filing a good faith complaint and has an obligation in the process to comply with all timelines and not to unnecessarily delay the formal complaint process.  The employee also has an obligation to cooperate with the Administration and management in their work area in seeking successful resolution to the complaint either in the informal or formal stage.  A lack of cooperation may cause the complaint to be dismissed.

Supervisor
The supervisor at each level is responsible for complying with the complaint procedures and timelines.  A supervisor or administrator responding to a complaint shall provide a thorough written response to the employee in the appropriate section of the complaint form (or as an attachment) and shall attach a copy of relevant documents used in reaching a decision.  The supervisor is also required to contact the Human Resources Generalist assigned to his or her college or department before responding to an informal or formal complaint, and at any time during the complaint process, to obtain information regarding the complaint process and procedures.

Consolidation of Complaints
The Director of Human Resources, or designee, may consolidate multiple complaints from one employee or from multiple complainants at any level of the process if he or she determines the complaints are sufficiently similar in nature to permit their resolution in one complaint proceeding.

No Separate or Repeated Grievances
An employee is prohibited from bringing separate or repeated grievances regarding the same event(s) or action(s).  Any costs incurred by any party in the complaint process shall be paid by and be the responsibility of the party incurring that incurred the cost.

No Retaliation
Neither the HCC Board of Trustees nor the Administration shall retaliate against any employee for bringing a complaint under the complaint policy and procedures.

Representation
Employees may be represented by an attorney (or another representative they may choose) in the complaint process except in the informal stage.  Employees are required to give reasonable notice to the supervisor hearing the complaint that they will be bringing a representative to the complaint conference or meetings.  If the representative is an attorney then the Office of the General Counsel will provide a representative to the proceeding.  Failure to provide such notice may result in the conference or meeting being postponed.  Scheduling this representation is the responsibility of the employee.  The Administration will not grant the employee additional time to hear the complaint in order to have representation present at the complaint conference.  The employee shall pay any and all costs related to the employee's representation.

Terminations or Nonrenewal
A recommendation from the Administration to the Chancellor regarding the termination or non-renewal of an employee will not be stayed or put aside as a result of the employee filing a formal complaint.  Terminations and non-renewals are processed in accordance with HCC Procedure C.21.3 Terminations and Non-renewals.

Timelines
The primary purpose of the complaint resolution process is the resolution of concerns in an expeditious manner.  The timelines set forth at each level of the process are maximums and, whenever possible, the decision-maker should render a decision or resolution within a shorter period of time.  A variance in timelines may be granted by the Human Resources Generalist assigned to the college or division, and must be documented with a statement explaining the variance.  The parties may agree to extend or shorten timelines.  A supervisor may request more time from the HR Generalist if necessary to complete an internal investigation or fact-finding process.

Calculation of Timelines
All timelines shall be counted in business/working days, the first day commencing on the next business/working day after the motivating event that formed the basis of the complaint.  The timelines shall not include system-wide designated holidays.  The timeline for the complaint process will commence on the first business/working day after the Director of Human Resources receives the formal complaint.

Non-Compliance with Timelines
At Step One and Step Two of the formal complaint process, if a decision or resolution has not been rendered within the allotted timeline, an employee may immediately appeal his or her complaint to the next level of the complaint process.  A supervisor may request more time from the HR Generalist if necessary to complete an internal investigation or fact finding process.  Any request for additional time by the supervisor shall be in writing.  If the response will be delayed, the supervisor shall provide the employee written notice of the estimated date on which the response will be made.  The employee may not file a separate complaint for failure to comply with established timelines.  If an employee filing the complaint fails to meet a timeline, the complaint will be considered withdrawn and may not be re-filed or re-opened.

Complaint Conferences
All conferences shall take place during normal System business hours, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.  All participants, including witnesses, shall be released from their regular duties and shall suffer no loss of pay or other benefits if, and only if, they receive prior approval from their immediate supervisor.  In no instance shall regular classroom instruction be interrupted to participate in a conference.

Withdrawal of Complaint
An employee may withdraw a complaint at any time.  Once withdrawn, a complaint may not be reopened.  A complaint shall be considered withdrawn if an employee fails to pursue the complaint or otherwise is deemed to be unreasonably protracting the process as determined by the Chief Human Resources Officer or the Director of Human Resources following a fact finding meeting.  If an employee files a complaint and fails to meet a timeline, the complaint is considered withdrawn and may not be re-filed or re-opened.  If at any step of the complaint process the employee is granted the relief he or she has requested, the complaint is deemed resolved and may not be appealed to the next step.

Informal Complaint
The Informal Complaint is available to all college employees.  The informal complaint procedure is not available to students that are employed in positions which require student status as a condition of employment, regardless of classification, hours worked or length of appointment.

An employee must initiate the Informal Complaint Procedure regarding the complaint (or last of a series of grievable actions) by requesting a meeting with his/her supervisor and informally discussing the issues within five (5) working days of the action.  The meeting requested by the employee shall take place within five (5) working days of notification to the Supervisor that an informal meeting is requested.  If the supervisor is not available or refuses to meet during the five-day time frame, the next level supervisor in line will meet with the employee within the referenced five (5) day period to discuss the complaint.  The time period to meet by the next level supervisor may be extended for an additional five (5) working days.  The next level supervisor shall notify the HR Generalist in writing of the extension an additional five (5) working days.

An employee who fails to initiate the Informal Complaint Procedure forfeits his/her right to utilize these employee complaint procedures.  Employees and supervisors engaged in the Informal Complaint Procedure must make reasonable efforts to promptly resolve the issues central to the complaint.  The informal complaint process is intended as an informal dispute resolution process.  This procedure should be conducted as an interest-based, collaborative problem-solving process between the employee and other employees and/or supervisor with the purpose of preserving the work relationship.  A regular employee may only proceed to the Formal Complaint Procedure if he or she has first made reasonable efforts to informally resolve the problem(s) or issue(s) with the supervisor or another employee and is unable to do so.

If a regular employee's complaint is not resolved through the Informal Complaint Procedure or if the employee's direct supervisor and next level supervisor are not available or refuse to meet with the employee within the five (5) working days, unless an additional five (5) working days has been requested, the employee may choose to move forward with the Formal Complaint Procedure.

Formal Complaint
If a complaint is not resolved through the Informal Complaint Procedure, a regular employee may, but is not required to, proceed with the Formal Complaint Procedure.

An employee may file a formal written complaint using the Employee Formal Complaint Form ("Complaint Form") with the HCC Director of Human Resources and provide a copy to his or her second level supervisor (See, Employee Formal Complaint Form HR-117).  The form must clearly identify an issue or dispute regarding work related matter(s).  

The formal complaint must be filed either via hand delivery or U.S Postal mail within ten (10) business/work days of the date the employee completed the required Informal Complaint Process.  A form sent via U.S.  Postal Mail must be postmarked no later than the tenth (10) business/work day after the date the employee completed the required Informal Complaint Process.

The form should clearly identify the following:  
1) The specific Policy and Procedure that is alleged to have been violated
2) The basis for the complaint, including a description of the complaint as well as any relevant actions or events giving rise to the complaint
3) The specific date when the alleged violation(s) occurred
4) The remedy that is being requested and that a supervisor may lawfully grant, or can be provided by HCC procedures or guidelines
5) The names of any witnesses who have knowledge of the events or action and/or any relevant documentation

Personal problems, personality conflicts, or similar matters between employees are not available for redress through this procedure and must be addressed by the appropriate administrative personnel rather than through the complaint procedure.

The complaint may not involve a challenge to an existing policy or procedure.  A complaint related to Title VI, VII, IX, Sexual Harassment or the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) must follow the reporting process outlined in G.1 Discrimination and Harassment (contact the Office of Institutional Equity).

A complaint form may be rejected or returned based on one of the following reasons:
1) The complaint was not filed in a timely manner
2) The complaint does not identify a specific Policy or Procedure that is alleged to have been violated
3) The complaint does not set forth a valid dispute of work related issue(s)
4) The complaint fails to state and/or identify a lawful or HCC procedural remedy
5) The complaint form does not contain sufficient information or detail that will allow the supervisor to investigate, evaluate or permit an appropriate resolution

An employee may not complain about performance evaluations under this policy/procedure.  The process for contesting a performance evaluation is outlined under the HCC Procedure C.21.4 Employee Evaluations.  

FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
The formal complaint process may consist of steps one through three below.  The formal complaint process is closed to the public.  No members of the public may attend except designated representatives.

In order to proceed with the Formal Complaint Procedure, the employee must complete the Informal Complaint Procedure, or attempt to complete the Informal Procedure, with his/her direct supervisor or next level supervisor. If attempts to resolve the complaint informally have been unsuccessful, the employee may file a formal complaint by completing a written, signed, Formal Complaint Form, which may be obtained from the Human Resources Department. The information supplied by the complainant in the Formal Complaint Request Form must include, in detail,

1) The date(s) of the event or actions leading to the complaint
2) The reasons the employee believes the actions of the supervisor or person responsible for the complaint were inconsistent with College procedure and/or practice
3) The specific procedures that may have been violated, as well as the names of any witnesses who have Employee knowledge of the events or action and/or any relevant documentation

Upon receipt and review of the Formal Complaint Form and any supporting documentation, the Director of Human Resources will accept or deny the employee's Formal Complaint request.  In order for a Formal Complaint request to be granted the Director of Human Resources must determine, based on the documentation and information provided by the employee, that it is more likely than not that the actions of the supervisor and/or person responsible for the event or action were inconsistent with HCC procedure and/or practice.  The Director of Human Resources or his or her designee must give his/her decision in writing as to whether to accept or deny the employee's Formal Complaint request to the employee within ten (10) working days of receipt of the employee's Formal Grievance Form and documentation.

If the Director of Human Resources or designated Human Resources Representative grants the employee's Formal Complaint request, the Director of Human Resources or his or her designee will immediately notify the employee's supervisor in writing and request the supervisor to submit a written response, including any statements, documentation and/or the names of any witnesses that the supervisor feels support his/her actions, as well as the outcome the supervisor desires to see from the Process.

Step One: Complaint Conference
An individual who has been unable to resolve a concern/dispute about work related issue(s) through the informal process, may file a Formal Complaint on the complaint form within ten (10) business/working days from the date that the informal process was completed.  The complaint form shall be filed with the HCC Director of Human Resources with a copy to the second level supervisor.  The second level supervisor shall schedule the Step One Conference within ten (10) business/working days of receipt of the complaint.  After the Step One Conference, the supervisor shall respond in writing to all written complaints or concerns within ten (10) business/work days of the date of the conference.

Note:  Due to diverse reporting relationships within the HCC organization a complaint may begin at Step One, however there may be one, two or no (0) appeals depending on the level of management that responds to the Step One conference.   The Chancellor plays no role in the complaint process.  The final decision for all complaints will be by the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent.

Step Two: 1st Appeal Complaint Conference
In the event the employee is not satisfied with the decision/resolution of the second level supervisor or if a decision/resolution is not rendered within the allotted timeline, the employee may appeal the decision to the next level (third level) supervisor within ten (10) business/working days of decision/resolution.  The third level supervisor shall schedule the Step Two Conference within ten (10) business/working days of receipt of the complaint.  After the Step Two Conference, the supervisor shall respond in writing to all written complaints or concerns within ten (10) business/work days of the date of the conference.

Step Three: 2nd Appeal (if applicable)
In the event the employee is not satisfied with the decision/resolution of the third level supervisor or if a decision/resolution is not rendered within the allotted timeline, the employee may appeal the decision to his or her President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent.  The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent shall schedule the 2nd Appeal Conference within ten (10) business/working days of receipt of the complaint.  The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent may hear the complaint but is not required to.  The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent will consult with Human Resources when considering whether a hearing or one of the options is the best way to proceed.  The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent has the option of recommending a Review Panel to hear the complaint or recommending Mediation.  After the 2nd Appeal Conference is completed, the Administrator will respond in writing to the written complaint(s) or concern(s) within 10 days of the date of the conference.  Decisions made by the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent are final and without appeal.

The Chancellor's Role
The Chancellor is not a participant in the complaint or appeal process.  The complaint and appeal process is considered closed upon the decision of the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent.

The Chancellor may determine an investigation should be conducted in some situations with senior level administration where the complaint and appeal process will not bring effective resolution to an event or action.

Variances
The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent have the option to send the complaint to mediation or to a review panel as deemed appropriate.  The external hearing officer is not generally an option; however in rare instances they could be approved.  The General Counsel must be consulted for approval if the President, Vice chancellor or administrative equivalent is requesting an external hearing officer.  Costs of external services shall be the responsibility of the HCC College or Division making the request.

The Mediation and Review Panel are options to the normal complaint process but they are not to be used in addition to the normal complaint process.
Not all complaints may be appropriate for either a review panel or mediation.

Mediation
The purpose of the Human Resources Mediation Process is to open and/or improve dialogue between the supervisor and the complainant and to facilitate an agreement between the parties regarding the disputed matter if recommended as a variance to the regular Appeal process.

If the employee's complaint is not resolved through the Human Resources Mediation Process the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent shall render a decision pursuant to regular Appeal process of this procedure.

All settlement agreements through the mediation process must first be reviewed and approved by the General Counsel's office and subsequently approved and signed by the Chancellor or his or her designee.

The Mediator will be selected from one of the trained HCC Mediators (must complete 40 hours Mediation Training Course to be considered a HCC Mediator).  In the alternative, mediators may be selected from one of several mediation services in Houston designated by the General Counsel's Office.

Review Panel
Upon receipt of the written request for a review panel from the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent; pursuant to regular Appeal process, the Director of Human Resources will immediately begin the process of setting a hearing date with a Review Panel.

Prior to the Review Panel hearing, there will be a simultaneous exchange of information between the parties, which will be facilitated by the Director of Human Resources or his/her designee.  The employee may not communicate in any manner nor provide any information, documentation, or any other evidence of any kind directly to the Review Panel.  All information or communication of any kind shall be submitted to the Director of Human Resources or designee for review and consideration in deciding whether or not to grant the employee's request to utilize the Review Procedure.  The complainant, the complainant's supervisor and other employee(s) shall have the right to an advisor or advice of counsel of their choice.  The parties must provide the Director of Human Resources or designee with the names of any counsel that will be present at the hearing no later than ten (10) working days prior to the hearing or as soon as the attorney is known.

The sole purpose of the Review Panel is to ensure that the action of the supervisor or other person responsible for the complaint was consistent with HCC policies and procedures.

SELECTION OF PANEL
HR will maintain a pool of ten (10) HCC employees from which the three (3) panel members will be selected.  The Review Panel will consist of one (1) senior executive level employee from outside the complainant's department and two (2) management level employees from outside the complainant's department.  All three (3) members of the Review Panel must be at or above the level of the complainant job grade/level.  The employee bringing the complaint may select one member of the panel and the other two members will be selected by the Director of Human Resources or his or her designee.  The Review Panel shall select one of the members to Chair the Review Panel and prepare the final written findings and recommendation(s).

The Director of Human Resources or designee will attend and facilitate the Review Panel hearing.  The membership of the panel will be provided to the complainant, another employee who may be a party to the complaint or the complainant's supervisor within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the written request to the Director of Human Resources or designee.  Both parties have the right to challenge one member of the Review Panel for cause.  This challenge should be submitted by the challenging party in writing to the Director of Human Resources or his/her designee within two (2) working days of the challenging party's receipt of notice of the membership of the Review Panel.  The Director of Human Resources will determine the validity of the specific challenge.  If the challenge is sustained, then another member of the Review Panel will be appointed to the Review Panel.  Any ex parte communications of any kind with any member of the Review Panel by either side is strictly prohibited.  Only the Director of Human Resources or his/her designee shall communicate with the Review Panel.

The Review Panel Hearing will be conducted within a reasonable period after receipt of the complainant's written appeal.  The Director of Human Resources or designee will send a notice confirming the date, time, and location of the hearing to the complainant, the supervisor, witnesses, Senior Human Resources Generalist and members of the Review Panel no later than ten (10) working days prior to the hearing.  The hearing is normally within seven (7) to ten (10) working days of the notice.

During the Review Panel Hearing, all parties shall be afforded reasonable opportunity for oral opening and closing arguments and for presentation of relevant witnesses and relevant documentary evidence.  Each party shall be granted 60-90 minutes for oral opening and presenting their case.  An additional 15 minutes may be granted for closing argument, if needed.  An extension of the time can be granted by the Director of Human Resources or his or her designee who is facilitating the Review Panel Hearing.

The Review Panel shall have the right to question any and all witnesses, to examine documentary evidence presented, and to summon other witnesses, as the Review Panel deems necessary.  Witnesses shall not be present during the testimony of any party or other witnesses.

The date of the hearing must be adhered to except for unusual or extraordinary circumstances which must be presented in writing as soon as possible to the Director of Human Resources.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Review Panel shall deliberate in closed session.  Any notes or documents made during deliberation shall be destroyed and not subject to disclosure.

The Review Panel members will convene to deliberate their findings and arrive at a recommendation(s) to uphold or overturn the complaint request.  The final recommendation(s) shall be communicated to the Director of Human Resources or designee who will communicate the final recommendation(s) in writing to the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent.  The President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent may accept, reject or modify any or all of the recommendation(s) and will make the final decision which is not appealable.

Original Complaint Form
Once the complaint has been closed, the complaint form and all appropriate attachments are to be sent to the Director of Human Resources by the appropriate college/division administrator.

Board of Trustees Role
The HCC Board of Trustees does not have a role in the Complaint Procedure and consequently there is no review or appeal to members of the HCC Board.  However, nothing in the procedure precludes the affected employee(s) from appearing before the Board of Trustees during the Hearing of the Citizens.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

Hiring Full-Time

C.02 Equal Employment Opportunities

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/May 2012
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.2 Equal Employment Opportunities


Equal Employment Opportunities - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The policy on Equal Employment Opportunity is a commitment by the Board of Trustees and the Administration that the employment standards, procedures and practices of the college be applied in a manner which will assure equal opportunities for all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity and gender expression, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

HCC will seek qualified persons for each position based on the criteria of job-related standards of education, training, experience or personal qualifications.

Any questions concerning employment discrimination should be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2 Hiring Practices - Full-time Employees (Staff & Faculty)

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


C.3 Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To ensure that all hiring practices are being followed in accordance with HCC Policy and Procedures.    It is to be used to outlines the steps involved in the Hiring Process for Full-Time New Hires and Returning Staff & Faculty.

APPLICABILITY

This procedures applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Screening Committee - a group of five (5) or more members required for the hiring process of full-time faculty positions plus non-faculty positions on the Executive Salary Structure beginning with grade E10 and above, including "grant" or "soft money" positions.
  • Personnel Action Form (PAF) - refers to the form used to process all full-time action requests   (i.e. new hires, changes, terminations, rehire eligibility).
  • Verification of Compensation Level Form –refers to the form used for hiring faculty which determines the salary grade and salary based on the level of education and amount of work experience.
  • Position Control – Change to Position Management—the budgeting process for funded vacant positions.
  • Official Transcript - an original transcript (not copy) that indicates the degree has been conferred with the conferred date.  An official transcript will contain the school's official seal and the Registrar's signature.

PROCEDURES

The menu includes: Tutorial for Hiring Managers, Quick Tips for Using the Online System, PeopleAdmin Reference Guide for Hiring Managers/Request Originators and the Screening Committee Guidelines.

Full-time positions can only be approved and hired by the appropriate Hiring Authority defined as Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, President and administrative equivalent. Hiring authorities will assure that all external new hires will be selected from a diverse pool of candidates. It is the responsibility of the Hiring Authority to ensure a fair and impartial evaluation of all applicants for the position. The Hiring Authority shall be responsible for the final selection.

Screening Committees are required for all full-time faculty positions plus non-faculty positions on the Executive Salary Structure beginning with grade E10 and above, including "grant" or "soft money" positions. A Screening Committee is not required for other exempt positions below salary grade E10. For "non-exempt" positions (i.e., those subject to overtime pay) Screening Committees should not be used. However, if needed for either exempt positions below grade E10 or non-exempt positions, the Hiring Authority may choose to utilize a screening committee to assist in the screening process, provided the Hiring Authority maintains process control and retains the decision making authority.

Information about screening committee guidelines are found on the HR Employment web page from myhcc@hccs.edu

 

Hiring Process for Full-Time Positions

Step 1

The Hiring Manager, Director or Department Chair informs the Hiring Authority of the need for approval to fill or replace a vacant position prior to requisitioning through the Online Employment System. The Hiring Authority can authorize postings for all new positions and replacements in accordance with the Position Management process through the office of the  Director of Financial Control and Auxiliary Services. For auxiliary/grant-funded positions, the Hiring Authority must seek approval from the Grant Budget Office.

The following procedures outline the steps involved in the hiring process for full-time positions and temporary full-time positions for staff and faculty (includes all auxiliary/grant-funded positions). Those involved in the hiring process can access a menu of helpful links here.

All full-time staff and faculty positions must be requisitioned through the Online Employment System. Before beginning a requisition on line, the Hiring Authority (or designee) must have a current job description from the Human Resources Compensation Department. If there are changes that need to be made, contact the Human Resources Compensation Department before submitting the requisition online.

Step 2
Once the position is originated online, it is forwarded electronically to the next level of approval (Dean, Director or College Operations Officer).

Step 3
The Dean, Director, or College Operations Officer (COO) may make edits in line with the approved job description in the HR Compensation Department. Once completed and approved, he or she will electronically forward the requisition to the next level of approval. This may be the Executive Director or Hiring Authority depending on the department.

Step 4
The Hiring Authority electronically forwards the requisition to Position Control. Requisitions for faculty positions must be reviewed for appropriateness within the faculty hiring guidelines developed by the Presidents and maintained by the Vice Chancellor of Instruction.

Step 5
Position Management will approve or disapprove the requisition. If all criteria are met, the requisition will be submitted to the Human Resources Department.

Step 6
The Human Resources Employment Department will review the requisition and post the job vacancy announcement. All regular, full-time staff positions, with the exception of positions equivalent to Grade E-10 and above and to hard-to-fill positions shall be advertised for internal applicants only for seven (7) consecutive days. If there is a sufficient number (3 or more) of qualified applicants, the hiring authority is encouraged to make an internal selection. If there are less than three (3) qualified applicants, the Hiring Authority may submit a written request for the position to be advertised externally. If a position is posted externally, it will be open for a minimum of ten (10) business days. Once the job posting closes, the Hiring Manager, Hiring Authority and appropriate individuals will be notified by Employment Services to initiate the hiring process. They should follow the Online Employment Site for Hiring Officials (www.hccsjobs.com/hr). Also, the HR home page provides a training menu and tutorial for first time users under Hiring Information for Managers.

Step 7
Hiring Authority Responsibility
Complete and acquire appropriate signatures for the Personnel Action Form (PAF). Attach all required transcripts* for staff/administrative positions, if the selected applicant did not attach transcripts online.

Prepare the memo to Human Resources, which should include the selected candidate and the rationale for selection.

Complete two (2) Employment Reference Checks

For faculty positions, the Dean completes the Verification of Compensation Level form to verify the pay grade level.

It is the responsibility of the hiring authority to ensure that the paperwork is accurate, complete and hand-delivered to HR Employment Services Department.

If there is no screening committee, the HR Employment Services representative should check off the Employment Completion Checklist when the hiring authority returns the paperwork to HR Employment Services. If the paperwork is incomplete, it will be returned.

*Official transcripts will be required upon employment.

Step 8
Salary offers are determined by the Compensation Department based on relevant factors such as experience, education, internal equity with existing employees and market data prior to being submitted to the HR Employment Services Department. The HR Employment Services Department will notify the hiring authority of the recommended salary and start date. All job offers are conditional upon successful completion and approval of the fingerprinting and criminal history background check, and drug test if the position has been identified as safety and security sensitive.

Hiring Process for Temporary Full-Time Positions

For staff and faculty, the use of Temporary status for full-time employees and positions is intended for short-term situations or for certain long-term circumstances, such as sabbatical or medical leave replacement.

The use of this status is for hiring temporary full-time personnel against regular full-time budgeted positions that are on the position management list and is limited to 120 days. No later than this 120 day period, the job must be requisitioned and posted through the online employment process. When the position is filled, the temporary employee will be released from the assignment.

In certain circumstances, such as sabbatical and medical leave replacements, the term may be for a longer period of time, but cannot extend beyond the fiscal year for the individual.

Any request for an exception requires the approval of the Chancellor or his/her designee. However, the 120-days and the end of year limitations do not apply to CTCE, grant-funded, and auxiliary-funded positions as these positions are temporary due to restricted funding.

To hire or rehire an employee (Faculty or Staff) under the status of Temporary Full-time, the Personnel Action Form (PAF) must be completed, and signed by the Chancellor or his/her designee prior to submission to the office of Employment Services. (If the assignment will be for a period of less than 4½ months (short-term), the employee would not be eligible for benefits and would not be required to attend the General New Employee Orientation. If the assignment will be for a period of 4 ½ months or more (long-term), then the employee would be eligible for benefits and would be required to attend the General New Employee Orientation.

The justification for the rehire of all Temporary Full-time (short-term or long-term) assignments must be provided to the Chancellor or his/her designee and attached to the PAF.

An end date is required on the PAF for all Temporary Full-time positions for the appropriate processing to occur and for benefits eligibility to be determined.

Job Applicant Procedures

Step 1
Internal HCC Job Applicant:

Log on to HCCS Homepage at the following link: www.hccs.edu

Click on Jobs @ HCC. This link provides information about the online job application process.
Applicants are encouraged to read all of the instructional material especially the information provided under the Quick Tips Link.

Internal applicants who are on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) or Corrective Action are not eligible to be considered for job vacancies prior to the successful completion of their PIP.

Jobs are initially posted a minimum of seven (7) consecutive days for internal applicants.

Step 2
External Job Applicant

Log on HCCS Homepage at the following link: www.hccs.edu

Click on Jobs @ HCC. This link provides information about the online job application process. Applicants are encouraged to read all of the instructional material especially the information provided under Quick Tips.

Jobs that are not filled from the internal posting will be reposted a minimum of ten (10) business days for internal/external applicants.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.2 Employment Eligibility (Authorization to Work)

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To ensure that HCC employs individuals who are eligible to work in the United States.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all full-time and part-time faculty and staff.

DEFNITIONS

  • Employment Eligibility Form I-9 (I-9) - is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration form used by an employer to verify an employee's identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States
  • Hiring supervisor - the person who hires the employee and whose signature appears on Part-Time Recommendation form as the person requesting the hire (i.e. department chair, manager, etc.).

PROCEDURES

Eligibility Requirements
All newly hired employees or former full-time and part-time employees that are rehired must complete an Employment Eligibility Form (I-9) at the time of hire. See part-time hiring procedures for the definition of "former."

When completing the I-9 form, Section 1 must be fully and properly completed and signed by the employee. In order for employers to complete Section 2, employees must present original documents (from List A or Lists B and C) that establish identity and employment eligibility.

Copies of documents cannot be accepted. The documents must be presented within three (3) business days of the date employment begins. If the employee cannot present the documents within the required time period; employment will end.

Full-time Employees
Full-time employees will be asked to present the required documents during the General New Employee Orientation (GNEO), on their first day of work. A representative from the Human Resources Department will be responsible for completing Section 2 of the I-9 form. If the employee cannot provide the documents by the end of the GNEO, he/she will be required to bring the documents to the HR Employment Services office no later than the close of business on his/her third day of employment.

Part-time Employees
For individuals hired as part-time employees, the hiring supervisor, not a designee, will be responsible for completing Section 2 of the I-9 form.

Hiring Supervisor Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the hiring supervisor to ensure the person is eligible to work in the United States by:

  • verifying that all required documents
  • completing the I-9 form is no later than the close of business on the employee's third day of employment

If the hiring supervisor is not sure if the documents submitted are acceptable, the HR Generalist should be contacted. The HR Generalist may subsequently consult with the Manager of Employee Records for an official decision.

Acceptable Documents
All documents presented for verification must be originals and have unexpired expiration dates at the time of hire, otherwise employment is not allowed.

Document copies cannot be accepted. A list of acceptable documents required to complete the form I-9 is located on the back of the form I-9 or found on the U.S. Customs & Immigration website at www.uscis.gov. Click on Immigration Forms, Fees and Fingerprints, then I-9.

Social security cards that state "Valid with DHS (Department of Homeland Security) or INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Approval," indicates the employee must show proof that he/she is authorized to work in the United States.

F-1 Visa
The F-1 Visa is issued to allow individuals into the United States to obtain an education. Individuals holding F-1 Visas are allowed to work on a part-time basis during the fall and spring semesters and full-time during the summer semesters, as long as the employer and educational institution are the same.

Individuals holding an F-1 Visa who have been offered employment at HCC must submit a letter from the HCC International Student Services office along with the employment paperwork. The letter must verify the employee is currently enrolled as a HCC student and is eligible to work.The letter is valid for one semester only if the assignment begins in the fall semester; or it is valid through August 31st of the same year if the assignment begins in the spring semester.

To remain eligible for employment, the employee is required to submit a new letter to the HR Employee Records Department every August and January.

If the employee's visa status changes, the employee is required to submit the new employment eligibility document to the Employee Records Department upon receipt. If the employee is no longer enrolled at HCC, but still holds an F-1 visa, the person is no longer eligible to work for the institution.

Expired Documents
If eligibility documents expire after the employee is hired (with the exception of a Permanent Resident Card), the employee must present a valid document prior to the expiration of the old document. An original document must be presented to a staff member in the Employee Records Department. If the employee cannot provide a current document, HCC is required to terminate the employment immediately.

H1-B and TN Visas
An H1-B Visa is used by an alien who will be temporarily employed in a specialty occupation. A TN Visa is similar to the H1-B visa, but it is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico. These types of visas require sponsorship from a company in order to bring the person into the United States for employment purposes. HCC is not a sponsoring agency and therefore does not employ individuals with H1-B and TN Visas.

If a person holding a H1-B or TN visa is inadvertently hired, action must be taken immediately to end the person's employment.The hiring supervisor will be held accountable for the violation and his/her budget will be charged if any governmental fines are imposed.

Social Security Cards
In order to report correct information to the Social Security Administration (SSA), HCC requires a copy of Social Security card (made from the original presented to the employer) for every employee. The name and social security number HCC reports to the SSA must match exactly the information found in the SSA database.

Consequences for Failure to Comply
Upon discovery that a hiring supervisor has not complied with the I-9 form completion guidelines set forth in these procedures, a letter noting the nature of the violation will be issued from the Human Resources Department to the hiring supervisor. The hiring supervisor's manager and president of the college will be copied. If a second violation occurs, the Deputy Chancellor, along with the president of the college and the hiring supervisor's manager will be notified. A letter will be sent to the hiring supervisor noting his/her second violation. A copy of the second letter will remain in the employee's personnel file. A third violation will result in disciplinary action that may include termination.

Fines for Violations
If HCC is audited by the federal government and a violation incurs a fine, the total amount of the fine will be deducted directly from the responsible hiring supervisor's budget.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.3 Pre & Post Employment Criminal History Background Check, Fingerprinting & Drug Testing

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/July 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To ensure that HCC remains in compliance with all State and/or Federal Laws, SACS Guidelines, and HCC Policies and Procedures pertaining to employment eligibility.

APPLICABILITY

This procedures applies to all HCC faculty, staff, workstudy, and applicants.

DEFINITIONS

  • "Conviction" means a finding of guilt or acceptance by the court of a plea of guilty or no contest.
  • Safety and Security Sensitive Positions" are positions that are restricted to those described in Texas Education Code 51.215(c) as positions in which the employee handles money, has access to a computer terminal, has access to a master key, or works in a safety and security sensitive position designated by HCC.
  • "Hit" means criminal history activity found in the Department of Public Safety's Fingerprinting Clearinghouse.

PROCEDURES

Required Pre-Employment Criminal History Background Check, Fingerprinting & Drug Testing

All external and internal applicants selected for full-time and part-time employment are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal history background check & fingerprinting prior to the first day of employment. Any falsification of application information or credentials, or failure to make full disclosure of criminal history shall be grounds to deny or terminate employment, in the position applied for, or the HCC job currently held. If applying for a safety and security sensitive position, a pre-employment drug test will also be required, along with the pre-employment criminal history background check & fingerprinting prior to the first day of employment.

The Human Resources Department shall compile and disseminate to all HCC locations, a list of employment positions in which an employee may be required to perform "safety and security sensitive" duties or functions as defined in HCC's Drug and Alcohol Policy. The Human Resources Department will review and update, as needed, the list of employment positions on an annual basis in consultation with supervisory personnel from departments in which employees performing safety and security sensitive duties or functions are employed. Supervisors shall post the current list of employment positions requiring the performance of safety and security sensitive duties or functions in a visible location available for employee inspection and review.

Required Post-Employment Criminal History Background Check, Fingerprinting & Drug Testing

All current full-time and part-time employees are required to comply with HCC Policy C:2.3 Qualifications, as well as State and Federal Laws related to the Texas Education Code 22.085, and must undergo a criminal history background check and fingerprinting as a condition of continued employment. If the current employee's position is deemed a safety and security sensitive position, a drug test will also be required.

HCC Contact Person

The Manager of Employee Records is the HCC contact person for the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug-testing program, as well as for the company in charge of drug testing, with the exception of HCC positions that are regulated by the Department and Public Safety and the Department of Transportation. The department's administrator will manage the required drug and/or alcohol testing to maintain state and/or federal regulations.

The pre-employment drug testing group includes employees who have been offered employment in safety and security sensitive positions (including those who work with motor-driven vehicles or with weapons).

The post-employment drug testing group includes employees moving to a new position or assuming new duties that fall under the safety and security sensitive position category.

The following drug and alcohol testing protocols will be followed by HCC:

  • Consent
    Any applicant or employee requested to submit to drug and/or alcohol testing shall sign a consent form (i.e. HCC Application for Employment) prior to being tested.  The HR Employee Records department is responsible for issuing an Employer's Authorization for Treatment form to the applicant or employee to take to the laboratory.  This form will allow the test to be performed and the results to be sent to the District for its use in evaluating the applicant or employee for initial or continued employment. 
  • Privacy in Testing
    Employees will be afforded privacy in providing urine samples such that he or she may not be viewed while providing the sample unless HCC or its representative has reason to believe the employee will attempt to alter or substitute the sample. Such reasons include:
    • When the employee has presented a urine specimen that falls outside the normal temperature range (32 - 38 C / 90 - 100 F) and the employee declines to provide a measurement of oral body temperature or the employee's oral body temperature varies by more than 1 C / 1.8 F from the temperature of the specimen
    • A urine specimen provided by an employee on a previous occasion was determined by the laboratory to have specific gravity of less than 1.003 and a creatinine concentration below .2g/L
    • Collection site personnel observe conduct clearly and unequivocally indicating an attempt to substitute or altercate the sample
    • Where the employee has previously been determined to have used a controlled substance without medical authorization and the test is a follow-up test upon or after return to service
    • Employees shall not bring personal items such as briefcases, purses, book bags, or other containers into the testing area. Employees shall also be required to remove all personal effects from their pockets prior to entering the collection site. Other appropriate measures, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and regulations, may also be taken to prevent dilution and/or contamination of samples

Processing of Samples

  • Collection of urine samples will be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR part 40, including utilization of a split sample. Upon receipt of the urine sample from the person being screened, the person supervising the screening will test the temperature of the urine and initiate the processing of the sample. The sample will be sealed, and the person supervising the sample will sign the sealed sample. The sample will be labeled with a control number, the date, and the time the specimen was obtained. The seal will be broken only by the individual performing the analysis.
  • All drug tests will be conducted by a laboratory certified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), also commonly referred to as a "NIDA-certified" laboratory. The laboratory will be instructed to initially perform an immunoassay test known as an "EMIT" screen. If the EMIT screen is positive, the results will be confirmed by a second test utilizing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).

The laboratory shall be instructed to perform only tests relating to the presence of the illegal drugs listed below, and under no circumstances shall the laboratory be permitted to perform additional tests. In instances where the employee has failed to comply with HCC's requirements regarding reporting of legal drugs, such drugs will be treated as illegal drugs until such time as the employee can offer credible evidence of the contrary.

When drug and/or alcohol screening is required, a urinalysis and/or EBT will be given to detect the presence of the drugs listed below. Confirmatory tests will be performed only in the event the initial screen is positive. A positive result means that a specimen has been found to contain the drugs and/or their metabolites in excess of the levels set forth below and has been reviewed and verified by the MRO or a BAT. These screening levels are subject to change by HCC as advances in technology or other considerations warrant identification of those substances at other concentrations.

Drug Class Range Unit
Cocaine metabolites 300 ng/ml
Amphetamines (Class) 1,000 ng/ml
Barbiturates 300 ng/ml
Benzodiazepines 300 ng/ml
Marijuana Metabolite 50 ng/ml
Opiates 2,000 ng/ml
Phencyclidine 25 ng/ml
Propoxyphene/Metabolite 300 ng/ml
Methadone 300 ng/ml
Methaqualone 300 ng/ml

Reporting of Results

The laboratory will report the results of the test to a Medical Review Officer (MRO). An MRO is a physician, not associated with the laboratory, who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate training to interpret and evaluate a confirmed positive test along with the individual's medical history and related biomedical information.

All information from an employee's drug or alcohol test(s) is confidential, and only those HCC officials with a specific need to know may be informed of screening results by the MRO or BAT. Disclosure of test results to any other person or organization is prohibited unless written authorization is obtained from the employee tested or as provided by applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

All records relating to the taking of a drug and/or alcohol screen shall be deemed confidential, unless written authorization has been obtained from the person, except in accordance with applicable laws and regulations or if the records become the subject of an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Records will be maintained by the Human Resources Department and access to the records shall be limited as set forth herein.

Consequences of a Confirmed Positive Test Result

If an employee receives a confirmed positive breath test for alcohol, the employee being tested may, at his or her option and expense, be taken to a medical facility or laboratory selected and approved by Houston Community College for blood analysis. Samples for such blood analysis must be provided within one hour after the BAT verifies the confirmed positive. The samples will be taken in a private examining room by medically trained personnel who are certified to withdraw blood by needle from a person. If the employee opts to undergo blood analysis in such cases, the employee will be suspended pending the results. The results of the blood analysis shall control for disciplinary purposes.

An applicant or employee who has a positive result after an initial drug screening by the EMIT and a confirmatory test using the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test, which is then verified by an MRO, the employee may, at his or her own option and expense, opt to have the second portion of his or her split urine sample tested by a second DHHS-certified laboratory.

The employee must exercise this option within 72 hours after he or she is informed of the verified positive, or this option is waived. If the employee opts to have the second portion of his or her split urine sample tested, the final results of the second test shall control for disciplinary purposes.

An applicant who has a positive result after an initial drug screening by the EMIT and a confirmatory test using the GC/MC test which is then verified by an MRO, or who tests positive for alcohol, shall not be eligible for employment by Houston Community College.

In the event an employee is not terminated after receiving a positive, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, or random test result, such employee must submit to return-to-duty and/or follow-up testing, prior to performing a safety and security sensitive function. Such employees must also successfully complete the treatment and/or counseling, if any, recommended by the SAP.

Use of Prescription Drugs

  • An employee engaged in the performance of a safety and security sensitive function must:
    • Report all therapeutic drug use, whether prescription or nonprescription, to his or her immediate supervisor or department administrator; and,
    • Only report for duty or remain on duty while under the influence of a legal drug if such drug is authorized by a licensed physician in accordance with a prescription specifically for that employee's use and the physician has advised that the drug does not affect the employee's ability to perform work in a safe manner.

    Employees should be reminded that the taking of another person's prescribed medication is not an acceptable reason for having a positive test; this is an illegal use of controlled substances, and is a felony violation of law.

    In addition, persons employed in positions specifically designated as safety and security sensitive, as defined by Texas Education Code 51.215 (i.e., employees who handle currency, have access to a computer terminal, have access to a master key, or who work in an area of HCC that has been designated as safety and security sensitive) may be required to provide a complete set of fingerprints.

    All current HCC employees (full-time, temporary full-time and part-time, to include work-study students) are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal history background & fingerprinting check, and a pre-employment drug test (if the position is safety and security sensitive) when offered the job.

    All part-time and full-time employees who are rehired and had a break in service from HCC for 365 days or more, are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal background check, fingerprinting (unless the HCC fingerprinting requirement has already been met), and a pre-employment drug test, if the position is considered safety and security sensitive.

    Adjunct faculty who are serving in safety and security sensitive positions and who have met the required pre-employment criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug testing with a break in service of 364 days or less would not be required to undergo another drug test for re-employment.  However, any break in service would require the Human Resources Department to review fingerprinting results provided by the Department of Public Safety's Clearinghouse for possible new "hits."

    Notice to Applicants

    For all posted positions, the Human Resources Department will ensure that all advertisements include the following phrase or similar language: "All applicants selected for employment are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal history background check, fingerprinting, and possibly a pre-employment drug test, if the position is a safety and security sensitive position."

    For all non-posted positions, the department that is filling the position will notify applicants selected for employment about the pre-employment criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug testing policy prior to being tested.

    Application Requirements

    Before an applicant is considered for a position, he or she must fully and truthfully complete an employment application and sign it by checking the signature box at the bottom of the online application, which provides HCC's written consent to perform both a pre and post criminal history background check, fingerprinting and pre- employment drug testing, if appropriate to the position. The application also requires the applicant to disclose any prior conviction, as defined herein, or pending charges for any criminal offense other than a traffic ticket.

    If an applicant refuses to sign the Application for Employment and the consent to submitting to a pre-criminal background check, fingerprinting and a drug test, if appropriate, the employment process will be terminated.

    Notice to Applicants
    If an employee refuses to submit to a post criminal history background check & fingerprinting, his/her employment may be terminated as the requirement is a condition of employment.

    Conditional Offer of Employment

    Full-time Hires
    For full-time hires - Once the hiring authority selects an applicant for employment and all proper paperwork is complete, Employment Services will contact the applicant and make a conditional job offer. All job offers are conditional upon successful completion and approval of the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug test, if applicable.

    Part-time Hires
    For part-time hires - Once the hiring authority selects an applicant for employment and all proper paperwork is complete, the hiring authority will contact the applicant and make a conditional job offer. All job offers are conditional upon successful completion and approval of the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug test, if applicable.

    Convictions (Pre-Employment Criminal History & Fingerprinting Checks)
    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) is found to be a prohibited violation of the Texas Education Code 22.085, the applicant will be deemed ineligible for employment.

    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) includes a conviction for a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, the Director of Employment Services in conjunction with HCC General Counsel will determine if the conviction causes the applicant to be ineligible for employment.  The Director of Employment Services may seek to obtain additional information to make a decision.

    Convictions (Post-Employment Criminal History & Fingerprinting Checks)
    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) is found to be a prohibited violation of the Texas Education Code 22.085, an Intent to Terminate letter will be sent by certified mailed to the employee, who will be given thirty (30) days to provide the Director of Employment Services with substantial official/certified (in original state) evidence and/or records that show the information used in making the determination was incorrect.

    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) includes a conviction for a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, the Director of Employment Services in conjunction with HCC General Counsel will determine if the conviction causes the applicant to be ineligible for employment. The Director of Employment Services may seek to obtain additional information to make a decision.

    Prohibited Criminal Record
    An applicant is ineligible for employment if he or she:

    • Has a felony violation as prohibited by the requirements of the Texas Education Code 22.085,
    • Has been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or any offense that involved the use or possession of an unlawful weapon or firearm (hereinafter "prohibited offense");
    • Has a pending charge for a prohibited offense;
    • Is currently on probation or parole (including deferred adjudication probation) for a prohibited offense;
    • Has been convicted of any other serious offense as determined by HCC General Counsel.

    Discrepancies in Criminal History Background
    When it is discovered that an applicant failed to fully disclose his or her complete adult criminal history record, which includes any convictions where the applicant was tried as an adult before the age of 17, is grounds to deny or terminate employment due to falsification of the application.

    Once hired, if an employee commits a felony or misdemeanor involving violations according to the Texas Education Code 22.085 or moral turpitude, it must be immediately reported in writing to the employee's direct supervisor. The supervisor must report all information to the Director of Employment Services. Failure to report information within three (3) business days by employee and/or supervisor may be considered grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination depending on the seriousness and nature of offense.

    Confidentiality of Pre Employment Criminal History Background, Fingerprinting and Drug Test Information
    All information collected under these procedures shall be used for the exclusive purpose of evaluating the individual for employment. The information shall remain confidential and shall not be released or otherwise disclosed, except to persons involved in gathering and reviewing the information, and except as required by law. Any employee who releases information or causes information to be released pursuant to this procedure may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

    Inaccurate or Incomplete Results
    An applicant who believes his or her results from the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and/or drug test are inaccurate or incomplete has the sole responsibility of coordinating and following the procedures as indicated by the facility or lab. HCC is not obligated to hold a position or an offer open.

    OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.4 Retention of Employee Personnel Records

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance on the retention of employee personnel records.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

Retention of Records

All personnel files for current HCC employees are stored in a secured area at the 3100 Main Administration building. All personnel documents maintained by the Human Resources Employee Records department are considered "official" records. All documents contained in each employee's personnel file are the property of HCC.

Personnel files for all former employees are maintained in a secured area. Personnel files are maintained on-site in the Employee Records Department for two years following the employee's end date. After two years. the file is purged and stored in a secured off-site facility.

An employee may view his/her file during office hours by contacting a staff member in the Employee Records department to request an appointment to view the file. Prior to viewing the file, the employee will complete Form HCCS-HR-500, Request to View Employee Personnel File. The employee will be asked to sign the form acknowledging his/her understanding that the file is the property of Houston Community College. The employee may not remove or modify any document(s) in his/her file. Documents must adhere to the established standards in order to be added to the appropriate personnel file. To ensure safety and security of personnel records, files must be viewed in the presence of a representative from the Human Resources Employee Records Department.

If an employee requests to view their file after it has been archived, there may be up to a three to four day delay in retrieving the file. A staff member in the Employee Records Department will arrange a file viewing in conjunction with the delivery of the off-site stored documents.

A supervisor of an employee, or a supervisor of a position the employee has applied for within HCC, or a college official with legitimate business reasons, may view an employee's personnel file. It is recommended that the supervisor/college official schedule an appointment with the Employee Records Department prior to viewing the requested file. This will allow a staff member in the Employee Records Department adequate time to verify the person making the request meets the above-mentioned criteria. The individual will be asked to complete the supervisor's version of form HCCS-HR-500 (Request to View Employee Personnel File) prior to viewing the file.

At no time can any document be permanently removed from the employee's personnel file.

An employee may request a copy of any document in his/her personnel file. There will be a nominal charge of $.10 per sheet assessed to the employee when the number of copies made reaches fifty (50) or more. If the number of copies exceeds fifty (50), an "Other Personnel Charge" will be assessed, which is $15 per hour for locating, compiling and reproducing the materials, plus $.10 per copy.

Documents from other employees or outside entities will not be placed in an employee's file without the specific approval of the Manager of Employee Records or in certain cases, the Chief Human Resources Officer.

HCC is a state institution and is subject to the Public Information Act (PIA). The definition states a public record as being the portion of any document, letter, memorandum, or other written, printed, typed, copied, or developed material that contains public information. This means that the majority of information collected and maintained by HCC is available to the public by definition.

The employee does have a right to deny public access to his/her home address, home telephone number, social security and information that reveals whether the individual has family members. Social security numbers for all employees are confidential, regardless of whether the employee has requested that HCC deny access to this information. If the employee submitted a completed Public Access Option Form (Form HCCS-HR-501) to the Employee Records Department denying public access to this information, then the information will not be used in published directories. However, HCC may use this information for any official business purpose, such as mailing correspondence and informational documents to an employee's home address. Form HCCS-HR-501 is available in the Human Resources Department.

When a subpoena is received with a request for copies of the employee's personnel file, the Manager of Employee Records will first consult with General Counsel for approval. Once approval has been secured, copies of the requested documents, except benefits and medical information, are made. An additional copy of the requested documents is reproduced and stored in a secured area in the Employee Records Department.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.05 Status, Assignment and Duties

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.5 Status, Assignments and Duties


Status, Assignments and Duties - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The procedure provides specific guidance for fair and equal employment practices in decisions related to the determination of employment status, assignments and duties.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Full-Time Employees - refers to those employees who work a minimum of forty (40) hours per week. Faculty and certain upper-level administrators (as identified by the Chancellor) are employed by written contract. The term of the written contract shall not exceed one (1) year.
  • Temporary Full-Time Employees - employees considered temporary if they are employed for a period of less than the current fiscal year. Non-faculty employees with a temporary assignment of less than four and one-half (4 1/2) months cannot be given an additional assignment within the current fiscal year. Temporary faculty members are eligible for benefits only if the duration of their assignment is four and one-half (4 1/2) months or more.
  • Part-Time Employees - refers to any employee who works less than twenty (20) hours per week to be part-time. Regular status, part-time employees are those who are hired for an indefinite period of time within a single fiscal year. Regular part-time employees are eligible for part-time employee benefits.
  • Temporary Part-Time Employees - refers to individuals who work on a temporary part-time basis, with a schedule of less than twenty (20) hours per week for a definite period of time of less than four and one-half (4 1/2) months within a fiscal year. Non-faculty employees with such a temporary assignment cannot be given an additional assignment within the current fiscal year.
  • Student Workers - students enrolled in HCC and who receive a salary as part of their financial aid package may be employed only in temporary, part-time positions of less than twenty (20) hours per week. Student workers who attend HCC are not eligible for employee benefits, nor do they contribute to Medicare and Social Security.
  • Interim Status - an interim assignment is used only when there is an immediate need to fill a leadership vacancy (i.e., Deans, Directors or above).
  • Interim Assignments - an assignments that shall not last for more than twelve (12) months. The permanent position must be posted not later than ninety (90) days following the interim appointment. Interim employees shall have the opportunity to apply for the regular full-time assignment when posted.
  • Assignments - all employees are subject to assignment and reassignment by the Chancellor or designee at any time. The Chancellor may, from time to time, assign or reassign an employee to other or additional duties for which the employee is professionally certified or otherwise qualified to perform.
  • Extra Service Assignment - is defined as work resulting in extra compensation or stipend and must be approved in writing by the Chancellor or designee. Extra service assignments are terminable at-will. No employee has a property right or entitlement to continuation of an extra service assignment.
  • Additional Employment - Full-time HCC employees may have additional employment (outside and inside the System), provided they notify their supervisor of the additional employment, and the additional assignment does not interfere with the employee's full-time duties, work schedule, and job performance at HCC.

PROCEDURES

All HCC employees who do not hold written employment contracts authorized by the Board are employed at-will and have no entitlement to continued employment. At-will employees are hired by the Chancellor or designee. At-will employees, including adjunct faculty and staff, may be released or terminated at any time, for any reason or for no reason, but not for an illegal reason.

Only the Chancellor or designee has authority to communicate an offer of employment. Oral representation by college personnel other than the Chancellor or designee are not binding on the Board or the System. The Chancellor shall designate in writing those individuals who are authorized to communicate employment offers.

Applicants pending employment with HCC that require a written contract (as identified by the Chancellor) must be approved by the Board of Trustees prior to beginning their employment.

Faculty applicants pending employment with HCC that require a written contract will receive a conditional job offer to begin their assignment immediately pending final approval by the Board of Trustees.

All other applicants (non-contract) are employed at-will and may begin their assignments immediately without Board approval. The HCC Human Resources, Employment Services Department is authorized by the Chancellor as a designee for making official offers for employment at HCC.

HCC employees are classified as defined above. These classifications are intended to be descriptive and shall not be used to create rights or entitlements not otherwise provided in these policies. In particular, use of these descriptions is not intended to alter the at-will status of any employee.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.05.4 Probationary Period

Date Approved/Updated: August 2013
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.5 Status, Assignments and Duties


C.5 Status, Assignments and Duties - See Board Policies

 

PURPOSE

This purpose of this procedure is to provide a period of time for job adjustment and an opportunity for both the new employee and the supervisor to determine whether to continue the at-will employment relationship.

APPLICABILITY

All full-time staff, contracted faculty, and contracted non-faculty serve a Probationary period beginning with the initial date of employment with HCC.

DEFINITIONS

  • Probationary Period - Probationary Period allows the supervisor time to assess the employee's performance and overall suitability to successfully meet requirements and standards of the position.  The period also provides the employee with the opportunity to experience working at the College, the work unit and position, to assess if the position meets expectations.  During this period, the employment relationship is not subject to the requirements of HCC's Progressive Discipline Procedure. The employee serves at the pleasure of the Chancellor, has no property interest in the employment, and may be terminated for any reason not otherwise prohibited by law.
  • At-will Employment - All HCC employees who do not hold written employment contracts authorized by the Board are employed at-will and have no entitlement to continued employment. At-will employees are hired by the Chancellor or designee. At-will employees, including adjunct faculty and staff, may be released or terminated at any time, with or without advance notice, for any reason or for no reason, but not for an illegal reason.

GENERAL

Probationary Period for Staff

All full-time staff, including contracted non-faculty will commence their initial full-time employment with the College for a six-month (6) Probationary period. During this six-month (6) Probationary period, employees will be evaluated by their supervisor at the end of the third (3rd) month, mid-point and sixth (6th) month of employment.


Probationary Period for Faculty

All contracted faculty will commence their initial full-time employment with the College for a traditional academic semester or four (4)-month Probationary period, whichever comes first. During this period, employees will be evaluated by their supervisor at the end of the second (2) month, mid-point and fourth months (4) of employment.

While on a Probationary status, the employment relationship is not subject to the requirements of HCC's Progressive Discipline Procedure. The employee serves at the pleasure of the Chancellor, has no property interest in the employment, and may be terminated for any reason not otherwise prohibited by law.

NOTE: Upon successful completion of this Probationary period, unless otherwise contracted with HCC, the employee will continue as an at-will employee.

Responsibility of Supervisor

During the Probationary Period the supervisor shall orient and train the new employee so he/she is familiar with the work assignments and the accepted standards of performance and behavior.   The supervisor appraises the employee's:

  • Ability to learn and perform expected job duties
  • Quality and timeliness  of work products
  • Attendance/punctuality
  • Work habits and behaviors
  • Other attributes specific to the requirements of the job

Supervisor is responsible for meeting with employee and formally evaluating performance in writing at the mid-point and end of the probationary period.  The Probationary Employee Evaluation - PEP form is to be used for performance planning, coaching and feedback during this time.  During the probationary period, supervisory evaluation is to be recorded on the Probationary Employee Evaluation Form, developed by Human Resources.

Termination of Probationary Period

Probation terminates at the end of the day prior to the six (6) month (full-time staff and contracted non-faculty) and four (4) month (contracted faculty) anniversary date of initial employment, or the last day of the same month, whichever comes first.

Termination of Employment

Neither the employee nor the College is obligated to continue employment through the Probationary Period. An employee may resign at any time during the Probationary Period, for any reason without prejudice. If an employee is deemed to be unsatisfactory prior to the completion of the Probationary period, the supervisor may recommend, after reviewing the case with HCC Human Resources Director or his/her designee, the dismissal of the employee without advance notice or without any progressive discipline as outlined in HCC procedure provided the reason for termination is not an illegal reason or prohibited by law.  Pursuant to HCC Procedure C.21.3 Termination and Nonrenewal, the decision of the Chancellor is final.

Benefit Eligibility 

Participation in employee benefits begins for the Probationary employee in accordance with the policies and procedures pertaining to each specific benefit even though the Probationary period has not expired.

Transfer

A Probationary employee may not transfer to another position during the Probationary period. For further information, see C.03.2 Hiring Practices - Full-time Employees (Staff & Faculty).  

Contract Employees

The initial appointment Probationary period for any contract employee shall be in accordance with the terms of said contract.

Leave 

The only leave that may be approved during the Probationary period is accrued Sick, Vacation and Bereavement leave.

No Extension Permitted 

Employees are permitted only an initial Probationary period when first employed with HCC. The Probationary period may not be extended by the department or the employee.  If the employee leaves Houston Community College during the Probation period and subsequently returns, he/she will be required to serve another complete Probationary period.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOTICE

Unless otherwise specifically stated in a written contract, all HCC employment is at-will.  As an at-will employee, you will be free to terminate your employment with HCC at any time, with or without cause or advance notice. Likewise, HCC has the right to reassign you, to change your compensation, or to terminate your employment at any time, with or without cause or advance notice but not for an illegal reason (or not prohibited by law).

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

Hiring Part-Time

C.02 Equal Employment Opportunities

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/May 2012
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.2 Equal Employment Opportunities


Equal Employment Opportunities - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The policy on Equal Employment Opportunity is a commitment by the Board of Trustees and the Administration that the employment standards, procedures and practices of the college be applied in a manner which will assure equal opportunities for all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity and gender expression, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

HCC will seek qualified persons for each position based on the criteria of job-related standards of education, training, experience or personal qualifications.

Any questions concerning employment discrimination should be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.1 Hiring Practices - Part-time Employees (Staff & Faculty)

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


C.3 Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To ensure that all hiring practices are being followed in accordance with HCC Policy and Procedures. It is to be used to outline the steps involved in the Hiring Process for Part-Time New Hires and Returning Staff and Faculty:

APPLICABILITY

This procedures applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Part-Time Recommendation (PTR) - the PTR is an document used to designee the employee's part-time job assignment. The document includes the job title, budget number, start/end dates, pay rate, etc.
  • "New" Staff and Faculty - "New" means NEVER worked for HCC, or had a break in service of more than twelve months.
  • "Former" Staff - "Former" for staff means the employee had a break in service of more than one (1) day but less than twelve (12) months.
  • "Former" Faculty - "Former" for faculty means the employee had a break in service of more than one (1) semester (summer sessions not included) or less than twelve (12) months).
  • Official Transcript - an original transcript that states the degree has been conferred and date. An official transcript will contain the school's official seal and the Registrar's signature.

PROCEDURES

Step 1 - Hiring Supervisor

For New Staff
When a department is in need of a new part-time employee to handle any seasonal heavy workload, assist in a project to meet deadlines, or any other unexpected circumstance, the manager should consult with the assigned HR Generalist to review the list of approved part-time positions and job descriptions, and to discuss process requirements. With the information obtained from the HR Generalist, the department head or hiring supervisor develops the employment package containing all the necessary documents and/or forms. (PTR, copy of on-line application, Employment Eligibility Form I-9, copies of identification and social security card, Salary Reduction Form, Direct Deposit or Cash Pay Form and W-4 form, etc.).

A complete list of required documents can be found on the Processing Checklist - Staff at the following here.

The Hiring Supervisor or his/her designee conducts reference checks on at least two (2) of the past employers. One of the references must be for a position that is relevant to the position for which the applicant has applied.

Before releasing the paperwork to the Budget Authority, the hiring supervisor is required to include an approval e-mail from the Employee Records department regarding drug testing results (if the position is on the list of safety and security sensitive positions), and/or fingerprinting results.

It is the responsibility of the hiring supervisor to notify his/her employee of the drug testing (if applicable) and fingerprinting/criminal background check requirement.

  1. Drug Testing
    For drug testing, the hiring supervisor will complete a Drug Testing Service Request/Employer Authorization Form. The supervisor will provide the employee with a deadline date and will include the date at the top of the form. The deadline to take the drug test must be three (3) business days from the date the job offer was made. The applicant must complete the drug testing requirement (if applicable) before he/she can begin working. Once the form is completed, the supervisor will fax the form to the lab facility and the Employee Records department. The supervisor will attach the Drug Testing Authorization form and the confirmation sheet to the applicant's new hire paperwork. The applicant will be required to take a copy of the completed form with him/her to the lab facility or a drug test will not be administered. The supervisor will not release the new hire paperwork to the Budget Authority until he/she receives an e-mail from the Employee Records department stating the employee's drug testing results have been approved.
  2. Fingerprinting/Criminal Background Check
    The new employee must complete the fingerprinting requirement before he/she can begin working. Upon making the conditional job offer, the supervisor will submit an e mail to employeerecords@hccs.edu with the following information: new employee's name, date of birth, current/valid e-mail address of new employee, anticipated start date, and job title. The Employee Records department will send an e-mail to the employee with detailed fingerprinting instructions and a deadline date. The deadline date is five (5) business days from the e mail notification date. The supervisor will not release the new hire paperwork to the Budget Authority until he/she receives an e-mail from the Employee Records department stating the employee's fingerprinting results have been approved. The supervisor will attach the e-mail to the applicant's new hire paperwork.

For Former Staff
The Part-time Recommendation Form is required along with additional employment documents. A list of required documents can be found on the Processing Checklist.

The drug testing (if applicable) and/or fingerprinting/criminal background check requirement applies to Former Staff if the employee had not completed the HCC requirement previously. .See steps A and B above.

For New Faculty
When a department is in need of a new part-time instructor or faculty member to teach a class, or a continuing education course, the Hiring Supervisor consults with the assigned HR Generalist in his/her college. Upon selecting the right candidate the department prepares all the necessary documents or forms required for a new hire or returning faculty member (re-hire) to initiate the hiring process.

A complete list of required documents can be found on the Processing Checklist - Faculty.

The Hiring Supervisor or his/her designee conducts reference checks on at least two (2) of the past employers. One of the references must be for a position that is relevant to the position for which the applicant has applied.

Before releasing the paperwork to the Budget Authority, the hiring supervisor is required to include an approval e-mail from the Employee Records department regarding drug testing results &#(if the position is on the list of safety and security sensitive positions), and/or fingerprinting results.

It is the responsibility of the hiring supervisor to notify his applicant/employee of the drug testing (if applicable) and fingerprinting/criminal background check requirement.

  1. Drug Testing
    For drug testing, the hiring supervisor will complete a Drug Testing Service Request/Employer Authorization Form. The supervisor will provide the employee with a deadline date and will include the date at the top of the form. The deadline to take the drug test must be three (3) business days from the date the job offer was made. The applicant must complete the drug testing requirement (if applicable) before he/she can begin working. Once the form is completed, the supervisor will fax the form to the lab facility and the Employee Records department. The supervisor will attach the Drug Testing Authorization form and the confirmation sheet to the applicant's new hire paperwork. The applicant will be required to take a copy of the completed form with him/her to the lab facility or a drug test will not be administered. The supervisor will not release the new hire paperwork to the Budget Authority until he/she receives an e-mail from the Employee Records department stating the employee's drug testing results have been approved.
  2. Fingerprinting/Criminal Background Check
    The new employee must complete the fingerprinting requirement before he/she can begin working. Upon making the conditional job offer, the supervisor will submit an e-mail to employeerecords@hccs.edu with the following information: new employee's name, date of birth, current/valid e-mail address of new employee, anticipated start date, and job title. The Employee Records department will send an e-mail to the employee with detailed fingerprinting instructions and a deadline date. The deadline date is five (5) business days from the e-mail notification date. The supervisor will not release the new hire paperwork to the Budget Authority until he/she receives an e-mail from the Employee Records department stating the employee's fingerprinting results have been approved. The supervisor will attach the e-mail to the applicant's new hire paperwork.

For Former Faculty
The Part-Time Recommendation Form is required each semester, or any time an assignment change occurs.

A complete list of required documents can be found on the Processing Checklist - Faculty.

Step 2 - Budget Authority

The employment package is submitted to the Budget Authority to be reviewed for funding approval. Any changes in funding requires Budget Authority approval.

Step 3 - COO
Completed paperwork is forwarded to the Dean/Director/COO to approve or deny the request. Availability of funds in the budget as well as usage of the correct budget number will be verified.For grant funded positions, the COO interfaces with the Grant Accounting Department to verify availability of grant funds.

Step 4 - HR Generalist
The HR Generalist receives all the documents and forms in the employment package from the Budget Authority and reviews for accuracy, completeness and compliance to established policy, procedures and regulations.

The HR Generalist forwards the employment package to the President, Vice Chancellor and/or administrative equivalent for approval.

Step 5 - President's Office
The President's Office or designee forwards the approved employment package to the Human Resources Employee Record's Department (for New Hire Staff/Faculty paperwork), or the Compensation department (for Former Staff/Faculty paperwork).

Step 6 - Compensation
After review of required documents, Employee Record's forwards the new hire employment paperwork to the HR Compensation Department for employee set-up and data input.

Step 7 - Benefits, Payroll, Employee Records (Staff)
The appropriate materials from the employment package are sent from the HR Compensation Department to the appropriate departments for processing.

Step 8 - Credentialing (Faculty only)
Paperwork is sent to the Faculty Credentialing Office for certification of faculty to teach at HCC.

Step 9 - Benefits, Payroll, Employee Records (Faculty)
The appropriate materials from the employment package are sent from the HR Compensation Department to the appropriate departments for processing.

For more comprehensive step-by-step procedures, please refer to Hiring Process Information, Processing Part-Time Recommendations, etc. at here.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.2 Employment Eligibility (Authorization to Work)

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To ensure that HCC employs individuals who are eligible to work in the United States.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all full-time and part-time faculty and staff.

DEFNITIONS

  • Employment Eligibility Form I-9 (I-9) - is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration form used by an employer to verify an employee's identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States
  • Hiring supervisor - the person who hires the employee and whose signature appears on Part-Time Recommendation form as the person requesting the hire (i.e. department chair, manager, etc.).

PROCEDURES

Eligibility Requirements
All newly hired employees or former full-time and part-time employees that are rehired must complete an Employment Eligibility Form (I-9) at the time of hire. See part-time hiring procedures for the definition of "former."

When completing the I-9 form, Section 1 must be fully and properly completed and signed by the employee. In order for employers to complete Section 2, employees must present original documents (from List A or Lists B and C) that establish identity and employment eligibility.

Copies of documents cannot be accepted. The documents must be presented within three (3) business days of the date employment begins. If the employee cannot present the documents within the required time period; employment will end.

Full-time Employees
Full-time employees will be asked to present the required documents during the General New Employee Orientation (GNEO), on their first day of work. A representative from the Human Resources Department will be responsible for completing Section 2 of the I-9 form. If the employee cannot provide the documents by the end of the GNEO, he/she will be required to bring the documents to the HR Employment Services office no later than the close of business on his/her third day of employment.

Part-time Employees
For individuals hired as part-time employees, the hiring supervisor, not a designee, will be responsible for completing Section 2 of the I-9 form.

Hiring Supervisor Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the hiring supervisor to ensure the person is eligible to work in the United States by:

  • verifying that all required documents
  • completing the I-9 form is no later than the close of business on the employee's third day of employment

If the hiring supervisor is not sure if the documents submitted are acceptable, the HR Generalist should be contacted. The HR Generalist may subsequently consult with the Manager of Employee Records for an official decision.

Acceptable Documents
All documents presented for verification must be originals and have unexpired expiration dates at the time of hire, otherwise employment is not allowed.

Document copies cannot be accepted. A list of acceptable documents required to complete the form I-9 is located on the back of the form I-9 or found on the U.S. Customs & Immigration website at www.uscis.gov. Click on Immigration Forms, Fees and Fingerprints, then I-9.

Social security cards that state "Valid with DHS (Department of Homeland Security) or INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Approval," indicates the employee must show proof that he/she is authorized to work in the United States.

F-1 Visa
The F-1 Visa is issued to allow individuals into the United States to obtain an education. Individuals holding F-1 Visas are allowed to work on a part-time basis during the fall and spring semesters and full-time during the summer semesters, as long as the employer and educational institution are the same.

Individuals holding an F-1 Visa who have been offered employment at HCC must submit a letter from the HCC International Student Services office along with the employment paperwork. The letter must verify the employee is currently enrolled as a HCC student and is eligible to work.The letter is valid for one semester only if the assignment begins in the fall semester; or it is valid through August 31st of the same year if the assignment begins in the spring semester.

To remain eligible for employment, the employee is required to submit a new letter to the HR Employee Records Department every August and January.

If the employee's visa status changes, the employee is required to submit the new employment eligibility document to the Employee Records Department upon receipt. If the employee is no longer enrolled at HCC, but still holds an F-1 visa, the person is no longer eligible to work for the institution.

Expired Documents
If eligibility documents expire after the employee is hired (with the exception of a Permanent Resident Card), the employee must present a valid document prior to the expiration of the old document. An original document must be presented to a staff member in the Employee Records Department. If the employee cannot provide a current document, HCC is required to terminate the employment immediately.

H1-B and TN Visas
An H1-B Visa is used by an alien who will be temporarily employed in a specialty occupation. A TN Visa is similar to the H1-B visa, but it is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico. These types of visas require sponsorship from a company in order to bring the person into the United States for employment purposes. HCC is not a sponsoring agency and therefore does not employ individuals with H1-B and TN Visas.

If a person holding a H1-B or TN visa is inadvertently hired, action must be taken immediately to end the person's employment.The hiring supervisor will be held accountable for the violation and his/her budget will be charged if any governmental fines are imposed.

Social Security Cards
In order to report correct information to the Social Security Administration (SSA), HCC requires a copy of Social Security card (made from the original presented to the employer) for every employee. The name and social security number HCC reports to the SSA must match exactly the information found in the SSA database.

Consequences for Failure to Comply
Upon discovery that a hiring supervisor has not complied with the I-9 form completion guidelines set forth in these procedures, a letter noting the nature of the violation will be issued from the Human Resources Department to the hiring supervisor. The hiring supervisor's manager and president of the college will be copied. If a second violation occurs, the Deputy Chancellor, along with the president of the college and the hiring supervisor's manager will be notified. A letter will be sent to the hiring supervisor noting his/her second violation. A copy of the second letter will remain in the employee's personnel file. A third violation will result in disciplinary action that may include termination.

Fines for Violations
If HCC is audited by the federal government and a violation incurs a fine, the total amount of the fine will be deducted directly from the responsible hiring supervisor's budget.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.3 Pre & Post Employment Criminal History Background Check, Fingerprinting & Drug Testing

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/July 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To ensure that HCC remains in compliance with all State and/or Federal Laws, SACS Guidelines, and HCC Policies and Procedures pertaining to employment eligibility.

APPLICABILITY

This procedures applies to all HCC faculty, staff, workstudy, and applicants.

DEFINITIONS

  • "Conviction" means a finding of guilt or acceptance by the court of a plea of guilty or no contest.
  • Safety and Security Sensitive Positions" are positions that are restricted to those described in Texas Education Code 51.215(c) as positions in which the employee handles money, has access to a computer terminal, has access to a master key, or works in a safety and security sensitive position designated by HCC.
  • "Hit" means criminal history activity found in the Department of Public Safety's Fingerprinting Clearinghouse.

PROCEDURES

Required Pre-Employment Criminal History Background Check, Fingerprinting & Drug Testing

All external and internal applicants selected for full-time and part-time employment are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal history background check & fingerprinting prior to the first day of employment. Any falsification of application information or credentials, or failure to make full disclosure of criminal history shall be grounds to deny or terminate employment, in the position applied for, or the HCC job currently held. If applying for a safety and security sensitive position, a pre-employment drug test will also be required, along with the pre-employment criminal history background check & fingerprinting prior to the first day of employment.

The Human Resources Department shall compile and disseminate to all HCC locations, a list of employment positions in which an employee may be required to perform "safety and security sensitive" duties or functions as defined in HCC's Drug and Alcohol Policy. The Human Resources Department will review and update, as needed, the list of employment positions on an annual basis in consultation with supervisory personnel from departments in which employees performing safety and security sensitive duties or functions are employed. Supervisors shall post the current list of employment positions requiring the performance of safety and security sensitive duties or functions in a visible location available for employee inspection and review.

Required Post-Employment Criminal History Background Check, Fingerprinting & Drug Testing

All current full-time and part-time employees are required to comply with HCC Policy C:2.3 Qualifications, as well as State and Federal Laws related to the Texas Education Code 22.085, and must undergo a criminal history background check and fingerprinting as a condition of continued employment. If the current employee's position is deemed a safety and security sensitive position, a drug test will also be required.

HCC Contact Person

The Manager of Employee Records is the HCC contact person for the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug-testing program, as well as for the company in charge of drug testing, with the exception of HCC positions that are regulated by the Department and Public Safety and the Department of Transportation. The department's administrator will manage the required drug and/or alcohol testing to maintain state and/or federal regulations.

The pre-employment drug testing group includes employees who have been offered employment in safety and security sensitive positions (including those who work with motor-driven vehicles or with weapons).

The post-employment drug testing group includes employees moving to a new position or assuming new duties that fall under the safety and security sensitive position category.

The following drug and alcohol testing protocols will be followed by HCC:

  • Consent
    Any applicant or employee requested to submit to drug and/or alcohol testing shall sign a consent form (i.e. HCC Application for Employment) prior to being tested.  The HR Employee Records department is responsible for issuing an Employer's Authorization for Treatment form to the applicant or employee to take to the laboratory.  This form will allow the test to be performed and the results to be sent to the District for its use in evaluating the applicant or employee for initial or continued employment. 
  • Privacy in Testing
    Employees will be afforded privacy in providing urine samples such that he or she may not be viewed while providing the sample unless HCC or its representative has reason to believe the employee will attempt to alter or substitute the sample. Such reasons include:
    • When the employee has presented a urine specimen that falls outside the normal temperature range (32 - 38 C / 90 - 100 F) and the employee declines to provide a measurement of oral body temperature or the employee's oral body temperature varies by more than 1 C / 1.8 F from the temperature of the specimen
    • A urine specimen provided by an employee on a previous occasion was determined by the laboratory to have specific gravity of less than 1.003 and a creatinine concentration below .2g/L
    • Collection site personnel observe conduct clearly and unequivocally indicating an attempt to substitute or altercate the sample
    • Where the employee has previously been determined to have used a controlled substance without medical authorization and the test is a follow-up test upon or after return to service
    • Employees shall not bring personal items such as briefcases, purses, book bags, or other containers into the testing area. Employees shall also be required to remove all personal effects from their pockets prior to entering the collection site. Other appropriate measures, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and regulations, may also be taken to prevent dilution and/or contamination of samples

Processing of Samples

  • Collection of urine samples will be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR part 40, including utilization of a split sample. Upon receipt of the urine sample from the person being screened, the person supervising the screening will test the temperature of the urine and initiate the processing of the sample. The sample will be sealed, and the person supervising the sample will sign the sealed sample. The sample will be labeled with a control number, the date, and the time the specimen was obtained. The seal will be broken only by the individual performing the analysis.
  • All drug tests will be conducted by a laboratory certified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), also commonly referred to as a "NIDA-certified" laboratory. The laboratory will be instructed to initially perform an immunoassay test known as an "EMIT" screen. If the EMIT screen is positive, the results will be confirmed by a second test utilizing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).

The laboratory shall be instructed to perform only tests relating to the presence of the illegal drugs listed below, and under no circumstances shall the laboratory be permitted to perform additional tests. In instances where the employee has failed to comply with HCC's requirements regarding reporting of legal drugs, such drugs will be treated as illegal drugs until such time as the employee can offer credible evidence of the contrary.

When drug and/or alcohol screening is required, a urinalysis and/or EBT will be given to detect the presence of the drugs listed below. Confirmatory tests will be performed only in the event the initial screen is positive. A positive result means that a specimen has been found to contain the drugs and/or their metabolites in excess of the levels set forth below and has been reviewed and verified by the MRO or a BAT. These screening levels are subject to change by HCC as advances in technology or other considerations warrant identification of those substances at other concentrations.

Drug Class Range Unit
Cocaine metabolites 300 ng/ml
Amphetamines (Class) 1,000 ng/ml
Barbiturates 300 ng/ml
Benzodiazepines 300 ng/ml
Marijuana Metabolite 50 ng/ml
Opiates 2,000 ng/ml
Phencyclidine 25 ng/ml
Propoxyphene/Metabolite 300 ng/ml
Methadone 300 ng/ml
Methaqualone 300 ng/ml

Reporting of Results

The laboratory will report the results of the test to a Medical Review Officer (MRO). An MRO is a physician, not associated with the laboratory, who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate training to interpret and evaluate a confirmed positive test along with the individual's medical history and related biomedical information.

All information from an employee's drug or alcohol test(s) is confidential, and only those HCC officials with a specific need to know may be informed of screening results by the MRO or BAT. Disclosure of test results to any other person or organization is prohibited unless written authorization is obtained from the employee tested or as provided by applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

All records relating to the taking of a drug and/or alcohol screen shall be deemed confidential, unless written authorization has been obtained from the person, except in accordance with applicable laws and regulations or if the records become the subject of an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Records will be maintained by the Human Resources Department and access to the records shall be limited as set forth herein.

Consequences of a Confirmed Positive Test Result

If an employee receives a confirmed positive breath test for alcohol, the employee being tested may, at his or her option and expense, be taken to a medical facility or laboratory selected and approved by Houston Community College for blood analysis. Samples for such blood analysis must be provided within one hour after the BAT verifies the confirmed positive. The samples will be taken in a private examining room by medically trained personnel who are certified to withdraw blood by needle from a person. If the employee opts to undergo blood analysis in such cases, the employee will be suspended pending the results. The results of the blood analysis shall control for disciplinary purposes.

An applicant or employee who has a positive result after an initial drug screening by the EMIT and a confirmatory test using the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test, which is then verified by an MRO, the employee may, at his or her own option and expense, opt to have the second portion of his or her split urine sample tested by a second DHHS-certified laboratory.

The employee must exercise this option within 72 hours after he or she is informed of the verified positive, or this option is waived. If the employee opts to have the second portion of his or her split urine sample tested, the final results of the second test shall control for disciplinary purposes.

An applicant who has a positive result after an initial drug screening by the EMIT and a confirmatory test using the GC/MC test which is then verified by an MRO, or who tests positive for alcohol, shall not be eligible for employment by Houston Community College.

In the event an employee is not terminated after receiving a positive, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, or random test result, such employee must submit to return-to-duty and/or follow-up testing, prior to performing a safety and security sensitive function. Such employees must also successfully complete the treatment and/or counseling, if any, recommended by the SAP.

Use of Prescription Drugs

  • An employee engaged in the performance of a safety and security sensitive function must:
    • Report all therapeutic drug use, whether prescription or nonprescription, to his or her immediate supervisor or department administrator; and,
    • Only report for duty or remain on duty while under the influence of a legal drug if such drug is authorized by a licensed physician in accordance with a prescription specifically for that employee's use and the physician has advised that the drug does not affect the employee's ability to perform work in a safe manner.

    Employees should be reminded that the taking of another person's prescribed medication is not an acceptable reason for having a positive test; this is an illegal use of controlled substances, and is a felony violation of law.

    In addition, persons employed in positions specifically designated as safety and security sensitive, as defined by Texas Education Code 51.215 (i.e., employees who handle currency, have access to a computer terminal, have access to a master key, or who work in an area of HCC that has been designated as safety and security sensitive) may be required to provide a complete set of fingerprints.

    All current HCC employees (full-time, temporary full-time and part-time, to include work-study students) are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal history background & fingerprinting check, and a pre-employment drug test (if the position is safety and security sensitive) when offered the job.

    All part-time and full-time employees who are rehired and had a break in service from HCC for 365 days or more, are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal background check, fingerprinting (unless the HCC fingerprinting requirement has already been met), and a pre-employment drug test, if the position is considered safety and security sensitive.

    Adjunct faculty who are serving in safety and security sensitive positions and who have met the required pre-employment criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug testing with a break in service of 364 days or less would not be required to undergo another drug test for re-employment.  However, any break in service would require the Human Resources Department to review fingerprinting results provided by the Department of Public Safety's Clearinghouse for possible new "hits."

    Notice to Applicants

    For all posted positions, the Human Resources Department will ensure that all advertisements include the following phrase or similar language: "All applicants selected for employment are required to undergo a pre-employment criminal history background check, fingerprinting, and possibly a pre-employment drug test, if the position is a safety and security sensitive position."

    For all non-posted positions, the department that is filling the position will notify applicants selected for employment about the pre-employment criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug testing policy prior to being tested.

    Application Requirements

    Before an applicant is considered for a position, he or she must fully and truthfully complete an employment application and sign it by checking the signature box at the bottom of the online application, which provides HCC's written consent to perform both a pre and post criminal history background check, fingerprinting and pre- employment drug testing, if appropriate to the position. The application also requires the applicant to disclose any prior conviction, as defined herein, or pending charges for any criminal offense other than a traffic ticket.

    If an applicant refuses to sign the Application for Employment and the consent to submitting to a pre-criminal background check, fingerprinting and a drug test, if appropriate, the employment process will be terminated.

    Notice to Applicants
    If an employee refuses to submit to a post criminal history background check & fingerprinting, his/her employment may be terminated as the requirement is a condition of employment.

    Conditional Offer of Employment

    Full-time Hires
    For full-time hires - Once the hiring authority selects an applicant for employment and all proper paperwork is complete, Employment Services will contact the applicant and make a conditional job offer. All job offers are conditional upon successful completion and approval of the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug test, if applicable.

    Part-time Hires
    For part-time hires - Once the hiring authority selects an applicant for employment and all proper paperwork is complete, the hiring authority will contact the applicant and make a conditional job offer. All job offers are conditional upon successful completion and approval of the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and drug test, if applicable.

    Convictions (Pre-Employment Criminal History & Fingerprinting Checks)
    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) is found to be a prohibited violation of the Texas Education Code 22.085, the applicant will be deemed ineligible for employment.

    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) includes a conviction for a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, the Director of Employment Services in conjunction with HCC General Counsel will determine if the conviction causes the applicant to be ineligible for employment.  The Director of Employment Services may seek to obtain additional information to make a decision.

    Convictions (Post-Employment Criminal History & Fingerprinting Checks)
    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) is found to be a prohibited violation of the Texas Education Code 22.085, an Intent to Terminate letter will be sent by certified mailed to the employee, who will be given thirty (30) days to provide the Director of Employment Services with substantial official/certified (in original state) evidence and/or records that show the information used in making the determination was incorrect.

    If the result(s) of the criminal history background check (by fingerprinting or any other type of criminal history background check) includes a conviction for a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, the Director of Employment Services in conjunction with HCC General Counsel will determine if the conviction causes the applicant to be ineligible for employment. The Director of Employment Services may seek to obtain additional information to make a decision.

    Prohibited Criminal Record
    An applicant is ineligible for employment if he or she:

    • Has a felony violation as prohibited by the requirements of the Texas Education Code 22.085,
    • Has been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or any offense that involved the use or possession of an unlawful weapon or firearm (hereinafter "prohibited offense");
    • Has a pending charge for a prohibited offense;
    • Is currently on probation or parole (including deferred adjudication probation) for a prohibited offense;
    • Has been convicted of any other serious offense as determined by HCC General Counsel.

    Discrepancies in Criminal History Background
    When it is discovered that an applicant failed to fully disclose his or her complete adult criminal history record, which includes any convictions where the applicant was tried as an adult before the age of 17, is grounds to deny or terminate employment due to falsification of the application.

    Once hired, if an employee commits a felony or misdemeanor involving violations according to the Texas Education Code 22.085 or moral turpitude, it must be immediately reported in writing to the employee's direct supervisor. The supervisor must report all information to the Director of Employment Services. Failure to report information within three (3) business days by employee and/or supervisor may be considered grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination depending on the seriousness and nature of offense.

    Confidentiality of Pre Employment Criminal History Background, Fingerprinting and Drug Test Information
    All information collected under these procedures shall be used for the exclusive purpose of evaluating the individual for employment. The information shall remain confidential and shall not be released or otherwise disclosed, except to persons involved in gathering and reviewing the information, and except as required by law. Any employee who releases information or causes information to be released pursuant to this procedure may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

    Inaccurate or Incomplete Results
    An applicant who believes his or her results from the criminal history background check, fingerprinting and/or drug test are inaccurate or incomplete has the sole responsibility of coordinating and following the procedures as indicated by the facility or lab. HCC is not obligated to hold a position or an offer open.

    OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.03.2.4 Retention of Employee Personnel Records

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.3 Hiring Practices


Hiring Practices - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance on the retention of employee personnel records.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

PROCEDURES

Retention of Records

All personnel files for current HCC employees are stored in a secured area at the 3100 Main Administration building. All personnel documents maintained by the Human Resources Employee Records department are considered "official" records. All documents contained in each employee's personnel file are the property of HCC.

Personnel files for all former employees are maintained in a secured area. Personnel files are maintained on-site in the Employee Records Department for two years following the employee's end date. After two years. the file is purged and stored in a secured off-site facility.

An employee may view his/her file during office hours by contacting a staff member in the Employee Records department to request an appointment to view the file. Prior to viewing the file, the employee will complete Form HCCS-HR-500, Request to View Employee Personnel File. The employee will be asked to sign the form acknowledging his/her understanding that the file is the property of Houston Community College. The employee may not remove or modify any document(s) in his/her file. Documents must adhere to the established standards in order to be added to the appropriate personnel file. To ensure safety and security of personnel records, files must be viewed in the presence of a representative from the Human Resources Employee Records Department.

If an employee requests to view their file after it has been archived, there may be up to a three to four day delay in retrieving the file. A staff member in the Employee Records Department will arrange a file viewing in conjunction with the delivery of the off-site stored documents.

A supervisor of an employee, or a supervisor of a position the employee has applied for within HCC, or a college official with legitimate business reasons, may view an employee's personnel file. It is recommended that the supervisor/college official schedule an appointment with the Employee Records Department prior to viewing the requested file. This will allow a staff member in the Employee Records Department adequate time to verify the person making the request meets the above-mentioned criteria. The individual will be asked to complete the supervisor's version of form HCCS-HR-500 (Request to View Employee Personnel File) prior to viewing the file.

At no time can any document be permanently removed from the employee's personnel file.

An employee may request a copy of any document in his/her personnel file. There will be a nominal charge of $.10 per sheet assessed to the employee when the number of copies made reaches fifty (50) or more. If the number of copies exceeds fifty (50), an "Other Personnel Charge" will be assessed, which is $15 per hour for locating, compiling and reproducing the materials, plus $.10 per copy.

Documents from other employees or outside entities will not be placed in an employee's file without the specific approval of the Manager of Employee Records or in certain cases, the Chief Human Resources Officer.

HCC is a state institution and is subject to the Public Information Act (PIA). The definition states a public record as being the portion of any document, letter, memorandum, or other written, printed, typed, copied, or developed material that contains public information. This means that the majority of information collected and maintained by HCC is available to the public by definition.

The employee does have a right to deny public access to his/her home address, home telephone number, social security and information that reveals whether the individual has family members. Social security numbers for all employees are confidential, regardless of whether the employee has requested that HCC deny access to this information. If the employee submitted a completed Public Access Option Form (Form HCCS-HR-501) to the Employee Records Department denying public access to this information, then the information will not be used in published directories. However, HCC may use this information for any official business purpose, such as mailing correspondence and informational documents to an employee's home address. Form HCCS-HR-501 is available in the Human Resources Department.

When a subpoena is received with a request for copies of the employee's personnel file, the Manager of Employee Records will first consult with General Counsel for approval. Once approval has been secured, copies of the requested documents, except benefits and medical information, are made. An additional copy of the requested documents is reproduced and stored in a secured area in the Employee Records Department.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.05 Status, Assignment and Duties

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.5 Status, Assignments and Duties


Status, Assignments and Duties - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The procedure provides specific guidance for fair and equal employment practices in decisions related to the determination of employment status, assignments and duties.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Full-Time Employees - refers to those employees who work a minimum of forty (40) hours per week. Faculty and certain upper-level administrators (as identified by the Chancellor) are employed by written contract. The term of the written contract shall not exceed one (1) year.
  • Temporary Full-Time Employees - employees considered temporary if they are employed for a period of less than the current fiscal year. Non-faculty employees with a temporary assignment of less than four and one-half (4 1/2) months cannot be given an additional assignment within the current fiscal year. Temporary faculty members are eligible for benefits only if the duration of their assignment is four and one-half (4 1/2) months or more.
  • Part-Time Employees - refers to any employee who works less than twenty (20) hours per week to be part-time. Regular status, part-time employees are those who are hired for an indefinite period of time within a single fiscal year. Regular part-time employees are eligible for part-time employee benefits.
  • Temporary Part-Time Employees - refers to individuals who work on a temporary part-time basis, with a schedule of less than twenty (20) hours per week for a definite period of time of less than four and one-half (4 1/2) months within a fiscal year. Non-faculty employees with such a temporary assignment cannot be given an additional assignment within the current fiscal year.
  • Student Workers - students enrolled in HCC and who receive a salary as part of their financial aid package may be employed only in temporary, part-time positions of less than twenty (20) hours per week. Student workers who attend HCC are not eligible for employee benefits, nor do they contribute to Medicare and Social Security.
  • Interim Status - an interim assignment is used only when there is an immediate need to fill a leadership vacancy (i.e., Deans, Directors or above).
  • Interim Assignments - an assignments that shall not last for more than twelve (12) months. The permanent position must be posted not later than ninety (90) days following the interim appointment. Interim employees shall have the opportunity to apply for the regular full-time assignment when posted.
  • Assignments - all employees are subject to assignment and reassignment by the Chancellor or designee at any time. The Chancellor may, from time to time, assign or reassign an employee to other or additional duties for which the employee is professionally certified or otherwise qualified to perform.
  • Extra Service Assignment - is defined as work resulting in extra compensation or stipend and must be approved in writing by the Chancellor or designee. Extra service assignments are terminable at-will. No employee has a property right or entitlement to continuation of an extra service assignment.
  • Additional Employment - Full-time HCC employees may have additional employment (outside and inside the System), provided they notify their supervisor of the additional employment, and the additional assignment does not interfere with the employee's full-time duties, work schedule, and job performance at HCC.

PROCEDURES

All HCC employees who do not hold written employment contracts authorized by the Board are employed at-will and have no entitlement to continued employment. At-will employees are hired by the Chancellor or designee. At-will employees, including adjunct faculty and staff, may be released or terminated at any time, for any reason or for no reason, but not for an illegal reason.

Only the Chancellor or designee has authority to communicate an offer of employment. Oral representation by college personnel other than the Chancellor or designee are not binding on the Board or the System. The Chancellor shall designate in writing those individuals who are authorized to communicate employment offers.

Applicants pending employment with HCC that require a written contract (as identified by the Chancellor) must be approved by the Board of Trustees prior to beginning their employment.

Faculty applicants pending employment with HCC that require a written contract will receive a conditional job offer to begin their assignment immediately pending final approval by the Board of Trustees.

All other applicants (non-contract) are employed at-will and may begin their assignments immediately without Board approval. The HCC Human Resources, Employment Services Department is authorized by the Chancellor as a designee for making official offers for employment at HCC.

HCC employees are classified as defined above. These classifications are intended to be descriptive and shall not be used to create rights or entitlements not otherwise provided in these policies. In particular, use of these descriptions is not intended to alter the at-will status of any employee.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

On Boarding & Termination

C.19.1.2 Required Workplace Skills Training

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.19 Professional Development


Professional Development - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to define required training courses for all HCC employees, including job training, annual ethics training, new employee orientation, new supervisor training and new support staff training.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC employees.

GENERAL

The District recognizes the value of training for all employees in order to provide a work environment conducive to effective and efficient operations. HCC requires periodic training for all employees in workplace skills relevant to its strategic goals and mission. This procedure outlines examples of types of required training.

PROCEDURES

1. Job Training

All directors, department chairs, managers, and supervisors shall familiarize themselves with and practice the techniques of good employee training and development.

  1. It is the responsibility of each department chair/director/supervisor to establish, implement and document a department orientation program. All new employees, including those transferring from other departments, should be oriented and trained on departmental policies, procedures, and regulations.
  2. Each employee should receive a copy of the job description for the position. The supervisor should review the job description with the employee and inform the employee of the performance expected in order to be considered a satisfactory and effective member of HCC.
  3. It is the responsibility of each department chair/director/supervisor to ensure department employees have the skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the job. At a minimum, training should be provided to a new hire, when job conditions change, and when the employee has a performance deficiency resulting from a lack of knowledge, skill or ability.
  4. Continuing education for an employee's personal and professional growth is the mutual responsibility of the employee and the supervisor. Both must ensure that necessary (mandatory) training requirements are met in a timely manner.

2. Annual Ethics Training

Each employee shall attend ethics training at least once per year. It is the responsibility of the HR Department and Office of General Counsel to provide and monitor such training. Ethics training includes, but is not limited to, training in the following topics: Ethical behavior in the workplace, Sexual Harassment, Violence in the Workplace, Diversity, and Equal Employment Opportunity Law. Training may take many formats such as self-paced, on-line, a module within a larger course, a breakout session at an In-service, etc. It is the responsibility of each department chair/supervisor/ manager to ensure each employee completes such ethics training annually.

3. New Employee Orientation

All new hires, both full and part time, must receive orientation to HCC and their jobs. The purpose of orientation is to (1) welcome and make a positive impression on the hew hire, (2) assimilate him/her into the HCC culture and community, (3) provide information, resources and training required to perform the job, and (4) set clear performance expectations. Full-time employees eligible for benefits must attend the 1.5 day General New Employee Orientation (GNEO) the first two days of hire or at the next scheduled session. Administered by the HR/Employee Learning and Organizational Development department, GNEO classes are held twice each month to coincide with the beginning of pay periods. Additional classes can be arranged in extenuating circumstances. A sampling of topics covered include: completing employment and benefits sign-up paperwork; introduction to HCC mission, vision, values, programs and services; employee responsibilities and benefits; safety overview; e-mail and HCC web pages; mandatory EEO/Sexual Harassment training.

Part-time and adjunct faculty new hires should be oriented in their departments. An orientation packet is provided on the HR/ ELOD website.

Departments are responsible for continued orientation and training of new employees. Supervisors/department chairs are responsible for ensuring that the employee completes orientation. It is recommended that each new hire be assigned a "learning buddy" or "faculty contact" to help transition the new person. Complete guidelines and suggestions for new hire orientation can be found here.

4. New Supervisor Training

All new supervisory personnel (either new to the supervisory arena or new to HCC as a supervisor) are required to attend and complete the College Leadership Program (CLP). The College Leadership Program is a certificate program designed to enhance the success of managers, supervisors and department chairs at HCC. Components of the program include core courses, electives, self-development, and supervisory coaching and guidance. Information on the CLP can be found here.

5. Executive Leadership Training/Development

Executive leadership development can take many forms, such as individual coaching, enrollment in off-site leadership programs, attending presentations of well-known speakers, Communities of Practice, workshops, and self-study. The Leadership Excellence Institute, open to a selected number of individuals, supports executive leadership succession planning.

6. New Support Staff Training

All new office support staff (whether a new employee of HCC or an employee who has changed positions at HCC) are required to enroll in and complete the College Office Professionals Program (COPP). The College Office Professionals Program is a certificate program designed to provide new secretarial and administrative support staff with knowledge and practical skills needed to quickly integrate into the HCC workforce. COPP enrollees attend professional development courses and receive peer mentoring and on-the-job training. Information on the COPP can be found here.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.21.3 Termination and Nonrenewal

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/December 2012
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy:C.21 Employee Standards of Conduct


Employee Standards of Conduct - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance as to the process HCC utilizes to process termination and non-renewals of employees.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Voluntary Termination/Resignation/Retirement - Employees who voluntarily terminate employment are expected to provide at least two workweeks' notification to their immediate supervisor.
  • Involuntary Termination - (1) Employees paid a non-contractual salary schedule are employed on an at-will basis. The employment-at-will doctrine is the law of Texas, under which an employer has no duty to an employee regarding continuation of employment. A supervisor proposing the termination of a full-time subordinate shall consult with the appropriate dean or administrator, the Human Resources department, and general counsel to review the circumstances and documentation, if any, giving rise to the proposal to terminate. The proposal shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor or President, as appropriate, for approval or disapproval. (2) Contractual employees who are recommended for termination during the contract term shall be afforded written notice of the reasons for the termination and an opportunity for a hearing prior to any termination decision being implemented. The notice and hearing shall comport with constitutional due process requirements. The Chancellor shall prepare specific procedures governing the termination of contractual employees.
  • "Non-renewal" refers to HCC's decision not to renew or continue the employment relationship after expiration of a contract.

GENERAL

Termination
Termination of employment may be voluntary or involuntary. The termination date will be the last day the employee worked. Contract employees will be governed by the termination provisions of their individual contracts.

Non-renewal
Except as provided below, if the System determines it is in its best interest to reappoint a faculty member for the next academic year, it shall offer the faculty member a written contract for that academic year not later than thirty (30) days before the first day of the academic year. If the System is unable to provide such notice, it shall:

  1. Provide the faculty member with written notification that the System is unable to comply with the thirty (30) day notice requirement;
  2. Include in the written notification reasons for its inability to comply; and
  3. Specify in the written notification a time by which it will offer a written contract to the faculty member for the applicable academic year.

If the System does not offer the faculty member a written contract before the sixty-first (61st) day after the first day of the academic year, and the System retains the faculty member for that academic year without a written contract, the System must retain the faculty member for that academic year under terms and conditions, including terms governing the faculty member's compensation, that are at least as favorable to the faculty member's employment for the preceding academic year, unless the System and the faculty member subsequently enter into a different written contract.

PROCEDURES

Resignation

Employees who desire to resign are encouraged to provide a minimum of two (2) weeks notice. The employee shall provide a copy of the resignation letter to his or her supervisor. The supervisor shall transmit the resignation to the appropriate administrator and to the Human Resources Department along with a completed Voluntary Termination Form. The resignation cannot be revoked without the consent of the chancellor or his or her designee.

Termination of At-Will Employees
Employees without contracts serve "at will" and may be released or terminated at any time, for any reason or for no reason, but not for an illegal reason. These procedures apply regardless of whether the non-contract employee is full-time or part-time.

A supervisor considering the termination of an employee shall consult with a Human Resources Generalist to review the proposal. The supervisor shall review the relevant evidence and documentation pertaining to the employee's work history. If the proposal is based on an allegation of wrongdoing, the supervisor also shall consider the nature and severity of the misconduct and the outcome of any investigation pertaining to the allegation. If the employee who is being proposed for termination has not previously had an opportunity to respond to the allegations that form the basis of the recommendation to terminate, the supervisor and a Human Resources Generalist, when it is practicable to do so, should obtain the employee's response to the charges against the employee before proceeding with the recommendation to terminate.

The supervisor, in conjunction with a Human Resources Generalist, will prepare a written recommendation summarizing the reasons in support of the recommendation, including, when appropriate, a summary of the evidence or chronology of events pertinent to the recommendation. Supporting documentation shall be attached when appropriate or otherwise relevant to the recommendation.

The recommendation packet shall be reviewed by (i) the appropriate President, Vice-Chancellor or administrative equivalent, (ii) the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee, and (iii) HCC General Counsel. If the proposal is approved, it shall be submitted to the Chancellor or his or her designee for final approval or disapproval. If the proposal is approved, the Human Resources Department shall prepare a notice of termination for the signature of the President, Vice Chancellor, or other administrator with supervisory authority over the affected employee.

The decision of the Chancellor or his or her designee is final. Nothing in this procedure, however, precludes the affected employee from appearing before the Board of Trustees during the hearing of citizens.

Termination of Employees With Contracts

General Provisions
The following specific procedures govern the termination of contractual employees by the College. "Termination" refers to termination of the employment relationship before the ending date specified in the contract.

Terminations shall be based on "good cause," which is any act that is inconsistent with the employer/employee relationship. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Conviction or commission of a felony or of any crime that involves moral turpitude or that is pertinent to the employee's fitness to perform the position to which he is assigned
  2. Immorality, which is conduct not in conformity with the accepted principles of right and wrong behavior and is contrary to the moral standards of the community encompassed by the College;
  3. Habitual or excessive use of a controlled substance, hallucinogens or alcoholic beverages;
  4. Physical assault on an employee, officer, or student;
  5. Unsatisfactory performance of assigned duties despite being given a reasonable opportunity to improve;
  6. Falsification of records, including records regarding the employee's application for employment, regardless of when the falsification is discovered
  7. Failure to comply with directives and requirements of the employee's supervisor; failure to follow established policies and procedures of HCC; repeated and continuing neglect of duties and responsibilities; or insubordination;
  8. Necessary reduction of personnel resulting from bona fide case of financial emergency;
  9. Failure to maintain a required license or certification;
  10. Violation of HCC's policies against harassment and discrimination;
  11. Violation of HCC's policies or guidelines regarding use of technology, including use of computers, cell phones, telephones, cameras, and other electronic devices;
  12. Physical or mental incapacity that prohibits the employee from performing his or her contracted job function;
  13. Excessive absences as defined by HCC policy and procedure (this provision excludes absences that are protected by law);
  14. Failure to follow procedures relating to absences; and
  15. Violation of privacy laws, including laws pertaining to the privacy of student educational records and laws relating to the confidentiality of health information.
  16. Violation of provisions of Texas Education Code Section 22.085, EMPLOYEES AND APPLICANTS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN OFFENSES, and HCC Procedures governing the processing of the applicant and employee fingerprinting procedures.
  17. Failure to comply with HCC procedures regarding fingerprinting for all employees (pre-employment and post-employment) and for drug testing for safety and security sensitive positions.

Termination of Administrators with Contracts: Notice Requirements

The Chancellor or designee shall review the relevant evidence and documentation pertaining to the employee's work history and any allegations of misconduct. If the proposal is based on an allegation of wrongdoing, the Chancellor or designee also shall consider the nature and severity of the misconduct and the outcome of any investigation pertaining to the allegation. The Chancellor or designee shall consult with the Chief Human Resources Officer, General Counsel, and/or Deputy Chancellor as appropriate. Before giving the employee formal written notice of intent to terminate the contract, the Chancellor or designee shall give the affected employee an opportunity to respond to the charges or concerns that form the basis of the recommendation to terminate.

Formal notice of intent to terminate shall consist of a written letter or document that sets forth the proposed action and the grounds for the action and provides sufficient detail to fairly enable the employee to show any errors that may exist. The notice shall be prepared by the Human Resources Department and shall be reviewed by General Counsel; however, in those instances in which the Chief Human Resources Officer is the subject of the proposal, the notice shall be prepared only by General Counsel. The notice shall inform the employee in writing of the opportunity for a hearing to contest the charges. The employee shall have seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the notice to request a hearing. If the employee does not request a hearing within seven (7) business days, the termination shall take effect on the eighth (8th) business day.

If the employee timely requests a hearing, the hearing procedure discussed below in Hearing Procedure for Termination of Contract Employees apply.

Termination of Faculty With Contracts: Notice Requirements

The faculty supervisor shall review the relevant evidence and documentation pertaining to the employee's work history and any allegations of misconduct and evaluate whether good cause exists to terminate the contract. If the proposal is based on an allegation of wrongdoing, the supervisor also shall consider the nature and severity of the misconduct and the outcome of any investigation pertaining to the allegation. The supervisor, in conjunction with a Human Resources Generalist, shall prepare a written recommendation with supporting documentation, when applicable. The recommendation shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Instruction and President for approval or disapproval. If the recommendation is approved, then the proposal shall be submitted to the Chief Human Resources Officer and the General Counsel.
Before giving the faculty member formal written notice of intent to terminate the contract, the faculty supervisor and Human Resources Generalist shall give the affected faculty member an opportunity to respond to the charges or concerns that form the basis of the recommendation to terminate.

Formal notice of intent to terminate shall consist of a written letter or document that sets forth the proposed action and the grounds for the action and provides sufficient detail to fairly enable the employee to show any errors that may exist. The notice shall be prepared by the Human Resources Department and shall be reviewed by General Counsel. The notice shall inform the faculty member in writing of the opportunity for a hearing to contest the charges. The faculty member shall have seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the notice to request a hearing. If the faculty member does not request a hearing within seven (7) business days, the termination shall take effect on the eighth (8th) business day.

Hearing Procedure for Intent to Terminate Contract Employees

(1) Hearings shall be conducted by hearing officers. Hearing officers shall be licensed attorneys in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and shall not have had prior involvement with the events giving rise to the proposal to terminate. The Administration shall inform the employee of the names of two hearing officers who are available to serve during the time in question. The employee shall select one of the individuals on the list. If the employee fails to make a selection within three (3) business days of notification, then the Administration shall select the hearing officer and shall so notify the employee.

(2) The hearing shall be completed within twenty-five (25) calendar days of the appointment of the hearing officer, unless the employee and the administration mutually agree to the extension of time and reasonable grounds support the extension.

(3) While a termination recommendation is pending, the Chancellor or designee may place the affected employee on leave with pay. An employee who is on paid leave shall not impede or unduly delay the holding of the hearing.

(4) At least five (5) days before the hearing, each party shall provide to the other party a witness list and exhibit list. The Administration and employee may be represented by counsel at the hearing at their own cost, and reasonable cross-examination germane to the issues will be permitted. The strict rules of evidence will not apply, although all evidence should be relevant. The hearing officer will rule on objections. The hearing officer may impose reasonable time restrictions regarding the presentation of evidence or argument and may exclude cumulative or repetitive testimony. The hearing shall be closed to the public.

(5) The hearing shall be recorded.

(6) Barring unforeseeable circumstances, the hearing officer shall provide a written recommendation to the Chancellor or designee within ten (10) business days following the conclusion of the hearing. The hearing officer shall state whether he or she believes good cause exists to terminate the contract. A copy of the recommendation shall be provided to the employee.

(7) The Chancellor or designee may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation. If the Chancellor or designee accepts the proposal to terminate, then the termination shall be implemented immediately. The Chancellor's written decision shall be communicated to the employee. The decision of the Chancellor or designee is final. Nothing in this procedure, however, precludes the affected employee from appearing before the Board of Trustees during the hearing of citizens.

Non-renewal of Contracts

Non-renewal of Administrator Contracts

The Chancellor or designee shall provide written notice of non-renewal to affected administrators at least thirty (30) days prior to expiration of the contract. The timeline in this procedure is not contractual in nature but merely is provided to promote an orderly and fair process. In rare circumstances, the Chancellor or designee may find it necessary to reverse a previous decision to renew a contract. This situation is most likely to occur when the Administration becomes aware of employee wrongdoing or performance issues after a contract has been proposed for renewal but before a new contract has been prepared and signed. HCC reserves the right to revoke a proposed renewal any time before the employee has signed a new contract.

If the Chancellor fails to provide either a new contract or written notice of non-renewal, then the affected administrator will continue to be employed but shall have the status of an at-will employee.

Non-renewal of Faculty Contracts

(1) Contract review process

The purpose of this procedure is twofold: (i) to ensure that supervisors carefully evaluate faculty performance before making a non-renewal recommendation and (ii) to ensure that faculty members receive timely notice once a decision has been made.

The faculty supervisor, working in conjunction with the assigned Human Resources Generalist, will review the evidence and documentation and evaluate whether non-renewal is warranted. The supervisor, with the assistance of the Generalist, shall prepare a written recommendation with supporting documentation, when applicable. The non-renewal recommendation shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor of Instruction and President for approval or disapproval. If the recommendation is approved, then the proposal shall be reviewed by the Chief Human Resources Officer and General Counsel.

(2) Notice of Intent to Non-renewal; Notice of Renewal

To ensure that faculty members receive appropriate notice and to provide HR with sufficient time to review and process all recommendations, supervisors must present contract recommendations to Human Resources (HR) as follows: recommendations regarding nine (9) -month faculty members must be presented to HR during the month of January and recommendations regarding twelve (12) -month faculty members must be presented during the month of April.

If the Administration approves a recommendation not to renew a contract, then the Human Resources Department shall prepare the formal written notice of non-renewal. Faculty members with nine (9) -month contracts ordinarily will receive notice of renewal or non-renewal during the spring semester (usually March or April), and faculty members with twelve (12) -month contracts ordinarily will receive notice of renewal or non-renewal in the summer (usually in May or June).

Under the Texas Education Code, faculty members who have been recommended for contract renewal must receive their new contracts for signature no later than thirty (30) days before the first day of the next academic year. (A diagram reflecting this process is attached to this procedure as Appendix A.) HCC's expectation is that all returning, full-time members will have signed their contracts before the first day of the academic year. If the Administration is unable to comply with the deadline for providing a new contract, the Administration shall provide the affected faculty member with written notification of this fact, shall explain why the Administration has been unable to comply with the deadline, and shall specify a time by which the contract will be offered. Delay in issuing a new contract shall be rare and is most likely to happen when the Administration becomes aware of employee wrongdoing or performance issues after the employee's supervisor has recommended renewal of the employee's contract but before a new contract has been signed. HCC may delay execution of a new contract pending an investigation or other review of the circumstances. If HCC determines that renewal is no longer in HCC's best interest, the employee shall receive notice of non-renewal in accordance with this procedure. HCC shall make a final decision regarding the faculty member's status within 60 days of the first day of the academic year (i.e., the employee shall receive a new contract or shall be notified of non-renewal). If the Administration fails to take any action within sixty (60) days of the first day of the academic year, then the faculty member shall continue his or her employment for the remainder of the academic year under terms and conditions that are at least as favorable as the terms and conditions that applied to the faculty member in the previous academic year, unless the faculty member and HCC enter into a new and different written contract.

A notice of non-renewal shall inform the faculty member that he or she has the right to request a grievance hearing to contest the recommendation. The faculty member shall have seven business days from the date of receipt of the written notice to file a written grievance with the office of the Chief Human Resources Officer. If the faculty member does not timely file a grievance, then the non-renewal decision shall become final and non-appealable.

(3) Grievance Rights of Faculty Members who have Received Notice of Intent to Non-Renew

If a faculty member files a grievance within the allowed time, the Vice Chancellor of Instruction or designee will set a time and date for a review meeting within ten (10) business days. The faculty member may have representation at the meeting. The faculty member and Administration may agree to an extension of time.

The faculty member and administration each shall have sixty (60) minutes to present information and evidence regarding the contract non-renewal. Each side may call up to three (3) fact witnesses to address matters directly pertinent to the reasons given for non-renewal. The faculty member and administration must provide written notice of the names of all witnesses at least two (2) business days before the hearing; a copy of the notice must be provided to the Vice Chancellor of Instruction or designee. Cross-examination by the parties is not permitted; however, the Vice Chancellor of Instruction or designee may ask questions of any party or witness.

The Vice Chancellor of Instruction or designee may modify these procedures when, in his or her professional judgment, modification is necessary and appropriate.

Failure of the faculty member to attend the hearing will result in a forfeiture of any appeal rights associated with this procedure.

The Vice Chancellor of Instruction or designee shall render a written decision within ten (10) business days following the date of the review meeting. If the decision is to affirm the recommendation to non-renew, the documentation pertaining to the review process will be forwarded to the Chancellor, and a final notice of non-renewal will be sent to the faculty member. If the decision is to not affirm the recommendation to non-renew, the documentation will be returned to the appropriate supervising authority with an alternative recommendation approved by the Vice Chancellor of Instruction and the Chief Human Resources Officer.

The pendency of a request for a grievance hearing will not delay expiration of the employee's contract. Accordingly, if the employee's contract expires by its own terms prior to the holding of the review meeting, the employee's compensation shall cease.

Administrative Leave With or Without Pay
The Chancellor or designee may place an at-will employee on administrative leave without or with pay when the Chancellor or designee determines such placement to be in the best interest of Houston Community College and/or employee. The Chancellor or designee may place a contract employee on administrative leave with pay when the Chancellor or designee determines such action to be in the best interest of HCC. The Chancellor has delegated authority to approve recommendations for administrative leave to the Chief Human Resources Officer and Deputy Chancellor.

Re-employment
Terminated employees seeking re-employment shall be subject to the hiring practices in effect at the time of reapplying. Employees who are terminated for misconduct or performance reasons are ineligible for reemployment at HCC. Employees who are terminated under an approved "reduction in force" plan are subject to HCC Policy C.10.1.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

Organizational Change

C.05.3 Reorganization

Date Approved/Updated: April 2011/July 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.5 Status, Assignments and Duties


Status, Assignments and Duties - See Board Policy

PURPOSE
To establish efficient and effective procedures that support the successful reorganization of an organizational unit, when institutional need requires.

DEFINITIONS

  • Department:  A functional work unit that includes a supervisor and direct reports.  The supervisor has the responsibility for direction of work activities for direct reports and performance evaluation.

  • HR Representative: HR Generalist, HR Director or Chief Human Resources Officer as appropriate

  • Initiating Manager: Manager/supervisor with control of an entire department, division or work unit.

  • Organization: Group of people and facilities with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships.

  • Organizational Structure: Arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships between people; the formal system of working relationships within an organization, showing the reporting relationships between different functions and positions of the management and staff.  This structure is often represented in the form of a diagram or chart.

  • Reorganization: The rearrangement of a portion of a department, an entire department, or departments, based on college/institutional need, that may involve job functions, work processes, and reporting relationships.

PROCEDURE

Step

Procedure

Deliverable

Responsibility

1. (Option A)

A manager/supervisor considering reorganization should contact his/her assigned HR Representative who will provide guidance and consultation in moving the recommendation forward.  A meeting is scheduled by the HR Representative with the Organizational Development (OD) Manager and the manager/supervisor to assess the issues triggering need for reorganization and work out the specifics of the reorganization request.

Determination if reorganization or some other action will address the need

  • Initiating Manager

  • HR Representative

  • OD Manager

1. (Option B)

Reorganization involving departments and work units that cross colleges or District divisions are initiated by the Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor.  The college presidents/vice presidents of the affected organizations provide input. A meeting is scheduled by the Chancellor with the Chancellor's Cabinet to assess the issues triggering need for organization and work out the specifics of the reorganization.

Determination if reorganization or some other action will address the need

  • Chancellor/Deputy Chancellor

  • Chancellor's Cabinet

  • HR Representative

  • OD Manager

2.

The initiating manager with assistance from the HR Representative will complete a written preliminary proposal for reorganization to be reviewed with the approval authority (if applicable).  This proposal outlines the justification for the reorganization (compelling business case, expected benefits, definition of the general scope, impact on current staffing (list of employees affected, current vacancy list), costs, how the change will be funded, etc.), and a draft organization chart.

Preliminary reorganization proposal

Budget Impact Grid Analysis

  • Initiating Manager

  • HR Representative

  • HR Compensation

  • Finance

3.

A reorganization within a given college or division requires the approval by the appropriate next level of authority.

A cross college or district wide reorganization requires approval by the Chancellor. 

The Chief Human Resources Officer reviews and endorses all reorganization activities.

Should the proposed reorganization create a staffing surplus, HCC Policy C.20.1 – Reductions in Force will be invoked.

HR review and endorsement

Approving Manager endorsement

  • Initiating Manager

  • Next Level Manager

  • Chief Human Resources Officer

  • Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor (if proposed action crosses colleges or District divisions)

4.

Given the scope of the reorganization, the HR Representative will enlist the support of a reorganization support project team composed of HR and Finance subject matter experts including Organizational Development, Position Control, Budget, Compensation, and Employment to work through the mechanical parts of making the reorganization happen.  Checklists for each support function (job description development, position control, budgeting, etc.) will be provided to facilitate this effort.  

The HR Representative manages the information flow between the initiating manager, the reorganization support team, and the Chief Human Resources Officer.  

Updated vacancy/position control list

Budget reconciliation

  • HR Representative

  • HR Subject Matter Experts (SME)

  • Finance SME

5.

If the reorganization/restructuring involves creation of new positions or redefinition of job functions, the initiating manager drafts job descriptions (job duties, education and experience requirements, etc.) using templates provided by HR Compensation.  HR Compensation evaluates and grades positions.

Updated and/or newly created, graded and approved job descriptions

  • Initiating Manager

  • HR Representative

  • HR Compensation

  • Finance-Position Control

6.

After this work has been completed, the initiating manager, with assistance from the HR Representative, finalizes the reorganization proposal and reviews it with the appropriate responsible administrator for signature approval.  

The proposal contains the following information.

  • The college/institutional justification for the reorganization including the expected benefits, impact on existing staff, costs and how the change will be funded.

  • A current and proposed organization chart.

  • Identification of surplus positions (if any) and plan

  • Job descriptions (including new or revised) for all unduplicated positions within the proposed department.

  • Operational budget plan

  • Proposed timeline for the reorganization, including effective date.

  • Staffing plan-how positions will be filled (EEO).

  • Implementation and communication plans with dates, responsibilities, action plans, measures.

  • Creation of Reorganization Implementation Team, if needed.

Final approved reorganization plan

  • Initiating Manager

  • HR Representative

  • Approval Authority

7.

The approved completed proposal (outlined in step 6) is submitted to the Chief Human Resources Officer for final review.

HR endorsed final plan

  • Chief Human Resources Officer

8.

This approval triggers subsequent support organization activity related to implementation of the reorganization.  Approval will be revisited only if a request for substantive changes to the original approved plan is made.  

After review, the HRIS and Finance Managers make necessary changes to PS-Finance and PS-HR to set up the new organizational structure so that positions can be posted and filled, Personnel Action Forms completed, etc.

New organizational structure established in PS-HR and PS-Finance

Open positions posted

Open positions filled with most qualified candidates

Job offers

Surplus staffing plan

  • HRIS Manager

  • Finance Manager

  • HR Employment Services

  • HR Representative

9.

Reorganization Implementation Team, appointed by the initiating manager, oversees and implements the organizational changes and manages the transition.

Reorganization implemented according to plan

  • Initiating Manager

  • HR Representative

  • Other Key Stakeholders

  •  

C.20.1 Reductions in Force

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.20 Reductions in Force


Reductions in Force - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance regarding when it may be necessary to recommend a reduction in the work force because of a financial exigency or other circumstances which may come to administration for consideration.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • "Reduction in Force" occur when the College is in a situation of financial exigency.

PROCEDURES

In making that determination, the Chancellor shall monitor college enrollments, availability of financial resources, program needs and staffing requirements, both present and future. The Chancellor, in consultation with the Presidents and Vice Chancellors, shall develop criteria for the process of making layoff recommendations which could include but are not limited to job necessity, critical skills required and employee performance.

The Presidents and Vice Chancellors, working within the parameters established by the Board of Trustees, and with input from the administrators over affected departments will determine which functions or positions should be combined or eliminated and recommend same to the Chancellor. In making their recommendations, the Presidents and Vice Chancellors may consider existing business conditions as well as future needs of the department and the College.

When making a recommendation for a reduction in force the Chancellor will prepare a report for the Board that includes factual information that demonstrates the existence of a financial exigency or demonstrate that a proposed reorganization will result in a more effective or efficient administrative unit.

Employees who are terminated under this policy will be provided with as much advance written notice as possible in order to avoid personal hardship.

Eligibility for Rehire

An employee has the opportunity to apply for any vacant position for which they are qualified.

Employees who are released from employment pursuant to a RIF and are not recalled to full-time employment by the College within the current fiscal year shall be subject to new employee status if later rehired by the College.

The Chancellor shall be authorized, after notice to the Board, to declare a program change. For purposes of this Policy, "program change" shall mean any elimination, curtailment, or reorganization of a curriculum offering, program, or College System operation because of a lack of student response to particular course offerings, legislative revisions to program funding, or a reorganization or consolidation of two or more departments in the System or its Colleges.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.20.2 Restructuring and Redeployment

Date Approved/Updated: March 8, 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operational Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.20 Reduction in Force


Reduction in Force - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

To establish procedures to follow when business need requires the reorganization or redeployment of personnel within a College or a business unit.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC colleges, departments and employees.

DEFINITIONS

  • Department: a functional work unit that includes supervision and employee direct reports.
  • Reorganization: A restructuring of a unit or redeployment of employees within a College, a department or departments within HCC.

PROCEDURES

A College President, Department head or administrative equivalent may propose and submit a reorganization plan when long-term, significant and multiple changes are proposed for positions and/or the reporting structure within HCC Colleges or department. The reorganization must be in the best interest of HCC. All proposals for reorganization and redeployment of employees shall be submitted to the Human Resources Department for review PRIOR to implementing a reorganization plan. The reorganization plan will be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel and the Deputy Chancellor. The Chancellor will approve, modify or disapprove all reorganizations.

Required Documentation:

  1. A letter submitted on department letterhead. The letter should include the reason(s) for the reorganization of the unit or redeployment of employees, proposed timeframe for implementation, department contact(s), and if the proposed changes are a cost savings, cost-neutral or budgeted. The letter will include signature lines for approval by the Department Head, the Division Head, the Chief Human Resources Officer, Office of the General Counsel, the Deputy Chancellor and the Chancellor.
  2. Two Organization Charts (The charts should include employee names and/or the position titles.)
    • The current organization structure
    • The proposed organization structure
  3. HR approved completed Job Analysis Questionnaires signed by the College President, Department Head/designee or administrative equivalent for new and existing jobs that will be affected.
  4. Job Descriptions for all new and existing jobs that will be affected.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: General Counsel

Performance Management

C.21.2 Progressive Discipline

Date Approved/Updated:February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.21 Employee Standards of Conduct


Employee Standards of Conduct - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance on handling discipline in a consistent and fair manner and methods for supervisors and employees to identify and correct performance issues.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITIONS

  • Verbal Warning - The employee may be given a verbal warning by the employee's supervisor in an informal manner. The verbal warning shall be done privately and documented by a memorandum to the supervisor's file.
  • Written Warning - The employee may be presented with a written warning by the employee's supervisor in a formal, private meeting. The written warning shall be provided utilizing an HCC Human Resources Corrective Action Form. The written warning will outline the specifics of the job deficiency and the action expected of the employee by the supervisor to correct the deficiency. The supervisor shall cover this action verbally with the employee so that there are no misunderstandings as to the contents.
  • Performance Improvement Plan - If the employee does not correct the deficiency after receiving a formal written warning, or if the immediate supervisor deems the deficiency sufficiently severe to warrant further action, the supervisor may establish a performance improvement plan (PIP) for the employee. In coordination with the HR Generalist, the PIP will be developed utilizing the HCC Human Resources Corrective Action Form.

GENERAL

HCC seeks to foster positive and constructive relationships among all employees. The College's philosophy is to give employees the opportunity to improve performance. To this end, HCC's progressive discipline processes incorporate actions designed to correct behaviors.

PROCEDURES

Specific disciplinary action taken in regard to employee performance deficiencies or misconduct may vary from situation to situation. The System may take any corrective action measures, including termination in cases of serious employee misconduct, following the general guidelines for dealing with performance deficiencies, which are set forth in the System's Progressive Discipline Procedures, which are maintained by the Human Resources department.

During the corrective period, all raises and promotions for the employee are suspended, excluding cost of living increases. Raises in pay will not be retroactively applied following improvement.

Supervisors must work closely with the Human Resources Department during any disciplinary action. Human Resources Generalists help employees and supervisors to comply with standard practices, and also ensure that HCC remains in compliance with Board, State and Federal mandates.

Human Resources Generalists are available to meet with all employees and supervisors who become involved in disciplinary situations.

Representation
HCC recognizes the employee's right to representation; however, such representation must not be allowed to interfere with the supervisory relationship between the employee and supervisor. Therefore, the employee may not have representation in day-to-day employee and supervisor conferences but may be represented during meetings when suspension or dismissal are the topics of discussion.

Disciplinary Steps
The specific actions taken in regard to employee performance deficiencies may vary from situation to situation. HCC may take any disciplinary measures, including termination, without following the progressive discipline steps in cases of egregious or serious violations of policy.

The employee's supervisor may initiate progressive discipline steps by giving the employee an informal verbal warning or formal written warning, depending on the seriousness of the violation and the particular situation. In making such warnings and taking other disciplinary action, supervisors should address the following information.

  1. Identify performance issues that are being addressed.
  2. Identify with particularity what actions are needed to correct performance deficiencies.
  3. Specify the period of time the employee will be given to correct deficiencies.
  4. Outline actions that would follow if performance deficiencies are not corrected.

The supervisor will review the job deficiencies again verbally and then present the employee with a corrective action form outlining the following:

  1. A brief summary of past attempts by the supervisor to resolve the job deficiency, identifying dates on which verbal and/or written warnings have been issued.
  2. A statement that past efforts have not seen a correction of the job deficiency and that the supervisor will closely monitor the employee. The period of monitoring shall be a minimum of 30 days.
  3. A statement by the supervisor outlining meeting dates during the monitoring period to evaluate the employee's progress in correcting the job deficiency.

At the conclusion of the monitoring period, the supervisor shall meet with the employee to evaluate the employee's progress toward correction of the deficiency. The supervisor shall prepare a summary memorandum for this purpose, presented verbally and then given to the employee.

It is not necessary to complete the Performance Improvement Plan process before the supervisor may recommend further action, including dismissal. Should the employee's performance not improve sufficiently during the duration of the performance improvement period, the supervisor may make a recommendation for other action prior to the end of the performance improvement period.

Suspension
Suspension without pay for non-contract employees and suspension with pay for contract employees may be utilized in lieu of termination to address some performance issues. The administration is not required to utilize suspension prior to making a recommendation for termination of employment. Suspension requires the pre-approval of the President, Vice Chancellor or administrative equivalent and the assigned HR Generalist. Notice of suspension is provided to the employee utilizing an HCC Human Resources Corrective Action Form.

Termination
If corrective action has not helped the employee to improve her or his behavior, the supervisor may recommend termination of employment. (See C: 21.3)

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.21.4 Employee Evaluations

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operational Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.21 Employee Standards of Conduct


Employee Standards of Conduct - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure provides guidance regarding performance evaluations and the process utilized by Houston Community College to evaluate employee performance measured against established criteria.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all employees of the Houston Community College which include faculty and staff.

DEFINITION

  • Administrative/Executive: Refers to the job titles that are currently classified into pay grades 13 or higher. These jobs perform primarily high-level administrative or executive job responsibilities and are charged with leadership of HCC.
  • Competency: A state of being qualified to perform job responsibilities. Normally competencies are in specific areas of knowledge and abilities. Usually refers to jobs that are classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. Skills, sometimes also referred to as competencies, usually refer to non-exempt jobs.
  • Department Goal: A statement made by a department that describes an objective that the department wants to achieve. It should be related to the Strategic Plan of HCC.
  • Goals/Objectives/Projects: Special projects that the employee and manager need to accomplish in the upcoming year, that use the employee skills to accomplish and help the Department/College improve. Performance is evidenced by completion of the project within the timeline and at the quality defined by the manager and the employee.
  • Goal: A statement of what a person, department or organization wants to achieve. Goals are usually observable when they have been achieved.
  • HCC Goal: The goal or goals of the entire HCC system as identified by the Chancellor and verified by the Board. (The goal(s) is/are usually included in the Strategic Plan.)
  • Job Responsibility: The day-to-day duties that comprise the employee's job as described in the job description.
  • Methods of Measurement: Refers to how you, your manager or any other person will be able to confirm that you have accomplished the performance expectation identified. A good method of measurement will specify the observable or verifiable evidence that will be available for review as well as where and how the information will be obtained. Measures could be based on quality, quantity, time, cost, or according to pre-established professional standards.
  • Mid-Year Review: An informal meeting between the employee and their manager to review the employee's performance excellence plan to determine if any parts of the form need to be updated because of changed conditions and to informally discuss the employees performance to identify any areas that the employee should pay specific attention to for the remainder of the year.
  • Non-exempt: Jobs that are eligible to be paid time and one half of their regular wages for any work performed on behalf of HCC over 40 hours in each week. Within HCC, these jobs are in pay grades 1 through 8.
  • Professional/Technical: Exempt jobs within HCC that are in pay grades 9 through 12 and certain non-exempt technical jobs in pay grades below grade 8. Exempt Professional and Technical employees with administrative responsibilities may also supervise other employees.
  • Results: A statement that defines what exemplary performance and professional performance will be. For example, if the Job Responsibility is to "ensure the security of the building" exemplary performance will be defined as "no reports of intrusions, security breaches, or vulnerable entry points discovered." Professional performance will be defined as less than 2 reports of intrusions, security breaches or vulnerable entry points discovered with no loss or damage to property or persons."
  • SMAART: Goals, Objectives, Projects and Job Responsibilities should be specific, measurable, attainable, agreed upon, realistic and time-oriented.
  • Values-Based Dimensions of Performance: Behavioral standards that re fundamental to success on the job and to a productive workplace. They apply to all positions but are unique to the job family and type of job.

PROCEDURES

All HCC employees must be evaluated at least once per fiscal year, using standardized appraisal instruments for all categories of employees.

HCC administrators evaluate every regular full-time or part-time employee on a strictly job-related basis according to the terms of the evaluation instruments. An employee may not appeal an unfavorable evaluation through the grievance process. However, employees may submit a reaction statement within five (5) working days of the appraisal conference in response to an unfavorable appraisal; if the employee/supervisor performance appraisals cannot be reconciled, the reaction statement will be made a part of the employee's formal personnel record.

The Performance Excellence Program (PEP) establishes a year-round partnership between employee and supervisor while creating a shared understanding about work that is to be accomplished and how work is to be done. The focus is on communication – communication about performance, focusing on improvement.

Based upon the HCC values of freedom, accountability, community-mindedness, integrity, and excellence, PEP helps supervisors and employees define individual work goals and measures aligned with department, college and HCC-wide goals, thus strengthening mutual accountability for performance at all levels. Key components of the process include:

  • Focus on definable and measurable results
  • Responsibility for achieving HCC objectives defined at all levels of the college
  • Individual performance and pay adjustments linked

Philosophy
Houston Community College values our employees. We are committed to providing an environment that enables all employees to develop and realize their full potential in alignment with the HCC mission, goals, values, and action plans. We strive to provide a support climate conducive to performance excellence and to personal and organizational growth.

In accordance with this commitment, the HCC Performance Excellence Program (PEP) is designed to provide regular, consistent, fair, and honest evaluation, performance feedback, and structured professional growth opportunities. The ultimate goal of performance management is to improve the institution's performance and enhance our ability to provide the highest quality instruction and educational service to our community.

Performance Excellence Cycle
Performance management is divided into three distinct phases:

Performance Planning

  • Set expectations. Each performer understands what is expected and how his/her job supports HCC's mission.
  • Determine specific job responsibilities. Use the job description as a starting point.
  • Determine SMAART goals, objectives and projects. Goals and objectives should link to departmental and college goals.
  • Determine professional development activities. Professional development should support department/college goals, objectives and action plans. Activities should directly relate to enhancing job performance.
  • Establish measures of what professional performance looks like for each of the above.

Performance Observation and Feedback

  • Provide coaching and support. Arrange for training; provide resources, encouragement, and developmental opportunities.
  • Provide feedback on employee performance that is timely, specific, work-related, designed to help the employee be successful, and reinforces effective behavior.
  • Record significant performance events when they occur. Include positive, neutral, and negative performance examples. Use the PS PEP Notes feature.
  • Hold periodic progress checks. At a minimum a mid-year review is required.
  • Keep performance on target.
  • Monitor progress on action plans and goals/objectives.

Performance Review

  • Determine performance results.
  • Complete the PEP form.
  • Participate in performance excellence meetings (mid-year and year-end).
  • Plan for the next year.

Performance Management Roles and Responsibilities

Employee

  • Attend PEP training and department meetings about PEP.
  • Participate in the development of performance expectations and goals.
  • Obtain developmental training.
  • Complete the peer review form and upward evaluation form (when implemented).
  • Take ownership of own performance.
  • Perform according to mutually agreed upon standards.
  • Use new process in current year performance evaluation to future plan for next year.

Supervisor

  • Determine all employee roles and responsibilities.
  • Hold departmental meetings to further define process.
  • Determine joint understanding of ratings with next level supervisor and peers.
  • Define what competency behaviors are, in job-related terms.
  • Set individual job responsibilities/measures, goals/objectives.
  • Attend related training.
  • Assess own skill sets in areas of coaching, giving and receiving feedback, reward and recognition, etc. and work to enhance skills in these areas.
  • Link work group and individual goals to those of the college/institution.
  • Set performance standards with direct reports.
  • Review current performance of direct reports and plan for future performance.
  • Regularly communicate with employees regarding their performance.
  • Utilize PEP, integrating performance excellence into day-to-day work.
  • Complete the supervisor review form.
  • If a "next-level" supervisor, review, comment, and endorse performance plans and evaluations written by first line supervisors.
  • Model institutional values.

President/Vice Chancellors/Directors

  • Determine all employee and supervisory roles and responsibilities.
  • Link division/college goals to those of the institution.
  • Set performance standards with direct reports.
  • Review current performance of direct reports and plan for future performance.
  • Ensure supervisors receive training.
  • Hold supervisors and each other accountable for using PEP.
  • Coach and encourage direct reports in change.
  • Model institutional values.

PEP Timelines

June
  • Performance Planning phase begins
October-February
  • Performance Observation and Feedback
February
  • Mid-year Review (Note: 9-month and 10.5-month faculty mid-year review in November)
March-April
  • Performance Review, 9-month and 10.5-month faculty
May 15
  • 9-month and 10.5-month faculty evaluations are due to Human Resources
April-May
  • Performance Review, 12-month faculty and all full-time 12-month employees
June 15
  • All other performance evaluations are due to Human Resources
July
  • HR prepares ratings spreadsheets for Chancellor, Vice Chancellors and Presidents
  • Senior administration reviews spreadsheets for consistence, adherence to guidelines, obvious "outliers" or pockets of possible inflated or deflated ratings
  • Administration recommends adjustments as needed to ensure system-wide consistency of application of rating criteria


PEP Mid and Year-end Review Periods and Due Dates

Employment Status Performance Period Mid-year Review Year-end Review Due Date to HR
Full-time 9-month and 10.5-month faculty May 1 - April 30 November May 15
Full-time employees including 12-month faculty and temporary employees with benefits June 1- May 31 February June 15
Part-time employees Same as above N/A **

Employment Status Performance Period Mid-year Review Year-end Review

** Adjunct instructor evaluations are due annually by May 1. Procedures are pending for non-faculty part time employees.

Evaluation Instruments
Evaluations instruments are tailored to meet the needs of the following HCC employment categories. Examples of job titles under each category can be found on the PEP Web page.

  • Police Department
    • Lieutenant
    • Sergeant
    • Peace Officer
    • Dispatcher
    • Security Officer
  • Faculty - four evaluation instruments, including department chair criteria
    • Instructional (both Academic and Workforce)
    • Library
    • Counseling
    • Adjunct Faculty
  • Non-Exempt Classified
    • non-exempt employees except those considered "technical" or police-related
      positions that qualify for overtime under the FLSA, except those considered "technical" or police-related
  • Professional/Technical
    • exempt employees without supervisory duties
    • non- faculty employees
    • non-exempt technical employees
  • Professional/Technical with Supervisory Duties
    • exempt employees below grade 13 who supervise others
    • non-faculty
  • Administrative/Executive
    • administrators grade 13 and above

New Hires
Individuals hired less than 60 days before the end of the evaluation period will not be formally evaluated through the PS PEP process (for faculty, those hired after 2/28 and for staff, those hired after 3/31).

PS PEP Evaluation Process Flow
Beginning with FY 07-08, all full-time employee performance evaluations must be completed using the PeopleSoft (PS) PEP software (e-Performance). The PeopleSoft enabled evaluation process is depicted in Exhibit 1.

Evaluation Components and Percentage of Total Performance Rating

Faculty
Adherence to Workload Guidelines 10%
Goals, Objectives, Projects 10%
Faculty Checklist 80%
Professional Development No rating

Staff
Job Responsibilities/Goals/Objectives/Projects 60%
Values-based Dimensions of Performance 40%
Professional Development No rating

Rating Scale
Exemplary. Performance significantly or consistently exceeds the expectations for performance established for the "professional performance" level; or meets specific criteria that have been established for "exemplary" performance. Performance is of such high quality that the individual deserves special recognition. Exemplary carries a performance rating of 3.

Professional Performance. Performance consistently meets the expectations of performance established for the fully competent and performing individual. This is the expected level of performance, defined by regularity, dependability and predictability of getting the job done. Professional Performance carries a performance rating of 2.

Needs Improvement. Performance inconsistently meets the expectations of performance for the "Professional Performance" level and indicates that significant requirements are not completed in the time or manner expected. Needs Improvement carries a performance rating of 1.

Unsatisfactory. Performance rarely meets any of the expectations of performance established for the "Professional Performance" level. Unsatisfactory carries a performance rating of 0. A Performance Improvement Plan must be developed to assist the employee in focusing on the needed areas(s). Continued unsatisfactory performance results in disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

Rating Consistency
Administrators are responsible for ensuring rating consistency across departments and across the college system. Administrators should review their direct reports' employee ratings before the ratings are discussed with the employee. Raters should "compare notes" to ensure uniformity and consistency in performance standards in like situations.

Senior administrators will review ratings and evaluations for consistency, adherence to guidelines, obvious "outliers" or pockets of possible inflated or deflated ratings. Administrators will make recommendations as needed to ensure system-wide consistency of application of rating criteria and the Performance Excellence Program process in general.

Rating Discussions with Next-Level Supervisor
After completing the Manager Document for each direct report and BEFORE releasing the document to the employee for review, the supervisor should discuss the final ratings with his/her next-level supervisor. The next-level supervisor is responsible for ensuring that individual ratings are appropriate and that ratings are consistent, fair, and uniformly applied across the entire unit.

Signatures
After the review meeting is held, both the employee and the supervisor should electronically indicate signature, embedded in the workflow process of the PS PEP system. Signatures indicate that the face-to-face year-end performance review was conducted; they do not indicate agreement. The next-level supervisor also electronically signs the document.

Official Personnel File
If desired, both the employee and the supervisor may keep a paper copy of the completed PEP Form (printed from PS PEP). The original document is housed in the PeopleSoft database. It is not necessary to send a printed copy to the Human Resources department.

Reaction Statement
The employee may not appeal an unfavorable performance evaluation through the employee grievance policy (C.22) process. The employee may submit a written reaction statement to the official performance evaluation within five working days of the employee/supervisor year-end performance review meeting. Upon receipt of the reaction statement from the employee, a second meeting shall be held in an attempt to resolve the differences. If the differences are resolved, the reaction statement will not be made part of the employee's permanent record, but will rather be reflected in the final evaluation completed by the supervisor and referred to the next level supervisor for approval. If the discrepancy cannot be reconciled, the reaction statement will be made a part of the employee's formal personnel record.

What to do if the employee changes position during the rating year
Procedures when an employee changes jobs during the performance year depend on the situation. In all situations the HR Generalist should be notified of changes.

(1) The two positions are in the same evaluation category (e.g. moves from a professional/technical job to another professional/technical job.)
Both supervisors (former and new) should contribute to the individual's review. If the individual will be in the new position more than 90 days before the end of the evaluation period, the "exiting" supervisor should prepare a performance evaluation up to the transfer date and provide a printed copy to the new supervisor. The "exiting" supervisor should prepare a performance evaluation up to the transfer date, and then transfer the evaluation document through PS PEP to the receiving supervisor who will continue the PEP evaluation process through the end of the performance year. If the individual will be in the new position less than 90 days before the end of the evaluation period, the "exiting" supervisor should prepare and complete the year-end performance review before it is transferred to the receiving supervisor.

(2) The two positions are in different evaluation categories (e.g. moves from non-exempt job to an exempt professional/technical job).
Both supervisors (former and new) should contribute to the individual's review. The evaluation document used depends on how long the individual will be in the new position before the rating period ends, as indicated below.

Employee is in new position more than 90 days before the rating period ends:

The exiting supervisor should prepare an evaluation of performance to date, print the evaluation for the receiving supervisor and HR Records. A new performance document will be created in PS PEP in the new evaluation category. The receiving supervisor will conduct the annual PEP year-end review using input from the "exiting" supervisor.

Employee is in new position less than 90 days before the rating period ends:

The exiting supervisor should complete the annual performance evaluation to date. Because of the short time in the new job, the PEP evaluation instrument of the former position will be used to complete the evaluation process.

Assuming a rating period end date of 5/31, individuals moving to a new position after March 31 fall in this category.

Examples:
Lakesha Tang worked as a Secretary II for 6 months of the year, from June through November. In December she took a new job as Office Manager in another department. Both jobs (Secretary II and Office Manager) are non-exempt positions using the Non-Exempt Classified performance evaluation, so her situation fits #1 above. Her "exiting" supervisor would prepare an evaluation through November and transfer the evaluation document via PS PEP to the new supervisor. The new supervisor would revise the job responsibilities, goals and objectives to reflect the new position, then continue the evaluation process. Lakesha's annual evaluation would reflect her performance on both jobs.

Rory Littlejohn worked as a Secretary II for 6 months of the year, from June through November. In December he took a new job as Student Life Coordinator at another college. The Secretary II position uses the Non-Exempt Classified evaluation document and the Student Life Coordinator position uses the Professional/Technical evaluation document, so his situation fits #2 above. Because he will be in the position more than 90 days before the review period ends, the exiting supervisor should prepare an evaluation of performance and print the evaluation. A new performance evaluation will be created using the Professional/Technical template and appropriate job responsibilities, goals and objectives completed. Rory's annual evaluation would reflect his performance on both jobs.

What to do if the supervisor changes during the year:

If the person in the supervisor position changes during the year, both the former and the current supervisor should contribute to the employees' annual performance evaluation. To provide a smooth transition to the new supervisor, the exiting supervisor should prepare an evaluation of performance to date for all direct reports. Manager should add results and comments to date. The new supervisor will continue the PEP evaluation process and complete the annual PEP evaluation.

Vacant Supervisory Positions

If a supervisory position is "vacant" when annual PEP evaluations are due, in the absence of an interim in the position the next-level supervisor will conduct the evaluation.

Consequences if Supervisor Fails to Complete Evaluations

To ensure HCC success, it is imperative that all individuals are working toward common goals and objectives. The PEP process is the mechanism to do so. Therefore, it is critical that the PEP process is followed and performance evaluations are completed by due dates. Employees and supervisors must work together to honor these dates. Following PEP processes, including meeting due dates, is a managerial/supervisory responsibility and is to be included as such in PEP planning with those individuals. Performance of these critical responsibilities will be included in the manager's/supervisor's own performance rating.

Training
Employees and supervisors should become thoroughly familiar with the PEP process and be able to use the PS PEP system. Supervisors and employees should assess their skill levels in the areas required for effective performance management, such as interpersonal communication, motivation and recognition, coaching, assessing performance, giving and receiving feedback, and setting meaningful goals and objectives.

Current PEP training includes:

  • Employee Training: PS PEP self-paced module accessed via UTRAIN
  • PEP for Employees (a College Office Professionals Program course)
  • Supervisory Training: Mastering Performance Reviews (a College Leadership Program course)
  • PS PEP self-paced module accessed via UTRAIN
  • Other skill-based courses are offered through the Employee Learning and Organizational Development Office. Check the "Training" link on the Faculty Staff web page/Human Resources heading.

Additional Information
For more information, visit the Faculty and Staff web page/Employee Support, click on Performance Excellence Program.

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

Training - Professional Development

C.19.1.1 Professional Development

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.19 Professional Development


Professional Development - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to outline expectations for ongoing employee professional development in the areas of expertise and work, aligned with HCC mission, values and strategic goals.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC employees in all employment categories.

DEFINITIONS

  • UTRAIN: Online self-study training program for PeopleSoft Student Administration, PeopleSoft Financials, and PeopleSoft Performance Excellence Program and PeopleSoft Time and Labor System.
  • College Leadership Program (CLP): a year-long developmental certificate program for new supervisors designed to provide the resources, tools, knowledge and networks foundational to their success.
  • College Office Professionals Program (COPP): a certificate program designed to provide new secretarial and administrative support staff with knowledge and skills needed to integrate quickly into the HCC workforce.

PROCEDURES

All full-time HCC employees are expected to participate in relevant professional development activities during the year for job growth and development. Employees and their immediate supervisors should discuss professional development plans annually during the employee's performance review with periodic follow-up throughout the year.

An activity qualifies as "professional development" if it enhances or strengthens a knowledge, skill or ability relevant to the employee's current position, or to an aspired position. The outcome is job-related professional growth that will enable employees to advance their professional goals, increase institutional effectiveness and improve the quality of programs and services at HCC.

Activities include attending a training class, completing a self-study module, participating in a structured mentoring or on-the-job training program, attending a conference or workshop/seminar, completing a college course, participating in a Community of Practice (a group of people who get together regularly to learn and share professional knowledge), and other forms of professional development. Examples of HCC sponsored professional development activities include: online Preventing Sexual Harassment course, online or classroom software training courses, safety courses, College Leadership Program and College Office Professionals Program courses, PeopleSoft UTRAIN modules, or faculty workshops.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.19.1.2 Required Workplace Skills Training

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.19 Professional Development


Professional Development - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to define required training courses for all HCC employees, including job training, annual ethics training, new employee orientation, new supervisor training and new support staff training.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all HCC employees.

GENERAL

The District recognizes the value of training for all employees in order to provide a work environment conducive to effective and efficient operations. HCC requires periodic training for all employees in workplace skills relevant to its strategic goals and mission. This procedure outlines examples of types of required training.

PROCEDURES

1. Job Training

All directors, department chairs, managers, and supervisors shall familiarize themselves with and practice the techniques of good employee training and development.

  1. It is the responsibility of each department chair/director/supervisor to establish, implement and document a department orientation program. All new employees, including those transferring from other departments, should be oriented and trained on departmental policies, procedures, and regulations.
  2. Each employee should receive a copy of the job description for the position. The supervisor should review the job description with the employee and inform the employee of the performance expected in order to be considered a satisfactory and effective member of HCC.
  3. It is the responsibility of each department chair/director/supervisor to ensure department employees have the skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the job. At a minimum, training should be provided to a new hire, when job conditions change, and when the employee has a performance deficiency resulting from a lack of knowledge, skill or ability.
  4. Continuing education for an employee's personal and professional growth is the mutual responsibility of the employee and the supervisor. Both must ensure that necessary (mandatory) training requirements are met in a timely manner.

2. Annual Ethics Training

Each employee shall attend ethics training at least once per year. It is the responsibility of the HR Department and Office of General Counsel to provide and monitor such training. Ethics training includes, but is not limited to, training in the following topics: Ethical behavior in the workplace, Sexual Harassment, Violence in the Workplace, Diversity, and Equal Employment Opportunity Law. Training may take many formats such as self-paced, on-line, a module within a larger course, a breakout session at an In-service, etc. It is the responsibility of each department chair/supervisor/ manager to ensure each employee completes such ethics training annually.

3. New Employee Orientation

All new hires, both full and part time, must receive orientation to HCC and their jobs. The purpose of orientation is to (1) welcome and make a positive impression on the hew hire, (2) assimilate him/her into the HCC culture and community, (3) provide information, resources and training required to perform the job, and (4) set clear performance expectations. Full-time employees eligible for benefits must attend the 1.5 day General New Employee Orientation (GNEO) the first two days of hire or at the next scheduled session. Administered by the HR/Employee Learning and Organizational Development department, GNEO classes are held twice each month to coincide with the beginning of pay periods. Additional classes can be arranged in extenuating circumstances. A sampling of topics covered include: completing employment and benefits sign-up paperwork; introduction to HCC mission, vision, values, programs and services; employee responsibilities and benefits; safety overview; e-mail and HCC web pages; mandatory EEO/Sexual Harassment training.

Part-time and adjunct faculty new hires should be oriented in their departments. An orientation packet is provided on the HR/ ELOD website.

Departments are responsible for continued orientation and training of new employees. Supervisors/department chairs are responsible for ensuring that the employee completes orientation. It is recommended that each new hire be assigned a "learning buddy" or "faculty contact" to help transition the new person. Complete guidelines and suggestions for new hire orientation can be found here.

4. New Supervisor Training

All new supervisory personnel (either new to the supervisory arena or new to HCC as a supervisor) are required to attend and complete the College Leadership Program (CLP). The College Leadership Program is a certificate program designed to enhance the success of managers, supervisors and department chairs at HCC. Components of the program include core courses, electives, self-development, and supervisory coaching and guidance. Information on the CLP can be found here.

5. Executive Leadership Training/Development

Executive leadership development can take many forms, such as individual coaching, enrollment in off-site leadership programs, attending presentations of well-known speakers, Communities of Practice, workshops, and self-study. The Leadership Excellence Institute, open to a selected number of individuals, supports executive leadership succession planning.

6. New Support Staff Training

All new office support staff (whether a new employee of HCC or an employee who has changed positions at HCC) are required to enroll in and complete the College Office Professionals Program (COPP). The College Office Professionals Program is a certificate program designed to provide new secretarial and administrative support staff with knowledge and practical skills needed to quickly integrate into the HCC workforce. COPP enrollees attend professional development courses and receive peer mentoring and on-the-job training. Information on the COPP can be found here.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.19.1.3 Employee Higher Education Program

Date Approved/Updated:February 2011/July 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.19 Professional Development


Professional Development - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to outline terms and conditions of the HCC Employee Higher Education Program.

APPLICABILITY

All full-time HCC employees who meet the selection criteria are eligible to apply for the EHEP. For the Degree Track, the employee must be employed full-time for one continuous year as of the course start date. Employees should discuss their intention to apply for the EHEP with their supervisors before enrolling in classes.

PROCEDURES

1. Program Purpose
The purpose of the Employee Higher Education Program (EHEP) is to provide tuition assistance for full-time employees to take higher education or professional certification courses in support of professional development goals that further the mission of the College.

2. Two Program Tracks
The program is divided into two tracks:

Track I: Job-Essential
College-level courses that provide required essential skills or knowledge for the employee's current job. In this track, courses do not lead to a degree or certification for the employee, and the employee may receive both reimbursement and time off from work to attend class. The employee's supervisor together with the employee will determine if a course falls under this track.

Track II: Degree
Courses in a degree program leading to a Bachelor, Master, or Doctorate Degree at an accredited institution, HCC Certificate, HCC Associate Degree, Certificate or an initial Professional Certification from an industry-approved provider who is recognized by an accrediting agency of the certification. Employees in Track II may receive reimbursement of a portion of tuition. An employee who is approved for Track II may not also take time off from work to attend class.

3. Application Procedures and Selection Criteria
The number of employees enrolled in the EHEP at any one time is limited by funding.  The annual level of funding depends on HCC Board of Trustees' budget approval.

To be considered for selection to the EHEP, employees must submit a completed EHEP Application with required signatures and attachments by the published due date. Required attachments are listed on the EHEP Application.

Track I: Job-Essential
A full-time employee whose current job requires additional knowledge or skills that can best be met by a college course is eligible.

A memorandum from the supervisor explaining how the selected college course can best meet the employee's immediate job training need is required with the EHEP Application.

Track II: Degree
In order to be eligible for the Degree Track, the following minimum criteria must be met. 

  1. Employee must have completed one continuous year of full-time employment at HCC by the course start date.
  2. Employee must currently be working at a "professional performance" level or higher in his or her job.
  3. Employee must provide documentation of acceptance into the school (Bachelor) or program (Master, Doctorate) in which the course will be taken.
  4. Employee must provide degree  plan.  The course must fulfill a specific requirement on the employee's degree/certification plan and must earn a minimum of three credit hours.
  5. Employee must have the approval of his or her supervisor.
  6. The degree/certification must lead to a career that would benefit HCC.
  7. Employee must have received a grade of "C" or better in prior course work within the EHEP.

Additional selection criteria may be added at the discretion of the selection committee if the number of program participants must be limited. If more applications are received than can be funded, the individuals approved for the program will be selected by a committee based on the following factors:

    1st priority:    Applicants for Track I, Job-Essential
    2nd priority:   Employees who have not previously utilized EHEP
    3rd priority:   Order in which complete EHEP Applications and all required documents are received by ELOD (date and time)

4. Process to Change Courses
If you were approved for EHEP Track II, pursuing Certificate/Degree/Certification, and you changed courses after your EHEP Application was approved, you must complete the online EHEP Change of Course Form and submit it to the HR/ELOD office no later than two weeks after the start date of your approved course, which is listed on your EHEP Notification Memo.  You will be ineligible for reimbursement if ELOD does not receive the completed Change of Course Form within those two weeks.

5. Reimbursement Provisions
The maximum lifetime EHEP reimbursement benefit is $10,000 per employee.

    Track I: Job-Essential
        a. For a course taken at HCC, reimbursement is up to $150 per employee per semester.
        b. For a course taken at a four-year educational institution, reimbursement is up to $700 per employee per semester.

    Track II: Degree
        a. For coursework leading to HCC Associate Degree or HCC Certificate, reimbursement is up to $150 per employee per semester, with  a maximum of $450 per employee per year.
        b. For coursework taken at a four-year institution and leading to a Bachelor Degree or higher, reimbursement is up to $700 per employee per semester, with a maximum of $2100 per employee per year. The reimbursement rate for courses taken at HCC is up to $150 per semester.
        c. For coursework leading to an industry-approved Professional Certification, reimbursement is limited to the actual cost of the course, up to a maximum of $700 per employee per semester, with a maximum of $2100 per employee per year.

6. Post-Course Requirements

a. All EHEP participants, in both tracks, must submit to the HR/ELOD office a grade report within 30 days of course completion.  
b. Employee must have received a grade of "C" or better in the approved course.
c. Employee must be employed full-time with HCC on the date the reimbursement check is issued.
d. Track II participants who have been approved for Professional Certification must submit a receipt showing the exact cost of the course and a transcript or grade report indicating a passing grade (whatever is required as a "passing" grade for the Certification).

7. Time Off for Doctoral Studies
There is no distinction made in these procedures between courses leading to a doctoral degree and other degrees. Individuals enrolled in doctoral programs are subject to the policy requirement to work 40 hours per week. Any individual considering applying for a doctoral program requiring extended time away from work during normal business hours must apply for and be approved through either the faculty sabbatical program (See Policy E.5.2) or the non-faculty sabbatical program (See Procedure C.19.1.5). Such approval will require in writing from the employee's President or Vice Chancellor (or administrative equivalent) that a change in work schedule is possible considering departmental work requirements. Once approved, each semester the employee must submit a work schedule showing a minimum of 40 hours of work per week to his/her President, Vice Chancellor, or administrative equivalent.

8. Timelines
EHEP Applications are accepted three times per year.
Deadlines for receipt of complete, signed EHEP Applications and all required documentation are:


       a. July 22 for Fall Semester (class dates are between Aug. 15 – Dec. 31)
       b. December 1 for Spring Semester (class dates are between Jan. 1 – May 31)
       c. May 8 for Summer Semester (class dates are between June 1 – Aug. 14)

Participants are required to submit grade reports within 30 days of course completion.

9. Web Information
Additional information and the EHEP Application, Change of Course, and Justification Forms can be found on the Human Resources, Employee Learning and Organizational Development website at Tuition Reimbursement (EHEP)

 

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources

C.19.1.4 Educational Assistance

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011/July 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.19 Professional Development


Professional Development - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure outlines the terms and conditions of the HCC Educational Assistance Program.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all full-time employees, all currently-employed part-time faculty and their eligible family members who wish to enroll in eligible HCC credit or non-credit courses.

GENERAL

Eligible HCC employees and eligible immediate family members qualify for waiver of certain HCC fees as designated by the District and by state and federal law. All course enrollments under this policy are assigned on a space-available basis.

PROCEDURES

1. Eligibility Employee

Educational benefits are available to:

  1. Full-time employees of HCC
  2. Full-time employees' spouses, and sons and daughters who are not married, living at home, and are under the age of 25.
  3. Board Members and immediate family members.
  4. Part-time instructors (semester and clock hour credit only), counselors, and librarians actively employed during the same semester.

If an employee or dependent is later determined to be ineligible, the employee or dependent must pay the fees waived.

2. Fee Exemption for Academic and Workforce Courses

Eligible individuals qualify for a fee exemption when enrolling as a student in academic and/or workforce credit courses offered by the HCC. The eligible person will be exempt from paying certain fees, identified by the HCC Bursar's Office based on Board of Trustees' approval. Tuition will be paid by the eligible person in accordance with the Coordinating Board Rules and Regulations Regarding Residence Status.

3. Fee and Tuition Exemption for Non-credit Courses

Eligible persons may enroll in non-credit courses offered by HCC Division of Extended Learning and may qualify for waiver (discount) of tuition and fees according to the following provision:

  1. Eligible persons shall pay 50% of course tuition for enrollment in each noncredit Continuing Education course, except for courses that are excluded. The Director of Continuing Education and/or Director of Corporate Training shall determine which courses are excluded.
  2. Courses must meet enrollment requirements, excluding the eligible person.
    Waiver shall not exceed $100 per course.

4. Audit of Academic and Workforce Courses

Eligible persons may audit academic and workforce HCC course offerings without any charge provided the course meets enrollment requirements excluding the eligible person. Course credit shall not be awarded for audit.

5. Courses During Scheduled Work Hours

Full-time employees desiring to take advantage of HCC educational opportunities during scheduled work hours shall have the same employee fee exemption and audit privileges as outlined above but must also have the written approval of their immediate supervisor to attend. Unless the course is covered by the job essential track of the Employee Higher Education Program, the employee must make up the time taken to attend the course(s).

6. Application Process

Eligible persons should complete the Employee Waiver Form - W007, obtain required signatures, and present the form when making payment for the course(s). A copy should be forwarded to the District Bursar's Office. The form can be found on the web page of the Finance and Administration Division.  This waiver cannot be applied retroactively to past terms.

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Bursar's Office, Division of Finance and Administration

C.19.1.5 Non-Faculty Sabbatical Leave

Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: C.19 Professional Development


Professional Development - See Board Policy

PURPOSE

This procedure outlines the terms and conditions of the HCC Non-Faculty Sabbatical Leave Procedure.

APPLICABILITY

This procedure applies to all eligible full-time HCC employees not on the faculty pay scale.

GENERAL

HCC Policy defines two types of sabbatical leave: Faculty and Non-faculty. This procedure addresses non-faculty sabbatical leave. Faculty sabbatical leave policy is contained in the Instruction Policies, E.5.2. Non-faculty sabbatical leave procedures are adopted and approved by HCC Administration and maintained and executed by the Director of Employee Learning and Organizational Development (ELOD), Human Resources Department. (Faculty sabbatical procedures are maintained and executed by the Vice Chancellor for Instruction)

PROCEDURES

Purpose: The purpose of sabbatical leave is to provide opportunities for full-time administrators to engage in activities that will benefit the College and result in improved job performance. A sabbatical should provide the individual a significant opportunity for new intellectual achievement and growth through study, research, writing, creative work, and travel and other suitable activities so that professional effectiveness may be enhanced, and the institution's educational programs and/or services strengthened. Opportunities to pursue graduate degrees or seek additional training, for improving skills and/or for maintaining currency in the field are understood to be included as purposes of sabbatical leave. The total number of sabbatical leaves granted to eligible non-faculty members shall be subject to available funds budgeted for such purposes at the District.

Eligibility: An administrator must meet the following criteria to be considered for a sabbatical leave:

  1. Full-time HCC employment for a minimum of seven years.
  2. Signed agreement to return for a minimum of one year of full-time service at HCC upon completion of sabbatical.;
  3. No sabbatical leave taken during the prior seven consecutive years.
  4. Signed agreement to submit post-sabbatical documentation of activities accomplished during the sabbatical leave period and to participate in knowledge sharing or professional development activities for other employees as requested by the Director, ELOD.
  5. Completion of agreements from any prior sabbatical leaves.
  6. Candidates using sabbatical leave for doctoral studies must obtain and present proof of admission to a university program before a sabbatical leave application will be accepted.

2. Consequences if criteria are not met:

  1. If the employee does not return for a minimum of one year service to HCC upon completion of the sabbatical, the employee will return to HCC the full amount of compensation received from HCC during the leave period (except in the case of permanent disability or death)
  2. Failure to submit post-sabbatical documentation will result in future ineligibility for sabbatical leave and/or repayment of the amount of compensation received from HCC during the leave period (except in the case of permanent disability or death).

3. Duration and Compensation and Return:A sabbatical leave may be granted at the full salary for one semester of leave. Administrator sabbaticals may be granted for a maximum of one semester. However, a period of less than one semester may also be granted at the full salary.

During the sabbatical leave period the recipient may not receive any other salary from HCC but will continue to be eligible for insurance benefits. Leave and vacation benefits will not accrue during the sabbatical period.

Employees granted a sabbatical return to their previous position and must remain employed with HCC for a minimum of one year following the leave. If the employee fails to fulfill one year of service after returning from a sabbatical leave, the employee will be required to reimburse HCC for the full amount of compensation received during the leave period (except in the case of permanent disability or death).

4. Sabbatical Leave Funds: will be used to pay the salary of a temporary full-time replacement (if such a replacement is made) for the administrator on sabbatical leave. Replacement salary shall be at the entry rate on the appropriate salary schedule. Funds from the college division/department budgets shall be used to pay the salaries of the employees on sabbatical leave.

5. Number of Sabbatical Leaves: The total number of sabbatical leaves funded shall be subject to available funds budgeted for such purposes at HCC. The total number granted will be determined by institutional impact and sabbatical value (for example, it may provide an opportunity for temporary internal broadening assignments related to leadership growth and development at no cost for a replacement). Within one year, administrative sabbaticals shall not be awarded to more than one individual per any District-level department or College.

6. Application Procedure: Administrators wishing to be considered for administrative sabbaticals must complete an application with required attachments by the published due date. The application and due dates will be posted on the Human Resources Department, Employee Learning and Organizational Development web page.
Each applicant must initiate the sabbatical leave application process with his/her immediate supervisor.The granting of a sabbatical leave should not create undue hardship for students or co-workers, and it should not unduly limit college functions, e.g. student services, college operations, etc. Endorsement by the respective supervisor and President/Vice Chancellor or equivalent administrator denotes that these criteria are being met.

7. Post-Sabbatical Procedure: Documentation of the sabbatical leave results will be due to the Director, ELOD no later than 30 calendar days following the completion of the sabbatical leave period.

8. Selection Process: The Director, ELOD, will form a sabbatical leave committee composed of representatives from the Colleges and system departments to review applications and make recommendations to the Chancellor for final selection.

9. Evaluation criteria will include:

  1. Exceptional past performance by the applicant
  2. Quality and value of the proposal in terms of providing for individual renewal and institutional return to HCC (both in terms of the applicant and in terms of growth and development of any internal replacement)
  3. Supporting evidence of the ability of the affected college department or division to reallocate work during the sabbatical leave period, and
  4. Relevancy and match of the proposal to identified goals and plans of the institution.

10. Grants and Employment: An employee on sabbatical leave may accept a grant for study, research or travel from an institution of higher education or from a charitable, religious or educational corporation or foundation, from any business enterprise, or from any state, federal or local government, but may not accept paid employment of any kind except as may be specifically approved by the Chancellor. Any grant or additional funding of this type should be listed on the sabbatical application. If applicable, the employee may accept reimbursement under the HCC Employee Higher Education Program.

11. Replacement Alternatives: In order to continue essential departmental work, positions of individuals selected for sabbatical may be temporarily filled in a variety of ways:

  1. Hiring of full or part-time temporary person(s) for the duration of the sabbatical
  2. Reassignment of internal personnel on a temporary basis

12. Doctoral Study Provisions: Special provisions apply to individuals wishing to pursue doctoral level studies requiring extended time away from the work place. Any individual considering applying for a graduate program requiring extended time away from work during normal business hours must apply for and be approved through either the faculty or non-faculty sabbatical program. Such approval will require in writing from their President or Vice Chancellor (or administrative equivalent) that a change in work schedule is possible considering department work requirements.

If granted the sabbatical leave, the individual may use it for one semester of residency course load. Time away in future semesters must be handled through options provided by the Employee Higher Education Program (C.19.1.3), or other HCC policies, listed in Section 13 below. The individual's vacation time should be used first. Unless the employee is granted a sabbatical leave or fulfills the requirements of one of these policies, he/she cannot take off work nor arrange flexible scheduling.

13. Relation to other policies: Other HCC policies apply to educational endeavors:

  1. Employee Higher Education Program, C.19.1.3
  2. Educational Assistance Program, C.19.1.4 and
  3. Leaves and Absences, C.16.1

OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources