OU Staff Handbook

 
STAFF HANDBOOK INDEX ( Document updated September 29, 2016 )
 

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The University of Oklahoma Employee Acknowledgement

1. The current version of the OU Staff Handbook can be found online at http://hr.ou.edu/Policies-Handbooks. It is the employee's responsibility to comply with the information in the Staff Handbook including all its revisions. Information in the current published handbook replaces all prior information, superseding any prior versions. Employees who are unable to access the Staff Handbook can contact Human Resources for a printed copy.

2. The Staff Handbook is available to OU employees for informational purposes concerning policies, practices, and benefits at the University of Oklahoma. The information contained in the Staff Handbook is subject to change at the sole discretion of the University of Oklahoma.

3. The Staff Handbook is only a summary of OU policies, practices, and benefits. Contact Human Resources for details or clarification about any of the information contained in the handbook.

4. The Staff Handbook is not a contract for employment and does not change an employee's at-will employment status. This means the University or the employee can terminate the relationship with or without cause, with or without notice.

Acknowledged by:
Name Printed:
Staff Title:
Signed:
Dated:

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1.0 HANDBOOK INTRODUCTION

The University of Oklahoma provides this Staff Handbook in an effort to educate current and prospective employees as to the relevant laws, policies, and procedures that govern interactions between the institution and the employee. The University values its relationship with its employees and strives to create and maintain a positive working environment.


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1.1 HANDBOOK USAGE

The Staff Handbook summarizes University of Oklahoma policies and procedures for current and prospective staff employees. In some sections of the Staff Handbook you will find summaries with references to the University of Oklahoma Regents’ Policy Manual or applicable state or federal statutes. Every effort has been made to present the key elements of these summaries accurately, but the actual policies, procedures, or laws are to be consulted as the authoritative source of information, as they may provide more detail and are themselves subject to independent review and revision. Policies and procedures summarized in this handbook have been approved by the president and/or the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. Given the breadth and variety of different staff positions at the University, additional policies and operating procedures not detailed in the Staff Handbook may be implemented at the departmental level. Those procedures should be communicated and consistent with the Staff Handbook.

This Staff Handbook shall apply to all covered situations from the time of its adoption. The University reserves the right to change this Staff Handbook at any time, and any alterations, eliminations, or additions shall apply from the time of their adoption. New and revised policies approved by the President and/or the Board of Regents may be added, substituted, summarized, and/or cross-referenced without separate requirement for amendment of the Staff Handbook. The official copy of the Staff Handbook is available in Human Resources and on its website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU. Should any provision of the Staff Handbook require interpretation, the department responsible for implementing that particular procedure or provision will issue the interpretation. The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is responsible for interpreting personnel policy sections of this handbook. All references to the CHRO or responsible administrator shall include that person’s designee.

This handbook is not a contract and is not intended to create any contractual rights in favor of either the university or the employee. The State of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma are at-will employers. An employment relationship, therefore, may be terminated at the will of the employee as well as by the employer. Although policies and procedures have been established to provide guidance for university administrators and employees, the policies herein shall not be construed to limit or abrogate the rights of the University of Oklahoma.


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1.2 THE UNIVERSITY OVERVIEW

Created by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting research university serving the educational, cultural, economic, and healthcare needs of the state, region, and nation. Over time, the University has experienced tremendous growth. The Norman campus serves as home to the majority of the University’s academic programs except health-related fields. The OU Health Sciences Center, which is located in Oklahoma City, is one of the nation’s few comprehensive academic health centers. Both the Norman and Health Sciences Center colleges offer programs at the Schusterman Center, the site of OU-Tulsa. Other research and study facilities are found in multiple locations in Oklahoma, other states, and internationally.


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2.0 UNIVERSITY GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
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2.1 OKLAHOMA STATE REGENTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

The University of Oklahoma is part of a state-wide educational program called the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. Having been established by constitutional authority in 1941, the state system is younger than the University of Oklahoma and is made up of all institutions of higher education supported wholly or partially by legislative appropriations. The coordinating body, called the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is composed of nine members. Following appointment by the Governor and confirmation by the State Senate, members serve nine-year terms. One member of the board is replaced each year. Responsibilities of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education include setting standards of higher education (including requirements for the admission of students), determining the functions and courses of study at each institution, granting degrees and other forms of academic recognition, recommending higher education's funding needs to the legislature, allocating state appropriations to individual institutions, and determining the fees of all institutions of the system.


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2.2 THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

By constitutional authority, the governance of the University is vested in the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. The Board is composed of seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Oklahoma Senate. Each member serves a seven-year term unless appointed to fill an unexpired term. One member is replaced each year. The powers and duties of the board are set out in Oklahoma’s constitution and statutes (Article XIII, Section 8, Constitution of Oklahoma; Title 70, Section 3301, et seq, Oklahoma Statutes).


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2.3 ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

The administrative organization exists to provide leadership and to facilitate University of Oklahoma goals, objectives, and services. As an operating philosophy, the University's purposes can best be achieved in an atmosphere of shared governance, mutual planning and implementation of decisions, and the recognition and encouragement of contributions by members of the University community.


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2.4 PRESIDENT

As the chief executive and academic officer of the University, the President is responsible to the Board of Regents of the University for the administration of the institution. All authority delegated by the Regents is administered through the President, who may in turn delegate responsibility and authority to other University administrative officials.


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2.5 STAFF SENATE

Consistent with the University’s desire to foster and provide a positive working environment, there are established governance organizations for staff employees on the Norman, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa campuses. The purpose of these organizations is to provide staff employees a means to participate in decisions regarding policy matters of the University affecting working conditions of employees. Governance groups function as advisory and policy-referral bodies to the University administration and to the staff employees represented. Additional information on Staff Senate and governance groups can be found on the Staff Senate websites for the Norman, Health Sciences Center and Tulsa campuses.


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2.6 COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES

A system of councils and committees is essential to the University’s operation. They are basic to a collegial environment and assure participation by all segments of the University community in the interest of achieving institutional goals and objectives. They also serve to keep the faculty and staff advised of current issues, utilize the unique talents and expertise available on the campuses, and provide interaction among faculty, students, staff, and administrators.

Councils and committees are given clearly stated assignments in writing, and they are asked to give periodic reports to their constituencies. The committee structure of the institution is kept flexible and is subject to periodic review and revision. A current listing of councils and committees, their assignments, and their membership is available in the Office of the President. Councils make recommendations to the President on policy and programs in areas of vital significance to the functioning of the University as an educational institution as well as in special extracurricular areas that require the attention of the full representation of the University community. Certain councils are created by the Board of Regents, some are created by the President, and others are established upon recommendation of the Faculty and Staff Senates and approval by the President.

Standing committees provide the President and other members of the administration with advice and assistance regarding areas of University activity that are important to the fulfillment of an educational mission but are of less fundamental significance than the areas of council concern. Administrative advisory committees are established by officers of the University for subjects not covered by the council or standing committee structure. These committees are composed of members selected by the establishing official. The number and purposes of these committees are regularly reviewed by the President.

Task forces are established from time to time as ad hoc committees designed to accomplish a specific purpose. Members of a task force are selected by the appointing body or officer. Dissolution occurs when the assigned task is completed or at the discretion of the appointing body or officer. Administrative search committees are formed to assist in the selection of the President, Senior Vice President and Provosts, vice presidents, provosts, vice provosts, and academic deans. Search committees may also be used in the search for any other unique positions.


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3.0 EMPLOYMENT
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3.1 STAFF EMPLOYEES

The information in this section gives employment policies for executive officers, administrative officers, administrative staff, managerial staff, professional staff, supervisory staff, and service and operations staff. These groups combined are known as staff employees.


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3.2 BENEFITS DESIGNATION

University employment benefits are linked to the primary position for which an employee is hired. If an employee is hired through the staff hiring process but by virtue of his or her skills or expertise is assigned an additional academic title, benefits accrue to the primary staff title only, even though the employee's total title would reflect an additional academic appointment unless the provost, after consultation with the Chief Human Resources Officer, specifically determines that an exception is in the best interests of the University.


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3.3 HIRING

This policy, approved by the Board of Regents, was developed to provide a means for assuring (1) that available Human Resources will receive full use and (2) that all appointments, promotions, and transfers will be made on the basis of individual qualifications and merit without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, status as a veteran, or genetic information. The University of Oklahoma is committed to equal employment opportunity and to employment of only U.S. citizens and individuals who are lawfully authorized to work in the United States.


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3.3.1 HIRING POLICIES

Any vacancy for a position expected to last for 90 calendar days or more must be listed with Human Resources. Recommendations for appointments, reappointments, promotions, and transfers will not be approved until required information on candidates for these positions has been reviewed by Human Resources. Employment of persons for less than 90 calendar days should be coordinated with Human Resources for determining an appropriate compensation level. FLSA-nonexempt (hourly) positions must be listed for at least five working days or until three candidates have been referred. FLSA-exempt (salaried) positions must be listed for at least seven working days regardless of the number of applicants. Hiring officials should notify current employees within the department simultaneously with, if not prior to, listing the job to give those staff first knowledge of promotional opportunities within the department. Upon making a hiring decision, the department should advise Human Resources of the acceptance of the candidate selected and notify all other applicants that the position has been filled. Departments are encouraged to establish procedures for the effective orientation of new, transferred, reclassified, or promoted employees. These procedures should cover rules concerning scheduled and unscheduled leave, timelines for demonstrating attainment of needed job skills, and other personnel-related issues.

It is University policy to list open positions unless there are compelling circumstances to justify an appointment without listing. Requests to exempt positions from this listing requirement should be submitted in writing to the CHRO and describe the circumstances that justify a selection without posting. The University will require all new employees to provide information needed to comply with the requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. All new employees must have an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (INS I-9) on file in Human Resources. The University participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security, with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 (and in those instances where existing employees are assigned to state or federal contracts requiring E-Verify authorization) to confirm work authorization.


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3.3.2 DEFINITIONS

Appointments - (1) Initial appointment refers to placing an individual on the payroll for the first time. (2) Reappointment refers to placing a former employee on the payroll when prior service was compensated by other than special payments. (3) A continuous appointment is one that is expected to continue for 1,040 hours or more. (4) A full-time appointment is expected to continue for 6 months or more and require 40 hours or more of work per week. (5) A part-time appointment is expected to continue for 6 months or more and require less than 40 hours of work per week. (6) A temporary appointment is expected to continue less than 6 months and may work variable hours per week. (7) Temporary employment beyond 90 days will require Department Head and Human Resources approval. A temporary employee who work 30 hours or more per week on average during an applicable Measurement Period must be offered medical insurance. (8) A seasonal employee is an individual who is hired into a position for which the customary annual employment is 6 months or less (e.g., an employee hired to work in the summer or winter, but not both). (9) An independent contractor is an individual or business that provides services to the University of Oklahoma. An independent contractor is a separate business entity and is not considered an employee. The University does not provide a paycheck or withhold income taxes or Social Security/Medicare taxes for independent contractors. The IRS has established tests to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.

Promotion - An employee is promoted when he or she is advanced to a classification with a higher pay range. The term does not apply to pay increases for work at the same level.

Transfer - A transfer occurs when an employee moves from one department to another or to a different position within the same department. A transfer may be made with or without a promotion.

Student Employee Status - Student Employees are those employees currently enrolled full time and regularly attending University of Oklahoma courses for credit and whose primary purpose for being at the University is to obtain an education. Student employees must be enrolled at least half time to be considered eligible for exemption from paying FICA (social security and Medicare taxes). Additionally, to be eligible for the FICA exemption, student employment must be predominantly incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Student employees are encouraged to limit their work hours to less than 30 hours per week in order to focus on their studies. Student employees who work 30 hours or more per week must be offered employee medical insurance. By law, international students are not subject to FICA taxes; however, due to F-1 visa requirements, they cannot work more than 20 hours per week when classes are in session. The department head is responsible for determining the applicability of student status to the appointment and the work schedule to be met.


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3.3.3 PROMOTIONS AND TRANSFERS

The University encourages the upward mobility of staff employees to positions for which they are qualified and which meet their career interests and objectives. Internal promotions are encouraged and may be effected without posting the vacancy externally on the Human Resources website. Human Resources must be notified of the vacant position the department wishes to fill by internal promotion. Departments will notify their current employees of the vacancy prior to effecting an internal promotion. Vacancies, along with all minimum qualifications required and the rate or range of pay, will be made known by one or more of the following: (1) notices posted on department bulletin boards; (2) memos and/or emails circulated to staff; or (3) internal posting on the HR website. To be considered for an internal promotion, employees must meet all minimum qualifications of the vacant position. After the qualifications of all interested departmental employees have been evaluated and a selection has been made, the hiring department will provide documentation of compliance with this policy to Human Resources with the personnel action form for the employee selected.

Positions that are to be filled by promotion or lateral transfer interdepartmentally should be listed in accordance with the University’s hiring policy. Positions that result in lateral transfer, no change in pay grade, or demotion for employees within a department may be filled without listing. Employees interested in promotional or lateral transfer opportunities must provide Human Resources with updated employment application material. Employees seeking promotion or lateral transfer are encouraged to discuss these possibilities with their supervisor. Employees with less than six months of service in their current position are normally not eligible for consideration for promotion or transfer.

Departments, except those funded by grants or contracts, accepting employees by transfer will be responsible for the employees' accumulated paid leave and extended sick leave benefits. A grant or contract may accept all or any portion of accrued leave of a transferred employee. Any remaining balance of accrued leave will be transferred to the employee’s extended sick leave account.

Salary increases normally will not be approved for employees moving from one position to another at the same or lower level. A decrease in salary may be appropriate when employees accept transfers to lower level positions and the employee’s salary will be over the maximum salary range for the new position. Decreases in salary should be discussed with the Chief Human Resources Officer before action is taken.


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3.3.4 TESTING

All employment tests must be reviewed and approved by Human Resources and/or the Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator before use to ensure the tests are valid, job related, reliable, uniformly administered, and do not have an adverse impact on the employment opportunities of members of protected classes. The Equal Opportunity Commission’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection requires that employee testing be validated to show a direct relationship between test results and job performance.


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3.3.4 .1 POST OFFER EMPLOYMENT TESTING (POET)

The University requires successful completion of a post offer pre-employment physical assessment for certain job classifications before the employment relationship can be finalized. The post offer employment test (POET) is designed to determine whether a prospective employee possesses the physical capabilities necessary to safely perform the essential functions of the job for which he or she has received a contingent offer of employment. The assessment will be administered only after a contingent offer of employment is made. If the prospective employee does not demonstrate the ability to safely perform the essential functions of the position during the POET, with or without reasonable accommodation, the offer of employment will be rescinded.

A list of classifications covered by this policy is maintained by Human Resources. Postings for positions subject to POET will inform applicants of this requirement. Current University employees seeking a transfer into a classification subject to this requirement and with a higher level of physical demands than their current job are subject to the policy. The post offer employment test is considered part of the selection process. Time away from work will not be compensated. Travel expense incurred will not be reimbursed. The office responsible for Workers Compensation administration on each campus will develop guidelines for implementation of this policy and distribute such guidelines to the affected departments.


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3.4 BENEFITS ELIGIBILITY

Employees with a continuous appointment who are scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week (0.50 FTE) are eligible to participate in University benefit programs. Temporary employees and employees scheduled to work less than 20 hours per week are not eligible for benefits. Student employees are not eligible for employment benefits other than Workers’ Compensation. Information about University benefit programs is available on the Human Resources’ website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU.


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3.5 REEMPLOYMENT

Benefits-eligible employees who have two or more years of continuous service and who return to the University in a benefits-eligible position within 90 calendar days following termination under satisfactory conditions may have their previously accrued service time and remaining accrued benefits, including ESL balances, restored to their employment record. This action requires a recommendation from the department head and approval by the Chief Human Resources Officer. Employees who are terminated under unsatisfactory conditions may not be eligible for reemployment.


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3.6 TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

University employment is at-will; an employee may terminate his or her employment at any time, with or without cause. Similarly, the University may terminate the employment of an employee at any time with or without cause, or take any other such lesser legally available action with respect to an employee (e.g., disciplinary action, transfer, demotion, etc.) when it is determined that such lesser action is in the best interest of the University. Where termination by either the University or employee is not due to workplace or performance issues, a reasonable period of written notice, e.g., two weeks for nonexempt employees and 30 days for exempt employees, is preferred. Terminations of employees with a continuous appointment shall be reviewed by the appropriate executive officer or his or her designated administrative officer before becoming final. A copy of each written notice of termination, layoff, or resignation is to be sent to Human Resources.


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3.7 REDUCTION IN WORK FORCE
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Purpose

This policy provides procedures to be followed when benefits-eligible staff of the University, who are not paid from grant and/or contract funds, are affected by a reduction in force (RIF) due to reorganization, lack of work, lack of funds, or the abolishment or reduction of an activity as implemented by the budget unit head or dean.


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Applicability

This policy applies to executive officers; administrative officers; and administrative, professional, managerial, supervisory, and service and operations staff employees, either full time or part time (50 % FTE or more).


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Exclusions

Layoffs of student employees, temporary employees, employees paid from grant and/or contract funds, and staff whose total University appointment is less than.50 FTE are not subject to the procedures contained in this section, and these employees are not eligible for layoff/reduction in force or recall benefits.


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Policy

It is the goal of the University to provide a positive and stable work environment for its employees. However, conditions may arise that necessitate a reduction in the University’s work force. Reductions in force due to reorganization, lack of work, lack of funds, or the abolishment or reduction of an activity as implemented by the budget unit head or dean shall be reviewed and approved by the appropriate provost or vice president. The Financial Emergency Policy in the Regent’s policy manual shall be followed in those instances where staff reductions follow and are related to the President's declaration that an agency of the University is in a state of financial emergency.

Staff layoffs and recalls, except those resulting from the application of the Financial Emergency Policy (See Faculty Handbook), shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures. It will be the responsibility of the budget unit head or dean to work with Human Resources and the Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator to expedite the procedures as defined. The purpose of this coordination is to assist in determining alternative actions, assure equity in layoff decisions, review equal employment opportunity considerations, and provide assistance to those employees designated for layoff.

Employee retention will be based on both performance and seniority. Seniority will be considered as total seniority with the University. For purposes of this policy, performance is determined by an employee’s current performance appraisal (within the last 12 months and for the current position). In a case where there is no current performance appraisal, the employee’s performance is considered satisfactory. However, the employee’s performance is considered unsatisfactory if disciplinary action was issued (1) after the current performance appraisal, or (2) within the past 12 months when there is no current performance appraisal.

In the event performance is determined to be equal among employees, seniority will be given weighted consideration. Length of service is defined as benefits-eligible service. Military leave, other protected leave such as FMLA and the first year of other approved leaves are considered continued service. Where options are available in choosing classifications subject to layoffs, departments will select those classifications where layoffs will have the least negative impact on the equal employment opportunity gains of the University. Documentation of the decision must be in writing and communicated to all employees affected.

Personnel affected by a reduction in force shall receive a 30-calendar-day notice plus all paid leave time accrued up to the maximum allowed at termination as defined in the Paid Leave Policy, Section 3.10.1. Reasonable time off without charge to accrued leave will be given within the 30-day layoff notice period to attend job interviews.

An employee affected by a reduction in force may submit a complaint through the Staff Dispute Resolution Procedure. Such complaints are limited to procedural requirements of the reduction in force. A complaint arising out of a reduction in force must be submitted to Human Resources within ten working days following receipt of notice of layoff.

Employees affected by reduction in force who accept a comparable benefits-eligible position within the department or in any other department within the University will be deemed to have waived eligibility for recall to the position from which the reduction in force occurred. An employee affected by a reduction in force with at least satisfactory performance, as described under this policy, is eligible for recall by the University for up to 12 months following the effective termination date. Recall is reemployment to the same position, same salary, and same job classification within the budget unit from which the layoff occurred. Recalled employees will be reinstated with accrued benefits and seniority held before layoff. Procedures and employee responsibility for recall and reinstatement are explained below under Recall and Reinstatement Procedures.

Recall and reinstatement procedures will be as follows:

(1) The pool of employees qualified for recall must be screened prior to advertising a vacancy in a budget unit affected by the Reduction in Work Force Policy.
(2) Employees will be recalled in inverse order of layoff, so that the last employee laid off is the first to be recalled. If layoff dates are the same, then employees will be recalled based on seniority, with the employee with the most University service recalled first.
(3) Written recall notice from the department head to the employee will be sent by certified letter with return receipt with a copy to Human Resources.
(4) Recalled employees shall have ten calendar days from the date of the return receipt of the letter to notify the University of their intent to return to work, and such limitation shall be stated in the letter of recall to the employee.
(5) An employee who does not state his or her intention to accept reemployment within ten calendar days shall be removed from eligibility for recall.
(6) An employee who is not available to report for reemployment within 30 calendar days of the recall notice shall be removed from eligibility for recall.

Before implementation of a reduction in force, alternative solutions to minimize a layoff impact should be considered. These alternatives may include but are not limited to:

(1) Reductions of operating expenses other than payroll.
(2) Moratorium on further hiring within the department in the affected job class(es).
(3) Separation of employees appointed for less than 50% time.
(4) Reassignment of employees to comparable or other positions in an unaffected area.
(5) Retraining of all qualified employees.
(6) Encouragement of early or phased retirement.
(7) Encouragement of leaves without pay or FTE reduction.
(8) Demotions with save-pay feature if financially feasible.

If a layoff is necessary, the budget unit head should take the following actions before implementing the layoff:

(1) Develop a Reduction in Work Force Plan. A written plan is necessary when decisions must be made concerning which employees within the budget unit to retain. The plan will need to address at least the following concerns:
(a) Why is a reduction in work force necessary?
(b) What alternatives were considered prior to layoff?
(c) What was the rationale for deciding which functions in the overall operation must be preserved, altered, or eliminated as a result of this reduction in work force?
(d) What classifications will be affected by the above decision and what will be the result for personnel?;
(e) Analyze the department's total work force as follows: 1. Total Work Force: Names and classifications of all employees within the budget unit or department; 2. Affected Classification(s): Name of employee; EMPL ID; date of last performance evaluation; last performance evaluation rating; adjusted status date; race; sex; age; veteran’s status; disability; retain (yes/no); specific reason for layoff (if applicable);
(f) Send a copy of the proposed layoff notice to the employee containing the following information: 1. The reason for the layoff or displacement including the reason for not retaining the particular employee; 2. The effective date of the layoff; 3. The right to appeal the layoff within ten working days of the receipt of the notification through the University’s dispute resolution procedure; 4. A statement regarding the terms of recall (either by RIF layoff date or seniority based on years of service), reemployment, or reinstatement; 5. A statement regarding the availability of the department and Human Resources to assist in securing other employment, without guarantee.
(2) Forward the plan to the dean/administrator for approval of the layoff action, if appropriate.
(3) Upon the dean's/administrator's approval, send the proposed plan to Human Resources and the University Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (EOO) for review and process approval. Send a copy to the appropriate provost or vice president.
(4) Upon approval from Human Resources and the EOO, notify the appropriate provost or vice president.
(5) Communicate the layoff plan as developed and approved to all affected persons verbally followed by written notice (either hand delivered or certified mail with return receipt) as far in advance as possible but with a minimum of 30 calendar days between the date of receipt and the beginning of the layoff.

A copy of the layoff notice will be sent to Human Resources and the EOO. Human Resources is available for counseling the affected employees on employment. Employees are responsible for keeping their file current in Human Resources. Likewise, employees who are laid off in accordance with this policy must keep Human Resources informed of their current mailing address. Assistance in developing or implementing a Reduction in Force Plan is available from Human Resources or the Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator.


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3.8 COMPENSATION

It is the University’s policy to administer wages and salaries in a fair, competitive, and nondiscriminatory manner and in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. A goal of the University’s pay system is to pay employees wages and salaries competitive with those paid for similar work in the areas from which we recruit. Human Resources is responsible for classification of each staff job (other than executive officer and administrative officer). Before a new position is filled, a classification should be approved by Human Resources. If a position has been previously classified but duties and responsibilities have significantly changed, a reclassification review should be requested. Requests to review the classification of positions may be initiated by individual employees, department heads, other appropriate administrative officials, or Human Resources. After a review is completed, the department head and other appropriate administrative officials will be advised of the action taken. Salaries and wages are reviewed periodically to assess the competitiveness of University compensation practices.


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3.9 WORK SCHEDULES

The University reserves the right to establish and change work schedules as may be necessary for orderly and efficient operation.


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3.9.1 FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

The University encourages department heads to utilize flexible scheduling where it can be implemented efficiently and without negatively affecting the operation of the particular area. A family-friendly workplace is encouraged and supported by the University.


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3.9.2 BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT

The University supports breastfeeding mothers in the workplace by providing flexibility to allow sufficient time to express milk or to breastfeed a baby brought in by a care provider. Time spent beyond the normal breaktime will be considered to be unpaid. The employee and the supervisor can make arrangements to make up time lost or use available paid leave in accordance with existing University policies


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3.10 LEAVES OF ABSENCE WITH PAY
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3.10.1 PAID TIME OFF (PTO)

Paid time off (PTO) is available to staff who hold benefits eligible appointments. Temporary employees and student employees are not eligible for paid time off. PTO may be used for vacation, personal illness, funeral attendance, illness of a family member, or other personal business. Unpaid leaves of absences cannot be taken if the employee has an accrued paid leave balance except in the following circumstances:

(1) An employee who has exhausted her or his annual allocation of paid military leave and remains deployed may choose to use leave without pay or accrued leave.
(2) An employee whose absence is the result of an on-the-job injury for which he or she is receiving TTD (total temporary disability) may choose to use paid leave or to take leave without pay.

Nonexempt employees may accrue compensatory leave which should be used first before any other paid leave is taken. Exempt employees working at least.50 FTE and up to.75 FTE will accrue paid leave in proportion to their FTE appointment. Nonexempt employees accrue paid leave on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of hours paid. The 40-hour work week will be the basis for the pro-rata computations. Paid leave time is accrued each pay period. Paid leave does not accrue during periods of extended sick leave. Paid leave can accrue to a maximum of 336 hours. Paid leave is accrued as follows:

CategoryYears of ServiceMonthly HoursAnnual AccrualMaximum Accrual
Executive and Administrative OfficersEach Year2233 days(264 hours)42 days (336 hours)
All other Staff1 - 5 years (0 - 60 months)1827 days(216 hours)42 days (336 hours)
All other Staff6 - 10 years (61 – 120 months)2030 days(240 hours)42 days (336 hours)
All other Staff11 years or more (121+ months)2233 days(264 hours)42 days (336 hours)

Authorized holidays falling within an employee's PTO period will be counted as holiday pay. Use of paid time off for other than personal illness or emergency must be scheduled in advance with supervisory approval. Employees must comply with departmental guidelines for reporting absences and approving time off work. Whenever possible, the University will grant earned paid time off at the convenience of the employee. However, departmental needs must be met. Cash payment to an employee in lieu of paid time off will not be permitted. No cash payment will be made for time accrued in the extended sick leave account.


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3.10.1.1 EXTENDED SICK LEAVE (ESL)

Time accrued beyond the maximum allowance of paid time off will be deposited in an extended sick leave (ESL) account. There is no maximum extended sick leave amount one can accrue. An employee may transfer accrued paid time off to the extended sick leave (ESL) account. Time deposited in the extended sick leave (ESL) account may not be transferred back to the accrued time-off account. Time away from work because of vacation, illness of a family member, funeral attendance, or other personal business is to be reported as paid time off. Absence due to personal illness is to be reported as paid time off for the first five consecutive working days per incident.

When there is no accrued time in the paid leave account, the first five days per incident of illness must be leave without pay. Absence due to personal illness beyond five consecutive working days will be deducted from the extended sick leave account as long as accrued time is available. When there is no accrued time in the extended sick leave account, absence due to personal illness will be deducted from paid leave time. Scheduled paid leave time taken for consideration as time worked is defined in the Overtime Policy, Section 4.3.1. Unscheduled paid leave time taken and extended sick leave time taken will not be considered as time worked for overtime purposes. An employee returning to work part time following an extended sick leave may continue to draw from the extended sick leave account for the time not worked until a full release is given by the physician. Recurrence of the same illness within 30 calendar days of returning to work from an extended sick leave may be considered a continuation of the incident and charged to extended sick leave.

Absences due to personal illness should be reported on the monthly payroll certification or hourly time records. A Personnel Action Form changing the employee's status to a paid leave of absence must be processed before any absence may be deducted from the extended sick leave account. The University will require acceptable medical documentation of illness or disability before allowing any charges to extended sick leave benefits. Leave for personal illness should be taken in the following order: five days of paid leave time, extended sick leave, remaining paid leave time, leave without pay. Nonexempt employees may accrue compensatory leave, which should be used first before any other paid leave is taken. Duration of the disability is to be medically determined. No supervisor should compel an employee to return to work without a medical release. Pregnancy is to be treated as any other extended sick leave. An employee may continue normal duties through pregnancy or use available leave while unable to perform regular duties. Employees who utilize leave for pregnancy shall suffer no penalty, retaliation, or other discrimination. Employees on Extended Sick Leave (ESL) will not accrue Paid Time Off (PTO).


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3.10.1.2 PAYMENT OF ACCRUED LEAVE UPON TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

Employees who terminate their employment under satisfactory conditions or whose status changes from benefits eligible to benefits ineligible will be paid for accrued PTO not to exceed the amount of their annual accrual. Terminal pay will not include credit for University-recognized holidays falling within the terminal pay period. The budget head may recommend that terminal pay be denied to an employee discharged for serious cause.

Retiring employees (who, for purposes of this policy, must meet one of the following conditions: (1) eligibility for OTRS retirement, (2) eligibility for OU retirement, or (3) eligibility to receive Social Security retirement) or the beneficiaries of deceased employees will be paid for accrued paid leave time up to the maximum accrual allowance and will receive pay for holidays falling within the terminal pay period.

Departments are expected to allow employees appointed to grants and contracts accounts to use all earned PTO during the specified period of their appointment unless the grant or contract contains sufficient funds or the department plans to use non-sponsored funds to pay for accumulated leave time upon termination of the employee. If such funds are not available, PTO must be transferred into the extended sick leave account at the time the employee terminates or the grant or contract is discontinued. If the employee is transferring and the department to which the employee is transferring is willing to accept all or any portion of the accrued leave, then the leave balance may be maintained. If the department into which the employee is transferring is unwilling to accept the leave, PTO must be transferred into the extended sick leave account.

Employees appointed to grants and contracts whose status changes from benefits eligible to benefits ineligible may have their accrued leave paid out or transferred into the extended sick leave account based on the conditions in the preceding paragraph. PTO balances for such employees will be zeroed out. Twelve-month employees changing to a nine-month appointment must transfer all accrued paid leave time into the extended sick leave account.


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3.10.2 HOLIDAYS

Each academic year, the University recognizes 11 holidays, including New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day, plus four other holidays as listed in the annual holiday schedule. Employees eligible for benefits will be excused from work with pay on those days recognized by the University as holidays. A holiday falling on a Saturday will be recognized by the University on the preceding Friday. A holiday falling on a Sunday will be recognized by the University on the following Monday. When operations of the University require that employees be regularly scheduled to work on days otherwise recognized as holidays, such employees will be granted an equal amount of time off with pay on a date mutually agreed upon by the employee and the budget unit head.


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3.10.3 JURY DUTY

Pay will be given to employees on a benefits-eligible appointment who are called for jury duty or subpoenaed as a witness before a court of law, legislative committee, or judicial body.


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3.10.4 VOTING

Every employee shall be allowed two hours of time during the period when an election is open in which to vote. If an employee lives at such a distance from his or her voting precinct that more than two hours are required to attend the election, then the employee shall be allowed sufficient time to cast a ballot. Employees shall only be provided this time to vote upon oral or written notification to a supervisor on the day preceding the election. Upon proof of voting, no employee shall lose compensation or otherwise be penalized for the absence. The University may select the hours during which an employee will be allowed to vote. This policy shall not apply to any employee whose work day begins three hours or more subsequent to the opening of the polls, or ends three hours or more prior to the time of closing the polls. The University may change an employee’s work hours to allow these three hours before the beginning of work or after work hours.


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3.10.5 MILITARY LEAVE

Employees who are members of the Oklahoma National Guard or any branch of the United States military or its reserve components are entitled to a leave of absence with pay for the first 30 regularly scheduled work days of active military duty during any federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) when ordered by proper authority to active or inactive duty. The leave with pay will not be charged against paid leave or other accrued benefits. During the remainder of the leave of absence in any federal fiscal year, the University may elect to pay employees an amount equal to the difference between the employee's full regular pay from the University and their Oklahoma National Guard or United States military reserve component pay. Employees who are employed by the University for brief, nonrecurring employment that is not expected to last indefinitely or for a significant period of time are not entitled to military leave except under limited conditions. Human Resources can be contacted for assistance regarding such determinations. Reference(s): 44 OS §209, Leave of absence to public officers and employees; 72 OS §48, Leave of absence during active or inactive duty or service - Public employees.


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3.10.5.1 REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AFTER MILITARY LEAVE

Reemployment rights and benefits following a military leave of absence are in conformance with applicable federal and state laws. Subject to certain exceptions, the person is entitled to reemployment in the job he or she would have attained but for the military leave, and with the same seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority, if: (1.) the University received advance written or verbal notice of the service; (2.) the cumulative length of the absence and all previous service absences with the University does not exceed five years, except in certain circumstances; (3) the person reports to, or applies for reemployment to, the University within the time provided in 38 USC § 4312, Reemployment rights of people who serve in the uniformed services, subsection (e).


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3.10.6 RETURNING FROM LEAVE

Employees failing to return to work upon expiration of their leave of absence, either with or without pay, shall be considered to have voluntarily terminated their employment with the University. Eligibility for reemployment shall be in accordance with the personal leave of absence and reemployment policies.


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3.10.7 ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE

Administrative leave with pay is sometimes granted when it is determined to be in the University's best interest that an employee not return to work for a specified period of time or for designated emergency closings of the University due to inclement weather, natural disaster, pandemic situations, or other events as determined by the President. Time approved as administrative leave will not be charged to an employee’s paid time off. Benefits-eligible employees, except those assigned to certain federal grants and contracts, are eligible to receive administrative leave with pay. Employees who are not benefits eligible are paid only for time worked and are not eligible for administrative leave. Authority to grant administrative leave requires prior approval by the President, appropriate provost, or vice president.


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3.10.8 SHARED LEAVE PROGRAM

The Shared Leave Program is a means for a University employee to donate paid leave to a fellow University employee who is eligible for and requires leave while experiencing a serious health condition, as defined, which has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay.


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Definitions

Employee Recipient - Twelve-month employees who hold benefits-eligible appointments that accrue paid leave and who have had continuous employment for at least 12 months preceding the serious health condition are eligible to be employee recipients. The recipient employee must have used all his or her paid time off (PTO), extended sick leave (ESL), and compensatory time hours (if applicable) prior to being eligible to receive shared leave. Shared Leave is not available for employees in off-work status due to workers compensation.

Employee Donor - Twelve-month employees who hold benefits-eligible appointments that accrue paid leave and have a paid leave balance greater than 50% of annual accrual are eligible to be employee donors. A donating employee can donate paid leave at any time during the budget year.

Serious Health Condition - A serious, extreme, catastrophic, or life-threatening medical condition is a period of incapacity requiring the employee to be medically unable to work for a period of five days or more. The medical condition includes, but is not limited to, continuing treatment or supervision by a healthcare provider, or continuing treatment of a chronic or long-term health condition. The employee must be suffering from an extraordinary or severe illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay.

Shared Leave Committee - The Shared Leave Committee will monitor the Shared Leave Program, make policy recommendations to administration and employee governance groups, and approve the distribution of shared leave to the recipient. The Shared Leave Committee will consist of seven University employees, with a term of three years, and shall be recommended by the Faculty and Staff Senates and appointed by the Vice President, Administration and Finance. The Shared Leave Committee will report the overall utilization and evaluation of the Shared Leave Program annually to the Faculty and Staff Senates, the President, Provost, and the Vice President, Administration and Finance.

Shared Leave Pool - The Shared Leave Pool will include both: (1) paid leave hours donated by eligible employees for distribution to a specific employee who has applied for and been approved for receipt of shared leave, and (2) paid leave hours which have previously been donated but not distributed. Hours donated that were not distributed to a specific employee will be maintained in the pool, along with any hours donated for general distribution to eligible employees.


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General Guidelines for the Shared Leave Program
(1) Shared leave is meant to cover only the duration of the serious health condition for which it was approved.
(2) Donated paid leave is transferable between employees in different University departments within each campus with the approval of the Shared Leave Committee.
(3) Any unused shared leave donated to a specific employee will be maintained in the Shared Leave Pool to be distributed to other qualified employees.
(4) All donated leave must be given voluntarily. No employee shall be coerced, threatened, intimidated, or financially induced into donating paid leave for purposes of the Shared Leave Program.
(5) Persons involved in the administration of the Shared Leave Program are responsible for guarding the privacy of leave recipients and donors. Communications with either group must be kept confidential.
(6) Employees who are receiving shared leave will not accrue additional paid leave.

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Eligibility and Participation Requirements for Recipient
(1) The employee or his or her personal representative will complete a Shared Leave Request Form and attach documentation from a licensed physician or healthcare practitioner verifying the need for the leave and expected duration of the condition.
(2) The employee must have a current satisfactory performance evaluation on file, or have no positive disciplinary actions on file, during the previous 12-month period.
(3) The budget head will review the application and forward his or her recommendation to the Shared Leave Committee.
(4) The Shared Leave Committee will determine eligibility of the employee based on: (a) The definitions listed above; (b) Whether all paid leave available to the employee has been used or is likely to be used. Absence due to personal illness beyond five consecutive working days will be deducted from the extended sick leave account if accrued time is available. Once the extended sick leave account is zero, the employee must also use all available paid leave hours before being eligible to participate in the Shared Leave Program; (c) Whether the employee has abided by University policies regarding the use of paid leave.
(5) If the employee meets the above criteria, the Shared Leave Committee will determine the amount of donated leave an employee may receive and may only authorize an employee to use up to a maximum of 480 hours in a 12-month period. An employee cannot exceed 260 days or 2,080 hours of donated leave during total University employment.
(6) The receiving employee shall be paid his or her regular rate of pay, up to a maximum of $2,500 per month of approved shared leave. Each hour of approved shared leave will be provided to the recipient on an hour for hour basis. The leave received will be designated as shared leave and will be maintained separately from all other leave balances.

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Eligibility and Participation Requirements for Donor
(1) The receiving employee must be eligible under the above criteria.
(2) The donating employee will complete a Shared Leave Donation Form, which must be sent to the Shared Leave Committee.
(3) The donating employee may donate any amount of paid leave provided the donation does not cause the paid leave balance of the employee to fall below 50% of his or her annual accrual.
(4) Donations must be made in full-hour increments.

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3.10.9 LEAVE TO DONATE BONE MARROW OR ORGANS

An employee of the University may be granted leave to donate bone marrow or organs. An employee who is granted a leave of absence pursuant to this Section shall receive his or her base pay without interruption during the leave of absence. An employee of the University who serves as a donor shall be granted a paid leave of absence of:

(1) up to five working days to serve as a bone marrow donor; and
(2) up to 30 working days to serve as a human organ donor.

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Approval

An employee’s request for leave pursuant to this Section must be submitted through the departmental budget head to the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and accompanied by written verification from the health care provider that the employee will serve as a donor.


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3.11 LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

Leaves of absence without pay for personal reasons may be recommended by the budget unit head when it appears to be in the best interest of the University and the employee. Such leaves may not exceed one year in length. Leave without pay for FLSA-exempt (salaried) employees may not be for absences of less than one day's duration.


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3.11.1 PERSONAL LEAVE

When employees are granted leaves without pay for personal reasons, the University is not obligated to reinstate the individual in either the same or a similar position within the recommending department. Therefore, prior to granting a leave without pay, departments should carefully consider whether they will be in a position to reinstate the individual at the conclusion of the leave. If the position cannot be held open or filled on a temporary basis, the department should make it clear to the employee and state on the personnel action form that the leave is being granted with the understanding that the University is not obligated to reinstate the individual at the conclusion of the leave. Further, the University has the discretion to end the leave without pay at any time and, if the employee does not return, terminate the employment relationship.


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3.11.2 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)

The University provides to eligible employees a leave of absence in compliance with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 29 C.F.R. § 825. Provisions of existing University policies and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 are designed to enable employees to balance their work responsibilities with the demands of caring for family members or in the event of serious personal illness or injury. The required posting is located on the Human Resources website (WWW.HR.OU.EDU) along with details concerning the process for FMLA. The following material provides general policy information concerning FMLA. The University’s procedural elements of FMLA are the responsibility of Human Resources. When unique situations arise or when further clarification or assistance is necessary, Human Resources may be contacted. Because case law that further clarifies FMLA is constantly evolving, the University will endeavor to keep its employees informed of relevant changes or clarifications to FMLA.


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Eligibility Requirements

Employees are eligible if they have worked for the University for at least 12 months (the 12 months need not be consecutive), and worked for 1,250 hours over the 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.


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Basic Leave Entitlement

FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

(1) incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or childbirth;
(2) care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
(3) care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
(4) a qualifying exigency which occurs while the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty in the Armed Forces. The term covered active duty means duty during deployment to a foreign country;
(5) a serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing any or all of the essential functions of the employee’s job.

The Family and Medical Leave Act also provides an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin the ability to take up to 26 workweeks during a 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious illness or injury. The leave shall only be available during a single 12-month period.

FMLA provides that spouses who are employed by the same entity and are both FMLA eligible may be entitled to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period if the leave is taken for birth, placement, or parental care. The University has chosen a more generous allowance and makes available 12 weeks to each spouse for these events. The total FMLA-protected leave taken for the birth of a child or adoption of a child can be up to 12 weeks, but the leave must be taken consecutively during a single time period. Time off cannot be taken intermittently.


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Definitions
Parent – The biological parent or the person who raised the employee, e.g., adoptive parents or guardians. This term does not mean parents-in-law.
Child - A biological child or someone the employee is responsible for raising who is under the age of 18 or is permanently incapable of self-care.
Covered Service Member - A current member of the Armed Forces who is on active duty, has been called to active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation. Covered military members include members of the National Guard or Reserves (Army National Guard of the United States, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard of the United States, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve).
Qualifying Exigency - for “son or daughter on active duty or call to active duty status” refers to the employee’s biological, adopted, foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stood in loco parentis who is on active duty or call to active duty status, and who is of any age.
Military Caregiver – The spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member.
Serious Health Condition – An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a healthcare provider, or by one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or by incapacity due to pregnancy, or by incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.
Qualifying Exigency - Qualifying exigencies encompass a wide range of specific activities in a number of broad categories and include, but are not limited to issues arising from a covered military member’s short notice deployment; military events and related activities, such as official ceremonies, programs, or events sponsored by the military or family support or assistance programs and informational briefings sponsored or promoted by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross; certain childcare and related activities; making or updating financial and legal arrangements; and attending to certain post-deployment activities. An employee whose family member is on active duty or called to active duty status in support of a contingency operation as a member of the Regular Armed Forces is not eligible to take leave because of a qualifying exigency.

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Benefits and Protections

University employee-provided insurance coverage and costs will continue for employees for the 12 or 26 weeks (as applicable) of FMLA protected leave. The employee will continue to be responsible for payment of premiums for any additional coverage or elected dependent coverage. It is the employee's responsibility to contact Employee Services as soon as possible to determine premium payment requirements. Employees on FMLA-protected leave will be eligible to change insurance coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period. If an employee on FMLA-protected leave does not return to work, he or she will also be eligible for continued insurance coverage as provided by the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provision. Upon return from FMLA leave, employees must return to and be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.


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Use of Leave

An employee is not required to use this leave entitlement consecutively except for excluded events. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced-leave schedule when medically necessary. This leave should be scheduled and approved by the supervisor in conjunction with departmental leave policies. Changes in FTE or salary reduction should not be made during job-protected leave. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to disrupt the University’s operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.


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Use of Paid Leave During FMLA Absence

FMLA leave runs concurrently with all other types of leaves. Employees are required to use accrued paid leave and extended sick leave (for their own serious health conditions) while taking FMLA leave prior to taking any unpaid leave of absence. See the Staff Handbook, Section 3.10 and 3.11, regarding paid leave and other types of leaves of absence. Absences related to an on-the-job injury for which Workers’ Compensation is received will also be designated as FMLA if the employee is eligible and the event is qualifying.


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Employee Responsibilities

Employees must provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days’ notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with normal call-in and other time and attendance procedures. More information can be found in Employee Rights and Responsibilities on the Human Resources website (WWW.HR.OU.EDU). University policy regarding outside employment will continue to apply to an employee while on FMLA. The University also requires both periodic reports of the employee’s status during the course of the leave and his or her projected date of return to work.


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Required Documentation

Employees must provide sufficient information for the University to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection, along with the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include whether the employee is able or unable to perform job functions or to what degree he or she is able to perform them. In the case of care of a family member, the information may include whether the family member is unable to perform daily activities, whether he or she needs hospitalization or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. Dates must be provided by the healthcare provider or the active duty orders. Employees also must inform the University if the reason for the requested leave is the same reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. A release must be submitted prior to engaging in either full-time or part-time work. A full release is required at the conclusion of each FMLA event.

The active duty orders of a covered military member will generally specify whether a service member is serving in support of a contingency operation by citing the relevant section of Title 10 of the United States Code and/or by referring to the specific name of the contingency operation. This documentation is required by Human Resources. Each new FMLA event requires a new medical certification in support of the request for FMLA. Updates or periodic recertification may be submitted on a healthcare provider’s letterhead notices/documents and do not have to be on a medical certification.


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Failure to return from FMLA

If an employee does not return to work as agreed, unless other arrangements were made, he or she shall be considered to have resigned from the University effective the last day of the approved leave.


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University Responsibilities

The University designates the FMLA calendar year as a 12-month period measured forward from the date of an employee’s first FMLA event. The University will inform employees whether or not they are eligible for FMLA qualifying leave. If the employee is eligible, the notice will specify any additional information required as well as the employee’s rights and responsibilities. If the employee is not eligible, the notice will provide the reason(s) for ineligibility. The University will inform employees if leave will be designated as FMLA qualifying leave and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s leave entitlement. If the University determines that the FMLA qualifying leave is not appropriate, the University will notify the employee. Additionally, the University will place the employee in the same or equivalent position upon his or her return from FMLA-qualifying leave and will not include such absences when taking disciplinary action because of absenteeism.


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Unlawful Acts by Employers

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to: (1) interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA; (2) discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.


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3.12 STAFF POLICIES: AUTHORITY AND ADMINISTRATION

The responsibility for administration of staff employment policies and procedures is delegated to the Chief Human Resources Officer under the executive authority of the President of the University. The authority for employment policies stems from public laws, the Board of Regents, and the President of the University. It is understood that any provision made herein may be voided by action of a superseding authority. Each staff employee has the right to discuss with Human Resources the terms of employment, including matters concerning hours, compensation, and working conditions. Supervisors are responsible for communicating policies and procedures within their department. Operating procedures not found in the Staff Handbook that are critical to departmental operations and/or unique to a department or work area shall be communicated in writing and distributed to all affected employees, and a copy shall be provided to the Human Resources office of the respective campus. Care should be taken to avoid disciplining employees for violation of operating procedures that have not been communicated to them. Departmental operating procedures shall be consistent with, and cannot supersede, University policy and applicable laws; in the event of a conflict, University policy shall govern.


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3.13 ACCESS TO PERSONNEL FILE

For the purpose of making employment decisions, the University maintains individually identifiable personnel files on persons who have been or who are its employees. This policy is intended to provide guidelines for access to those records in order to promote an informed public while maintaining the security of personnel records necessary to protect the privacy of its employees and the interests of the institution in fulfilling its constitutional functions. Access to appropriate records shall be in accordance with the provisions of this policy and the University's open records policy.


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Contents

Those responsible for the custody of personnel files shall determine information to be placed in the files. Only such information as is germane to the person's employment with the institution shall be retained in these files. Examples of this type of information are (1) information pertaining to bona fide occupational qualifications; (2) service on University committees, councils, and task forces; (3) summaries of pre-employment recommendations and merit, tenure, and promotion recommendations; (4) performance and discipline matters; (5) personnel actions, such as appointment, change of status, tenure, and promotion; (6) awards, elected offices, service to outside organizations, and professional associations. Individuals may ask that materials relevant to their employment be included in their personnel file by written request to Human Resources, to the executive secretary of the Board of Regents, or to the provosts, as appropriate.


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Confidentiality

The University shall keep personnel records confidential: (1) that relate to internal personnel investigations, including, examination and selection material for employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, discipline, or resignation; (2) where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy such as employee evaluations, medical documentation, payroll deductions, and employment applications submitted by persons not hired by the University; (3) that are specifically required by law or University policy to be kept confidential.


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Access

Personnel files shall be made available to individuals to review in accordance with the following guidelines, provided that the files may be inspected by persons so entitled only under the supervision of the custodian or his or her designee in the administrative office where they are maintained:

(1) With the exception of information/records accepted or excluded elsewhere in this policy, personnel files shall be made available for public inspection, copying and/or mechanical reproduction in accordance with procedures established under this policy, the University’s open records policy, or as otherwise provided by law, such as by court order or subpoena. Requests for personnel files must be made through the University’s Open Records Officer. Examples of available information include, without limitation, (a) an employment application of a person who becomes a public official; (b) the gross receipts of public funds; (c) the dates of employment, title, or position; (d) any final disciplinary action resulting in loss of pay, suspension, demotion of position, or termination.
(2) Supervisors or administrators shall have access to the personnel files of persons employed or being considered for employment in their areas of responsibility on a need-to-know basis and shall have authority to share the information with others responsible for personnel recommendations and/or decisions; further, other institutional officers or employees showing a legitimate need for the information shall be permitted such access.
(3) Except as may otherwise be made confidential by statute, an employee (or his or her designee as authorized in writing and signed by the consenting employee) shall have a right of access to his or her own personnel file, provided; (a) the individual wishing to inspect his or her personnel file submits a written request for inspection to the custodian of the file and; (b) the individual does not remove or add any records to his or her personnel file at the time of inspection.

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Correction of Records

Employees may dispute the accuracy of any material included in their personnel files. Such questions should be directed to the custodian of the file in writing. If the questions are not resolved by mutual agreement, the employee may initiate a formal challenge through the employment dispute resolution or discrimination complaint procedures as outlined elsewhere in University policy.


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3.14 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY

The University’s Intellectual Property Policy, which applies to faculty, staff, and applicable students, is listed in its entirety for Norman campus employees in the Norman Campus Faculty Handbook located on the Office of The Senior Vice President and Provost website. Policy subsections describe the policy specifics for patents, trademarks, and copyrights, respectively. Health Sciences Center employees can find this information in the Health Sciences Center Faculty Handbook on Office of The Senior Vice President and Provost website.


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3.15 TRANSFERS BETWEEN CAMPUSES

Transfers of employees between University of Oklahoma campuses are permitted without loss of employment benefits when the status of the position to which such a transfer is made carries eligibility for employment benefits. If benefits differ between campuses, benefits will be limited to those in effect on the campus to which the transfer is made. To implement this policy, transferring employees must: (1) request Human Resources to forward information regarding paid leave and extended sick leave balances, Sooner Options insurance information, beginning date of employment, and personnel actions affecting benefits eligibility to the Human Resources office of the campus to which they are transferring; (2) contact the Human Resources office of the campus to which they are transferring to reestablish employment benefits, e.g., insurance, teachers' retirement, the defined contribution plan, and similar benefits.


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3.16 SERVICE CREDIT TRANSFER

On occasion, persons employed by organizations existing for the benefit of the University of Oklahoma transfer individually or as a group to University employment. When this occurs, the CHRO is authorized to approve University service credit for periods of employment with the University-related organization. The service time credited will be subject to the same conditions as if the time were worked for the University.


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3.17 GOVERNANCE ACTIVITIES

Since the University depends upon an effective system of councils and committees in reaching its goals and objectives, it is important that staff members be given encouragement and support to participate in such governance activities. Budget unit heads and supervisors are expected to provide opportunities for their staff members in good standing to serve on University councils, committees, and task forces when appointed. Time taken during working hours to attend meetings and otherwise participate in the activities of such organizations will be considered work time and need not be made up as long as the time is approved in advance by the supervisor and does not compromise the work of the department.


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3.18 LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Learning and development activities are open to all employees. Workshops, seminars, and other developmental activities designed to improve the administration of University functions are offered through Human Resources. The University is committed to staff development and training for its employees. Departments are encouraged to promote the development and training of their staff. Time off during working hours may be given. Permission to enroll in and attend staff-development training opportunities during normal working hours must be obtained through regular supervisory channels. While the University reserves the prerogative of scheduling staff-development training time to meet its service requirements, it also expects each budget head and supervisor to make sure that each person under his or her supervision is allowed to participate in University-sponsored staff- development opportunities.


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3.19 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

One of the most important responsibilities of University supervisors is conducting evaluations of staff employees in their work group. Performance evaluations are basic to good personnel management and are considered a fundamental part of each supervisor's job assignment. Evaluations are useful to (1) achieve desired work performance; (2) receive ideas and input; (3) assist employees in personal development; (4) correct performance problems; (5) assist employees to develop additional knowledge, skills, and abilities for job advancement; (6) document shortcomings for positive discipline procedures that may be necessary; and (7) provide compensation relative to work performance.

All staff employees (except students and other temporary employees) are to receive a performance evaluation at least once each year. Evaluations may be given on a more frequent schedule when supervisors believe them to be useful. New employees are to receive an evaluation at the completion of their first six months of employment with the University. Each employee will receive an evaluation from his or her immediate supervisor. Performance evaluations are to be separated sufficiently in time from the University's budgeting schedule so that the focus of performance evaluation is on employee development but timed sufficiently with the budgeting process that performance evaluation results are meaningful in terms of merit increase recommendations. For this reason, performance evaluations for staff members who have completed their first six months of employment are to be given each year between January 1 and March 31. When justifiable because of the work cycle, exceptions may be made to this time period by the appropriate Vice President or Provost. Each performance evaluation is to be discussed with the employee receiving it.

Performance evaluations are to be documented and signed by the employee's immediate supervisor, the employee, and the budget unit head as appropriate. The employee's signature is not interpreted to mean agreement with the evaluation but rather acknowledgment that the evaluation has been discussed with the employee. A copy of the written evaluation is to be given to the staff member.

Budget units may use whatever form of performance evaluation is considered most appropriate for the kind of work performed in their workplace. Human Resources will assist departments in the development of evaluation instruments upon request. In addition to the budget unit form, the University's Performance Summary Report is to be completed and signed by the employee's immediate supervisor, the employee, and the appropriate budget unit head. An employee should have two working days after receiving a copy of this summary before he or she is required to sign it. One copy of the summary is to be given to the staff member evaluated, and the original is to be sent to Human Resources to become part of the employee's official personnel file. The form is available on the Human Resources website (WWW.HR.OU.EDU).


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3.20 POSITIVE DISCIPLINE

University employment policy is designed to give each employee a full opportunity for work success. This objective is dependent upon good employee selection procedures, meaningful employee orientation, appropriate on-the-job training, periodic performance evaluations, and a positive approach toward employee discipline by University supervisors. Disciplinary action is considered a dimension of performance evaluation and employee development. It is a corrective process to help employees overcome work-related shortcomings, strengthen work performance, and achieve success. When problems occur, they should be handled in reasonable ways that jointly support the concept of positive discipline and minimize the interruption of University services.

Employee discipline may be needed and, as a corrective procedure, is an integral part of University employment policy. Underlying discipline, however, is an expectation that supervisors will direct their efforts toward employee development and success, which may include additional training or developmental plans. When discipline is necessary, the positive guidelines below should be used as part of employee development. The guidelines are not expected to be rigidly applied but will be suitable for most University discipline situations.

Executive and administrative officers are strongly encouraged to train, educate, and encourage supervisors in their respective areas to implement and follow the positive disciplinary process. Nevertheless, while supervisors are strongly encouraged to utilize the disciplinary process before taking other employment action, there is no requirement that any or all of the steps must be followed with respect to employment decisions.

Depending upon the circumstances and the supervisor's judgment in individual cases, repeating a step, jumping a step, or moving to immediate discharge or other action may be appropriate. Supervisors are expected to document disciplinary action taken. The documentation should contain a clear description of the behavior that prompted the discipline, the action taken by the supervisor, and how the employee's conduct must change and in what time frame. Even oral reminders should be documented in the employee's departmental file to record that the reminder was in fact given. All documentation must be factual and complete. A form for documenting disciplinary action is available on the Human Resources website.


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Oral Reminder

This is the first step in the procedure. It involves a discussion between a supervisor and an employee about a minor work performance problem. The objective is to correct the problem by indicating in a friendly but serious manner how actual performance falls short of desired performance or behavioral expectations. This step should ensure that no employee is disciplined for violation of a policy or procedure she or he might reasonably not know about.


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Written Reminder

This is usually the second step in the procedure if an oral reminder has not corrected the problem. If the offense is of a serious nature, a written reminder is an appropriate first step. It formalizes a discussion between a supervisor and an employee in which the employee was informed of a performance deficiency and told that her or his behavior or performance might lead to termination.


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Disciplinary Leave

An employee may be placed on a disciplinary leave of absence with or without pay when it is in the best interest of the University to do so. Leave with pay will normally not exceed one day. Leave without pay normally does not exceed five working days. This step is usually taken after unsatisfactory performance has not been corrected following the application of oral and written reminders. It may be taken as a first and final step before discharge in the event of a major offense. An employee returning to work following disciplinary leave must agree to work in a manner that includes following rules and regulations and correcting unsatisfactory performance or he or she will be terminated.


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Discharge

This is not a step in the positive discipline procedure. It is one that may be taken when positive steps have been used but performance has not changed or when an employee has committed a major offense. A major offense is one that involves willful misconduct, dishonesty, serious threats to University operations or the safety and well-being of the individual or other employees, or behavior unacceptable to the institution. Examples include, but are not limited to, falsification of records, stealing, threatening or hitting another person, viewing pornographic materials or other violations of the Computer Use Policy (5.8), and violation of the Policy on Prevention of Alcohol Abuse and Drug Use on Campus and in the Workplace (5.21). When circumstances permit, prior to termination an employee should be given an opportunity to explain his or her actions. It is recommended that, when possible, department representatives contact Human Resources before discharging an employee. Documentation should include the employee's name, date of the incident, explanation of the circumstances resulting in the discharge, and reference to all previous disciplinary steps taken.


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Investigative Leave

An employee may be placed on an investigative leave and temporarily released from duty normally for up to five working days with pay at the sole discretion of the University to permit investigation of apparently serious infractions of University and/or departmental rules, policies, or applicable law. Extensions, in increments of up to five working days, may be granted at the discretion of the CHRO. Upon the investigation’s completion, the employee may be returned to work without penalty, subjected to positive discipline, or discharged, as deemed appropriate to the circumstances by the University.


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3.21 STAFF DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY

The Staff Dispute Resolution procedure provides employees of the University the opportunity to address and resolve disputes arising out of working conditions, employment practices, or application of policy. This procedure is available to full- or part-time, benefits-eligible staff of the University. The Chief Human Resources Officer shall adopt and maintain guidelines and procedures to implement this policy.

Wherever in this policy the term “Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)" is used, it is intended to cover the designee of that individual as well. Wherever the term "working days" is used, it is intended to mean Monday through Friday, excluding holidays or those days the University is closed for business. Employees are expected to make reasonable attempts to resolve concerns informally. In those cases in which an eligible employee is unable to informally resolve his or her concern, he or she may initiate a dispute resolution request as described in this Staff Dispute Resolution procedure.


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Retaliation Prohibited

The Staff Dispute Resolution procedure provides a prompt and impartial review of all facts involved without threat of coercion, discrimination, or reprisal. An employee who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for exercising rights under this procedure, or for participating in a dispute resolution process, may file a complaint with the University’s CHRO. The University considers such acts of retaliation a violation of University policy. Anyone who engages in retaliatory actions may be subject to disciplinary action.


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Dismissal

At any time during the process, the CHRO may dismiss a dispute resolution request upon concluding that (1) no resolvable issue exists, or (2) the requested remedy is not available or feasible, or (3) the parties have reached a resolution. Both parties shall receive written notice of the CHRO’s decision or of the resolution agreement and a copy shall be sent to the appropriate provost or vice president, who may reinstitute the dispute resolution request if the CHRO’s dismissal was inconsistent with the guidelines provided in this paragraph. The dismissal decision of the CHRO shall be final if the provost or vice president, as applicable, does not issue a statement of reissuance within ten calendar days of receipt of the notice of dismissal.


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Coverage

The following list identifies the types of matters that may be submitted for dispute resolution; it is not exhaustive but illustrative: (1) disciplinary action; (2) allegations of inaccurate or misleading material in official personnel file in Human Resources; (3) termination, which skips the informal process and goes directly to Step 3 of the formal dispute resolution process. Submitting a Request for Dispute Resolution does not change the employment status of the employee. If a termination is overturned by the appropriate provost or vice president, the written decision shall state all terms and conditions associated with the employee’s return to work.


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Exclusions

Excluded from the dispute resolution procedure are complaints concerning: (1) wages and salaries; (2) reduction in Force (RIF)-related concerns other than those addressing the procedural requirements of a given RIF; (3) University policies and rules. Complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability or status as a veteran, sexual harassment, or racial/ethnic harassment are covered by a separate procedure administered by the University Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator.


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Confidentiality

The individual parties, witnesses, and members of the Dispute Resolution Committee are individually charged to preserve confidentiality with respect to any matter reviewed or heard. When not otherwise authorized, a breach of the duty to preserve confidentiality is considered a serious offense and may subject the offender to appropriate disciplinary action. The Staff Dispute Resolution record shall consist of the Request, any responses submitted by the department, written and oral statements from the parties or others, documents, other relevant information used to develop recommendations, the Report of Findings by a Reviewer or Committee, and documentation of the final decision. Upon disposition of a complaint, the Staff Dispute Resolution record shall be transmitted to and maintained by Human Resources as confidential records except to the extent disclosure is required by law. This procedure includes records of complaints handled by administrators.


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Representation

A staff member who chooses legal or nonlegal assistance from outside the University does so at his or her own expense. The employee’s attorney or nonlegal participant may advise the employee but will not be permitted to be present or participate directly in any of the dispute resolution processes. The University's legal counsel may be made available to the employer under the same conditions.


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Time Limits and Deadlines

The time limits included in this procedure have been established to facilitate resolution of the dispute while providing adequate time to prepare and present responses. Informal dispute resolution requests must be filed within ten working days from the date the employee becomes aware of an issue that may have prompted a dispute. When informal resolution is not successful, the employee has ten working days from the end of such informal efforts to submit a formal dispute resolution request to Human Resources. In no case, however, will a dispute resolution request be accepted if it is submitted more than 30 calendar days after the employee became aware of the issue which prompted the request.

If time limits are not observed by the employee, the dispute will be dismissed and such dismissal shall be considered final. If the supervisor should fail to observe the time limits in any particular step, the employee may move the dispute to the next step. It is the employee’s responsibility to distribute all required documents to the necessary parties. Human Resources may assist in clarifying time limits and may, at its sole discretion and for good cause, extend a deadline if either party cannot reasonably comply within the limits.


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Staff Dispute Resolution Procedure
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Informal Dispute Resolution Process

The University encourages communication between supervisors and employees to resolve disputes promptly. Before bringing a formal dispute, an employee must initiate discussions with the immediate or second-level supervisor within ten working days from the date of the incident giving rise to the complaint. Upon request by either party, Human Resources will attempt to facilitate resolution of the issues in dispute. The informal resolution process should be completed within a reasonable period, generally not to exceed 30 calendar days from the date the employee became aware of the issue. If informal attempts at resolution are unsuccessful, staff may use the formal dispute resolution process.


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Formal Dispute Resolution Process
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Step 1 - Immediate Supervisor

Within ten days of the end of unsuccessful efforts at informal resolution of a dispute, the employee will submit a request for formal dispute resolution to her or his supervisor on the prescribed form. The immediate supervisor or his or her designee shall respond to the employee in writing within five working days of receipt of the request. If the immediate supervisor fails to observe the time limits, or the employee deems the response unsatisfactory, he or she has five working days to advance the request to Step 2.


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Step 2 - Department Head

The employee must provide to the department head a copy of the request and the response received from the supervisor. The department head or his or her designated representative shall consider the facts and circumstances of the dispute and shall, in writing, grant, deny, or propose a modification to the requested remedy within five working days after receipt of the employee's written request. If the department head fails to observe the time limits, or the employee deems the response unsatisfactory, he or she may proceed to Step 3 – Directed Review or Dispute Resolution.


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Step 3 - Directed Review or Dispute Resolution

The employee will submit the request with Step 1 and Step 2 decision-makers’ comments to Human Resources. The CHRO will review the employee’s request to proceed to Step 3 and will determine whether time limits and procedural steps were followed. If the procedure has not been followed, the CHRO may either deny the request or return it to the appropriate step in the process. The decision of the CHRO is final upon consultation with the appropriate provost or vice president. If the CHRO determines that the employee has followed the dispute resolution procedure, the CHRO will decide whether the issue in dispute is subject to a referral to Directed Review or Dispute Resolution in consultation with the appropriate provost or vice president. Challenges concerning an employee’s termination are referred directly to Dispute Resolution Committee or, alternatively, such challenges may proceed to mediation when appropriate.


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Directed Review

The CHRO may use the Directed Review procedure for matters that include, but are not limited to, disciplinary actions and other issues not otherwise excluded, but not terminations. Upon determining that Directed Review is the appropriate process, the CHRO will notify the employee that the request has been received and that a review is being conducted. The reviewer shall begin the Directed Review as soon as is reasonably possible after receipt of the request.

The reviewer is a neutral third party, employed by the University and appointed by the CHRO. An individual may not be appointed to be a reviewer if he or she has direct knowledge of the incident or dispute, is employed in the same budget unit, is related to either party to the dispute, or has an articulated bias in the case. Reviewers must disqualify themselves if they cannot provide an independent and unbiased assessment of matters in dispute. A party to the dispute or the CHRO may also request that the reviewer recuse him or herself upon determining one of the foregoing conditions exists.

The review may include interviews with the employee, the department representative(s), and others as deemed necessary to determine the facts and circumstances of the dispute and the application of University procedure. The reviewer shall submit a written report to the CHRO. The report shall include, but is not limited to, a brief summary of the dispute and the reviewer’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective action, if any.

Upon receipt of the reviewer's report and in consultation with the appropriate provost or vice president, the CHRO will render a final decision in writing as soon as is reasonably possible after receipt of the written report. Copies of the decision shall be sent to the employee, the supervisor, and administrators who reviewed the dispute at the lower steps. The CHRO may endorse, modify, or reject the findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations of the reviewer, or direct further investigation before making a decision. The CHRO’s decision serves as a directive for any action necessary for compliance with the decision. The decision of the CHRO, after consultation with the appropriate provost and vice president, is final and concludes the dispute resolution process.


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Dispute Resolution Committee

If the issue concerns an employee’s termination, or if the CHRO, in consultation with the appropriate provost or vice president, determines that the matter should not proceed to Directed Review, he or she shall call for a Dispute Resolution Committee to be formed, and the committee review process will be initiated. Dispute Resolution Committee meetings are closed to the public.

A Dispute Resolution Committee has three responsibilities: (1) Reviewing the facts and circumstances of the dispute collected through written statements and supporting documentation provided by the parties to the dispute and other information obtained by the committee through an investigative process, which may, at the discretion of the Committee, include a hearing that may include oral and written statements by the employee, the department representative(s), and others as deemed necessary by the committee; (2) Applying University policies; (3) Preparing a Report of Findings (Report) to include recommendations, if any.

Representatives of the parties may not be present or participate in these proceedings. The parties to the dispute are expected to represent themselves. The committee consists of five impartial members selected in the presence of both parties or by e-mail or phone by drawing from a volunteer pool of full-time staff. The CHRO shall establish procedures so that selected committee members reflect a range of staff levels and functions to ensure that impartial members are available to serve. Each campus will maintain a volunteer pool of 12 members chosen from a list of persons provided by the Staff Senate of each campus and appointed to three-year staggered terms by the Vice President, Administration and Finance. Volunteers must complete training required by Human Resources. Members of the volunteer pool are ineligible to serve on a committee if they: (1) have direct involvement or knowledge of the incident involved; (2) are employed in the same budget unit; (3) are related to either party in the dispute; or (4) have an articulated bias in the case.

Committee members must disqualify themselves if they cannot provide an unbiased review of the issues involved in the dispute. A party to the dispute or the CHRO may also request that a committee member withdraw whenever any of the above conditions exists. When committee members are disqualified or withdraw, alternates will be called to serve. The committee members may elect by majority vote who among them shall serve as the committee’s chair during the proceedings. A Dispute Resolution Facilitator advises the committee. The facilitator shall provide technical and administrative assistance to the committee but shall not be a member of the committee. The proceeding shall be recorded, and participants are to identify themselves for recording. At the conclusion of the committee review process, the recording will be filed with the Office of Legal Counsel and kept there for a period of at least six months.


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Role of the Dispute Resolution Facilitator

The Dispute Resolution Facilitator is a neutral third party employed by the University and appointed by the CHRO. The facilitator serves as an advisor to the committee and is responsible for calling meetings and facilitating the Dispute Resolution Committee review process. In addition, the Dispute Resolution Facilitator may provide guidance regarding the investigatory process, which may include consulting with the committee regarding the relevancy of certain information to a particular dispute. The Dispute Resolution Facilitator assists the committee in developing findings and recommendations during deliberation but does not participate in the decision-making process. The committee may request a different facilitator by submitting a request to the CHRO signed by a majority of the committee members. If such a request is received by the CHRO, he or she shall appoint a substitute facilitator within ten days of receipt of such notice.


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Report of Findings

The findings of the committee must be by majority, but need not be unanimous. The preparation of the committee’s report shall be the responsibility of the committee members, who may set their own procedures for preparing the report. The Dispute Resolution Facilitator will be available to assist the committee with report preparation and may undertake drafting of the committee’s report if so requested by the committee. The report shall include, but is not limited to, the committee’s findings and conclusions, recommendations for corrective action, if any, and any additional recommendations thought to be appropriate to maintain sound employee relations. The committee shall submit the committee's report to the appropriate provost or vice president within five working days of the close of the committee’s review and provide copies of the report to the parties to the dispute, the Dispute Resolution Facilitator, the dean/director, and Human Resources.


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Review by Provost or Vice President

The appropriate provost, vice president, or designee shall consider and act on the committee’s report within 15 working days and provide confidential notification of his or her decision to the parties of the dispute, members of the committee, and Human Resources. Such decision shall be final.


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Mediation

Mediation is a systematic process in which a trained, neutral third party assists the parties in reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement. Mediators do not answer complaints, define solutions, or decide for or against either party, nor do they provide legal advice or participate in the formal dispute resolution hearing. Either party to a dispute may request mediation at any point in the dispute resolution process or in lieu of filing or responding to a dispute resolution request. Participation in mediation is voluntary. Upon receipt of a mediation request, the CHRO will assign a mediator who will be responsible for contacting the parties, scheduling mediation sessions, securing the necessary consent to participate, conducting the mediation session, and completing the Mediation Agreement to be signed by the parties.

Mediation sessions are confidential, except as required by law, and closed to the public; the parties are expected to speak for themselves and representatives are not allowed to be present or to participate. While innovative solutions are encouraged, Mediation Agreements must comply with University policy. Any agreement reached voluntarily by the parties is the property of the parties and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent dispute resolution process. Human Resources should be contacted to arrange internal mediation services.


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4.0 PAY AND BENEFITS
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4.1 BENEFIT PROGRAMS

The University offers a comprehensive and competitive package of employee benefits. University sponsored benefit programs include: medical insurance, dental insurance, vision coverage, short and long-term disability coverage, life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, retirement insurance, flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses, long-term care insurance.


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4.1.2 INSURANCE BENEFITS
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4.1.2.1 ELIGIBILITY

The employee must be in a continuous appointment of at least a.5 FTE to be eligible for OU employee benefits. Benefits begin on the first of the month after date of hire. If the employee has a 1.0 FTE and does not enroll within the initial 31-day enrollment period, he or she will automatically be enrolled in medical, dental, life insurance, and AD&D coverage, but will be ineligible to enroll in other insurance programs until the next annual open enrollment period. Under certain circumstances, an employee may be eligible to enroll or modify elections if experiencing a qualified life event change during the plan year.


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4.1.2.2 PAYMENT

The University pays in full for employee dental, life, and accidental death insurance. The University and employee share in the cost of employee and dependent medical insurance, depending on the employee’s salary. The employee pays in full for all other insurance benefits. Most employee payments can be made on a pretax basis through the 125 Cafeteria Plan. The University of Oklahoma provides each benefits-eligible employee monthly benefits credits, also called Sooner Credits. The amount received is based on the employee's FTE (Full Time Equivalent) and salary. Full-time employees who hold a.75 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) or higher appointment receive 100% of the Sooner Credits provided by the University. Part-time, benefits-eligible employees who hold less than a.75 FTE appointment will receive partial payment credits for core benefits. The employee will pay the difference between the total cost of the employee's benefits and the amount contributed by the University according to a benefits payment table. University of Oklahoma Staff Handbook, as detailed above, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


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4.1.2.3 OTHER BENEFITS

Workers compensation insurance is provided for all employees irrespective of employment status. Unemployment compensation is provided for all employees except students. Additional information on all of these benefits can be found the Human Resource website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU.


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4.1.3 BENEFITS CONTINUATION

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides for continuation of medical, dental, and vision coverage for covered participating employees should they or their covered dependents become ineligible for coverage as a result of one of the following events: (1) the employee’s termination of employment, reduction in hours, or death; (2) the employee’s divorce or legal separation from a spouse; (3) the ineligibility of the employee’s dependent child for continued plan participation at the end of the calendar month in which the child turns 26.

Employees with currently active coverage may continue participation up to one year in group insurance benefits, except Long Term Disability, during an approved leave of absence period. The cost of coverage during the leave period is the employee’s responsibility.


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4.2 RETIREMENT PLANS

This section contains a general summary of the University’s retirement plans. Eligibility to participate in the University of Oklahoma’s retirement plans depends on the employee’s FLSA status (exempt or nonexempt), age, and years of benefits-eligible service. Two retirement tracks are available at the University of Oklahoma. Retirement Track A includes a defined contribution plan and the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System (OTRS). Retirement Track B includes only a defined contribution plan.

In both retirement tracks, the University provides contributions for the employee to an employer-funded, tax-qualified defined contribution plan under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. In Track A, employees choose to participate in OTRS. Both the University and the employee contribute to OTRS. FLSA-exempt employees hired after July 1, 2004, must make a one-time irrevocable choice to participate in OTRS within their first 90 days of employment. Depending on the retirement track elected by the employee, the amount the University contributes to the defined contribution plan differs. Electing OTRS in Retirement Track A requires a contribution from the employee and may yield an overall higher retirement benefit depending on certain variables. Effective July 1, 2016, new eligible employees must complete a waiting period of twelve (12) months before entry into the university retirement plan.

The University also offers two voluntary retirement savings plans to which employees may contribute on a pretax basis. These programs are offered under sections 403(b) and 457(b) of the IRS Code (regardless of FTE status). The accumulated value in these savings plans is tax deferred until money is withdrawn, but will be subject to applicable employment taxes when contributions are made. Employees are eligible to begin participation in the employee contributing programs immediately upon hire. More details can be found on the Human Resources website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU. The University of Oklahoma is a participating member in Social Security. For additional information about Social Security go to WWW.SSA.GOV.


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Other Retirement Benefits

This section provides a general overview of eligibility for retirement from the University of Oklahoma and the benefits (other than retirement plan benefits) available upon retirement.


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Eligibility for Retirement

To be eligible for University of Oklahoma retirement benefits, an employee must meet one of these requirements: (1) has attained age 62 with at least ten years of benefits-eligible OU service; (2) has attained age plus (at least ten) years of benefits-eligible OU service equal to 80 or more (Rule of 80); (3) has attained any age with 25 years of benefits-eligible OU service. An employee is eligible to apply for disability retirement at any age with at least ten years of benefits-eligible OU service. Eligibility requirements to retire with benefits from OTRS are different from the requirements listed above. More details can be found on the Human Resources website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU.


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Benefits Upon Retirement

Employees who meet the eligibility requirements for University retirement receive the following benefits package: (1) continued participation in health and dental insurance; (2) a parking permit, discount athletic tickets, use of designated University recreational facilities, and other miscellaneous benefits; (3) lifetime passes to the University golf course for their personal use issued for weekday play to professors emeriti and other faculty and staff retirees who retired prior to January 1, 1994, will be honored. Benefits from the OTRS and the DCP and ORP are determined on an individual basis. More details can be found on the Human Resources website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU.


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4.2.1 PHASED RETIREMENT

Individuals who are at least 55 years of age and have ten or more years of service may request permission to reduce their workloads and phase into another career or full retirement. The phased retirement program offers an attractive level of benefits during the phasing (The University of Oklahoma Retirement Plan of May 18, 1998).


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4.2.2 RETIREES RETURNING TO WORK

State law prohibits rehire of retirees as consultants for two years following retirement. OTRS retirees may return to work as temporary employees in accordance with OTRS rules. OTRS regulations require a minimum of 60 calendar days between a retiree’s last day of preretirement public education employment and any such postretirement employment. OTRS retirees should consult with OTRS before returning to work at any OTRS-participating institution to determine what, if any, impact on their retirement benefits a return to work might have. OU retirees not eligible for OTRS retirement benefits may return to work as temporary employees without a minimum waiting period. More details can be found on the Human Resources website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU.


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4.3 PAY

Oklahoma law (74 O.S. 292.12) requires that all state employees use direct deposit to receive their pay. Temporary employees and student employees are exempted from this requirement. Employees who are unable to open an account at a financial institution in order to receive their pay or who fail to provide the necessary information for direct deposit will receive pay through the Oklahoma PayCard. Forms to indicate the bank and account number to which pay is to be deposited are available on the Human Resources website.

All HSC employees and all Norman campus FLSA nonexempt employees (hourly staff) are paid biweekly. Biweekly pay is issued every other Friday. Pay for FLSA Norman campus exempt employees (salaried staff) is issued monthly on the last workday of the month. An earnings statement, which provides a record of the employee’s current and year-to-date pay, can be found online a before each payday. Contact the local campus Payroll Office for assistance locating online earnings statements.


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4.3.1 OVERTIME

Overtime payments are made in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA-nonexempt employees are eligible for overtime pay at the rate of time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay for the time worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. Employees covered by the FLSA (FLSA nonexempt) are not to work overtime unless the overtime work is approved in advance by their supervisor.

FLSA-nonexempt employees accepting work in a budget unit other than their primary one are responsible for notifying the secondary budget unit of their employment status with the University. Whenever the combined hours of work of FLSA-nonexempt employees exceed 40 hours in a work week, time-and-one-half overtime pay must be paid for the excess hours. In each such instance, the budget unit exceeding the appointed FTE will be responsible for paying the time-and-one-half rate.

FLSA-exempt employees are not normally eligible for overtime pay. FLSA-exempt employees who accept work in a secondary department may receive compensation provided the work is not incident to their regularly assigned duties and responsibilities. Approval by the department head and the appropriate provost/vice president is required prior to any commitments to provide compensation for FLSA-exempt employees.


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Computing Overtime for FLSA nonexempt employees

NORMAN PAYROLL - For the purpose of computing overtime pay, scheduled paid leave and holidays will be treated as hours worked. Excluded from overtime compensation are unscheduled paid leave, extended sick leave, administrative leave, and volunteer services that are occasional and sporadic in nature performed solely at the employee's option and are unrelated to the type of work normally performed by the employee (e.g., taking tickets, ushering, parking cars, or engaging in food or beverage sales).

HSC PAYROLL - FLSA-nonexempt employees receive overtime pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. Excluded from the definition of time worked are paid leave, holidays, extended sick leave, administrative leave, and volunteer services that are occasional and sporadic in nature performed solely at the employee's option and are unrelated to the type of work normally performed by the employee (e.g., taking tickets, ushering, parking cars, or engaging in food or beverage sales).


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4.3.2 COMPENSATORY TIME

Compensatory time is an alternative method for compensating employees who work overtime. No overtime is to be worked, however, unless it is approved in advance by the employee's supervisor. FLSA-exempt employees are not normally eligible for compensatory time. Exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the appropriate provost/vice president. No employee shall be required to receive compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay unless an agreement or understanding is reached by the employer and employee before the performance of the work. Should an FLSA- nonexempt employee be required by a supervisor to work overtime, the employee may be given the choice between receiving monetary compensation or taking compensatory time-and-one-half off at a mutually agreeable time.

Compensatory time is to be taken within one year of the date of accumulation or the employee is to be compensated monetarily. No more than 90 hours of compensatory time (60 hours of overtime worked) can be accumulated. Terminating employees are to use or be paid for compensatory time hours prior to the effective date of their termination. Transferring employees will be required to use compensatory hours prior to transfer or be paid by the department in which compensatory time accrued. For employees appointed to work at an FTE less than 1.00, the policy will not be applicable unless hours worked in a work week exceed 40. Such an individual may accumulate those hours worked over 40 hours in a work week as compensatory time subject to the provisions of the compensatory time policy. Questions regarding the compensatory time policy should be directed to Human Resources.


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4.3.3 PAY TRANSPARENCY POLICY

The university will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the university’s legal duty to furnish information.


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4.4 INCOME TAX WITHHOLDING

Each employee, upon being hired, must complete an Employee's Withholding Certificate, Form W-4. The form, which the employee uses to identify for tax purposes the number of eligible exemptions, is also the means by which eligible employees can claim tax exemptions or withhold specified amounts.


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4.5 ENROLLMENT OF STAFF IN UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA COURSES

The University places no limitations on the number of hours of coursework in which employees may enroll outside the individual's normal working hours. However, such coursework cannot interfere with the individual's duties as determined by the individual's supervisor and budget unit head. Full-time employees may enroll in a maximum course load not to exceed five contact hours per week each semester and summer session during their regular working hours. Permission to enroll in a course during the employee's normal working hours must be obtained from the chair of the faculty member's department or the staff member's supervisor and the budget unit head. Under very rare circumstances, exceptions to the one-course limitation may be made by the appropriate provost/vice president through proper administrative channels.

Staff personnel will be required to make up time spent in class through arrangements approved by their supervisor unless course enrollment does not increase staff requirements or does not place extra demands on other employees. A decision should be reached by the budget unit head, the supervisor, and the employee at the time of enrollment as to whether the time spent in class must be made up. Any time spent in class, even though occurring during the employee's regular schedule of working hours, shall not be considered as time worked for the purpose of calculating overtime pay unless attendance is required by the supervisor. Time spent in class during working hours must be indicated as such on an hourly employee's time record and noted on a monthly employee's payroll certification.

As authorized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a full-time employee not designated as ”temporary” who enrolls in regular coursework will be charged one-half the general fee for such work up to six hours per semester or three hours per summer session, except as noted below. Employees enrolling under the reduced fee will not be required to pay the student facilities fee and the student health fee, nor will they be eligible for the services covered by those fees. Student ID cards of persons not paying fees will be coded to show they are not entitled to the services for which the fees are charged. The reduced fee does not apply to special fees or to special academic programs, such as those in Continuing Education and Public Service or Liberal Studies, which have special regulations regarding fee waivers. Persons who are employed less than full time are not eligible for the fee reductions; all enrollment fees will be charged.

For those on a part-time appointment during the summer, a three-hour limitation will apply on the fee waiver. Under no circumstances will the reduced enrollment fee apply to more than six semester hours of coursework in a single semester or summer session. Enrollment fees for hours taken over this maximum will be charged at the full rate. At the time of fee payment, the employee must present a Faculty/Staff Fee Waiver Application signed by the head of the budget unit. This form may be secured from the office of the budget unit head.


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4.6 IDENTIFICATION CARD

The University provides an identification card to each employee appointed on a continuous basis at.50 FTE or greater and to each retiree. It is to be presented for securing the privilege of using various facilities and activities available to University employees. The card is good only during the period of employment or retirement and does not authorize the holder to obligate the University in any manner. Department heads are responsible for the return of an employee's staff identification card upon the employee’s termination from University employment.


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4.7 BREAKS

Employees may be granted a 20-minute break during each four-hour work period. The break will be scheduled by supervisors within the four-hour period. The University complies with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on breastfeeding, which provides for reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Additional information can be found in section 3.9.2.

The Staff Handbook gives only a simplified explanation of the University’s pay and benefit programs. In the event of a conflict between the descriptions in the Staff Handbook and the terms of the applicable pay or employee benefit plan, the latter instrument must rule since it is the legal instrument that actually constitutes the plan. In order to protect the University and its employees against unforeseen contingencies, the University reserves the right to amend, modify, or terminate any employee benefit plan at any time.


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5.0 GENERAL POLICIES
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5.1 LOYALTY OATH

Oklahoma State Statute 51 O.S., Section 36.1, 36.4, requires that each new employee must sign a Loyalty Oath and have it notarized as part of her or his personnel file. This requirement extends to all employees and officials of the State of Oklahoma and must be satisfied before an individual can be placed on the state payroll. The Loyalty Oath remains valid as long as the employee is working for the University.


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5.2 NEPOTISM

Except as prohibited by the laws of the State of Oklahoma, relationship by consanguinity (blood) or affinity (marriage) shall not, in itself, be a bar to appointment, employment, or advancement at the University or, in the case of faculty members, to eligibility for tenure. The University recognizes, however, that there is an inherent conflict of interest when an employee makes hiring, promotion, or salary decisions about a family member, although there may be extremely rare circumstances when the potential benefit to the University of having an employee supervise a family member outweighs the potential harm.

Therefore, no two persons who are related by consanguinity or affinity within the third degree shall be given positions in which either is directly responsible for making recommendations regarding employment, promotion, salary, or tenure for the other; nor shall either of two persons so related who hold positions in the same budgetary unit be appointed to an executive or administrative position in that unit or to a position involving administrative responsibility over it, as long as the other person remains in the unit, without first receiving a waiver that has been recommended by the Senior Vice President and Provost or the appropriate vice president and approved by the Board of Regents.

In recommending the waiver, the Senior Vice President and Provost or the appropriate Vice President must make a written statement of the facts that have led him or her to conclude that the benefit to the University in granting the waiver outweighs the potential harm. In addition, the Senior Vice President and Provost or the appropriate vice president must propose in writing a means by which a qualified, objective person, unrelated to the employee at issue, shall make performance evaluations and recommendations for compensation, promotion, and awards for that employee, and must state in writing how that means will avoid the conflict of interest.

The statement and proposal for supervision shall be made part of the Regents’ agenda items. Further, a salary increase above the increase granted to all University employees in similar positions will not be granted to an employee who has been granted a waiver under this policy unless it has been approved by the Senior Vice President and Provost or appropriate vice president and the President of the University. In the case where this policy is made applicable by a related party being elected to Committee A of an academic unit, approval of the Board of Regents is not required; however, all other provisions of this policy will continue to apply.

It is the responsibility of the head of the budget unit to seek a waiver before offering employment to any person whose employment without a waiver would violate this policy, and the willful failure to follow this policy may result in disciplinary action against the head of the budget unit. Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, a conditional hire prior to approval of the Board of Regents may be made pursuant to this policy if deemed necessary for legitimate academic or business reasons and if justified in writing by the appropriate vice president. At the next regular meeting of the Board of Regents, the written justification and the conditional hire will be considered by the Board of Regents.

Relatives within the third degree of relationship to an employee by consanguinity or affinity are the following: spouse; parent; parent of spouse; grandparent; grandparent of spouse; great-grandparent; great-grandparent of spouse; uncle or aunt; uncle or aunt of spouse; brother or sister; brother or sister of spouse; son or daughter; son-in-law or daughter-in-law; grandson or granddaughter; grandson’s or granddaughter’s spouse; great-grandson or great-granddaughter; and great-grandson’s or great-granddaughter’s spouse, niece or nephew; niece’s or nephew’s spouses; first or second cousin; first or second cousin’s spouse. For purposes of this policy, step- and half relatives are considered to be related by affinity.


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5.3 OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT AND EXTRA COMPENSATION

Any person who accepts employment at the University of Oklahoma assumes a primary professional obligation to the University. Any other employment or enterprise in which an employee engages for income must be understood to be secondary to and cannot detract from his or her University work. No employee may hold a split (joint) appointment which reflects more than a total of 1.0 FTE. A full-time 1.0 FTE exempt staff employee of the University may need to disclose any employment that will require time away from his or her primary duties. Faculty should refer to the Norman or HSC Faculty Handbook regarding outside employment and extra compensation.

It is the responsibility of the employee to provide his or her appropriate supervisor, chair, director/dean, vice president and/or provost (or appropriate designate over the employee’s area) a written request for internal or outside employment and extra compensation. On the Norman campus, the Report and Approval of Proposed Outside Employment and Extra Compensation Assignments within the University form, available on the Human Resources and Provost’s websites, must be used to submit the employee’s request for extra remuneration from within the University. After consulting with those reviewing requests for outside employment and extra compensation, the employee shall accept the decision of the appropriate supervisor or University officer as to whether he or she may engage in such employment and retain full-time employment at the University.

If approved, exempt full-time employees may engage in professional activities for extra remuneration (from within the University or from outside sources or in any combination of the two) to a maximum of 25% (on the Norman campus) of their full-time professional effort. Vice presidents may stipulate a more restrictive policy pertaining to staff within their administrative areas. The base period for the policy is July 1 through June 30. Employees should avoid possible conflicts of interest with the University in all outside employment. Use of state property for personal financial gain is prohibited. Questions regarding potential conflicts of interest should be addressed to the dean/director, vice president, or provost, who may wish to consult the University’s Legal Counsel. If this policy creates a demonstrable hardship for a University program or employee, exceptions can be granted by the appropriate provost, vice president, or designee in response to a written request.


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5.3.1 REQUIRED ATHLETE AGENT DISCLOSURE

(1) Current University Parties who are Agents (as defined by the Oklahoma Uniform Athlete Agents Act, 70 §821.81) or affiliated in any way with an Agent (including field agents, i.e., runners) must immediately notify, in writing, the Athletics Compliance Department of his/her status as an Agent.

(2) Future University Parties must notify the Athletics Compliance Department of his/her status as an Agent (as defined by the Oklahoma Uniform Athlete Agents Act, 70 §821.81) or affiliated in any way with an Agent (including field agents, i.e., runners) at the time of acceptance of an offer of employment, or initial full or part-time employment.

(3) If a University Party decides to become an Agent, he/she must notify the Athletics Compliance Department within twenty-four (24) hours of certification, licensure, or registration as an Agent by the state, professional sports organization, or other entity.

(4) If a University Party is involved in forming a business or company (whatever its legal form) for the purpose of marketing an athlete’s athletic skill or reputation, he/she must provide notification to the Athletics Compliance Department within twenty-four (24) hours of formation or filing paperwork with the state (or other governmental body) concerning such business entity.


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5.4 ADMINISTRATIVE TEACHING POLICY

University staff employees are encouraged to become involved in the instructional mission of the University by teaching courses. The expertise of staff can be of great benefit, and regular contact with students can help all employees do their jobs better. Staff employees should seek adjunct or other special faculty assignments when their qualifications and availability meet the instructional needs of the University. However, teaching should complement and not interfere with or substitute for the primary duties of administrators and staff. An adjustment in FTE appointment or paid leave must be reported to account for time spent in teaching during the work day. More information about faculty policies can be found in the Faculty Handbook.


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5.5 CONTACTS WITH REPORTERS

On occasion, reporters for print, broadcast, and emerging or social media contact University staff members directly instead of working through the University's Public Affairs Office. There is no objection to this procedure. However, any staff member who is contacted and either gives a statement to the press or arranges for a subsequent interview is requested to inform the Vice President for Public Affairs. This is an informational procedure only, and the cooperation of the staff is requested.


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5.6 ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION

This Board of Regents Policy is located in the Norman Campus Faculty Handbook located on the Office of The Senior Vice President and Provost website and in the Health Sciences Center Faculty Handbook on Office of The Senior Vice President and Provost website.


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5.7 UNIVERSITY NAME, LOGOS, OTHER IDENTIFYING MARKS, AND SEAL
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Trademark Administrative Committee

Responsibility for management of the University’s name, logos, other identifying marks, and seal (collectively “marks”) shall rest with a Trademark Administrative Committee (TAC). The Vice President for Public Affairs, the General Counsel, and the Athletic Director shall each appoint a representative to the three-member TAC.


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Trademark Policies and Procedures

The TAC shall adopt, publish, and implement policies and procedures to ensure that the marks are utilized in a manner that best serves the interests of the University of Oklahoma. In no event should such use be disparaging, misleading as to sponsorship/affiliation, contradict public morals or decency, or reflect unfavorably upon the University. Such policies and procedures should address mechanisms for noncommercial and commercial uses of the marks, both internal and external to the University. Additionally, the TAC should implement a style guide or other instrument for implementation University wide that establishes uniform and consistent usage of the University’s marks.


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Trademark Office

The TAC shall establish and oversee a University Trademark Office, which shall be responsible for implementation of policies and procedures regarding the University’s marks, including but not limited to the protection, licensing, management, and enforcement of the University’s marks. If desired and consistent with other applicable policies, the Trademark Office may contract with an official licensing agent to assist in one or more of these responsibilities.


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5.8 COMPUTER USE POLICY

Employees should make themselves aware of the University’s Computer Use and other related communications policies located on the University’s Information Technology website. To safeguard the University’s network and all of its computer resources (the System), appropriate University discipline and or criminal and civil penalties may be sought and imposed for illegal or unauthorized use. To protect the integrity, reliability, and security of the System for lawful and authorized use, monitoring and auditing are necessary. By accessing the System, an employee expressly consents to these measures.


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5.9 DRIVER'S LICENSE POLICY

University of Oklahoma employees who are required to operate a University motor vehicle on any public roadway while in the performance of their regular job duties must have a valid driver's license issued by the State of Oklahoma. Below are the procedures to ensure adherence to this policy:

(1) The University of Oklahoma will conduct a driver's license verification and status check on new employees selected for positions that involve operation of a University motor vehicle. In addition, the University will conduct periodic driver's license verification and status checks on all employees in positions involving operation of a University motor vehicle.

(2) Any new employee who has applied and been accepted for University employment in a position for which possession of a valid driver's license is a listed requirement, and who is subsequently determined not to have (or have had at the time of application) a valid Oklahoma driver's license, will be considered to have submitted false information and will therefore be subject to termination.

(3) An employee who is hired by the University of Oklahoma and who holds a valid out-of-state driver's license will be considered to be a properly licensed driver for employment purposes. However, any such employee must obtain a valid Oklahoma driver's license within 30 calendar days of the first day of employment. Failure to obtain an Oklahoma driver's license within this period may result in termination. (a) Student employees may operate a University motor vehicle in the course of their employment so long as they hold a valid driver's license issued by their state/country of residence/origin. (b) The only driver's licenses recognized by the State of Oklahoma and Oklahoma law enforcement agencies are those issued by any of the other 49 United States and those issued by the country of origin of international students. The so-called International Driver's License is not recognized and does not constitute a valid driver's license for employment purposes.

(4) Current employees who must possess a valid driver's license to perform their job are required as a condition of employment to notify their supervisor immediately upon receipt of any notification from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety or any court of competent jurisdiction that their driver's license has been suspended or revoked or has in any way been modified or subjected to restrictions not previously known to the supervisor. Failure to make such notification within the specified time period may result in termination.

(5) Oklahoma law requires that holders of driver's licenses who have taken legal action to change their name (through marriage, divorce, or court action) and/or have changed their mailing address must notify the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety of such change(s) within ten days. University employees will be expected to comply with this provision of the law.

(6) If a current employee's license is suspended or revoked, expires, or is subject to modification or restriction, and such action prevents the employee from performing any part of his or her regularly assigned work duties, that employee will not be permitted to operate a University motor vehicle on any public roadway until the license is fully reinstated, renewed, or additionally modified. Until the employee's driving privileges are restored, the employee's department may reassign the employee to a job not requiring the operation of a University motor vehicle, or place the employee on appropriate leave status, including but not limited to compensatory time, paid leave, or leave without pay. Before the employee may resume operating a University motor vehicle on public roadways, written confirmation from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety verifying license reinstatement or conferring privileges to drive while at work, or a properly issued renewal license, must be presented to the supervisor.


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5.10 PARKING REGULATIONS
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Norman Campus

The Parking Office maintains and controls parking facilities on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus. The Parking Office is located in Stubbeman Place, 1107 Elm Ave. The University of Oklahoma Parking regulations are published annually and approved by the president for the Board of Regents for each academic year. The president of the university may revise, alter or amend these regulations when conditions warrant. The regulations are required to be reviewed by each individual upon purchase of their parking permit and copies are available on the Parking Services website at WWW.OU.EDU/PARKING. An online Norman campus parking map and is available at on the Parking Services website at WWW.OU.EDU/PARKING.

Cleveland Area Rapid Transit (CART) provides public transportation service to the University of Oklahoma and the city of Norman. Transporting more than 1.3 million passengers annually, CART operates three OU campus routes, six Norman city routes, a route that serves the Social Security office in Moore, and commuter routes to rural east Norman and Oklahoma City. CART offers access to many areas in the city, including medical facilities, residential areas, retail businesses and restaurants. Additionally, CART access, an origin-to-destination service for those with disabilities, travels all 191 square miles of Norman. For more information, including a system map, route times, route schedules and fare structure, visit CART on the web at HTTP://CART.OU.EDU/ or call (405) 325-CART (2278). To track bus locations, visit WWW.CARTGPS.COM.


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Health Sciences Center and OU Tulsa

Any employee or student who wishes to park a motor vehicle in any of the parking lots operated by the Health Sciences Center must have a parking permit and decal, which may be obtained by making application at the Health Sciences Center Parking Office. Any faculty, staff, or student who parks a personal motor vehicle in any of the lots on the Health Sciences Center, Tulsa campus, must complete a short form of vehicle identification and attach a small identification sticker to the vehicle(s). Additional information may be found in Parking: Policies and Procedures, which is available at the Parking Office.


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5.11 USE OF STATE VEHICLES FOR PRIVATE PURPOSES

Oklahoma statutes prohibit the use of state-owned vehicles for private purposes. It is the policy of the University that passengers shall not be transported in state vehicles unless they are on state business. According to Oklahoma law, the use of state-owned vehicles to ride to and from an employee's place of residence, except in the performance of an official duty, is expressly prohibited. Employees of the University cannot be assigned a University-owned vehicle for use on a permanent 24-hour basis unless an exception under the statute has been granted. Requests for an exception must be submitted in writing to the President. Further information is available from the Office of Risk Management and Fleet Services.


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5.11.1 TEXTING POLICY

Under Executive Order 2010-06, University employees are prohibited from text messaging or texting when driving University vehicles, driving private vehicles on University business, or using electronic equipment supplied by the University. The directive defines “texting” or “text messaging” as reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device, including SMS texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, obtaining navigational information, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication.


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5.12 LIABILITY INSURANCE

The State of Oklahoma provides professional and automobile liability insurance under the State Tort Claims Act for all employees who are acting within the scope of their duties. The liability coverage also extends to authorized volunteers for their operation of University-owned vehicles while acting within the scope of their authority if the authorized volunteer has completed and filed the Volunteer Acknowledgment and Release Form with the authorizing department. Copies of the State of Oklahoma Certificate of Self-Insurance are located in the glove compartment of all University vehicles. Further information is available from the Office of Risk Management. Employees are prohibited by state law from texting or utilizing electronic devices while driving University vehicles or while driving private vehicles on University business. Failure to abide by this policy results in the loss of insurance coverage for any accident, and the employee will be held personally liable for any and all damages and injuries caused as a result of such accidents, regardless of actual fault. Further, smoking in University-owned, rented, or leased vehicles is prohibited by state law.


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5.12.1 PERSONAL VEHICLE USE

If a university employee or authorized volunteer is requested or permitted to use his or her personal vehicle for university business, the liability coverage outlined above extends to that employee while operating their personal vehicle just as if it were a university-owned vehicle, except as otherwise specified herein. The State of Oklahoma also requires such persons to have personal automobile liability insurance in force at the time of use. No physical damage (comprehensive and collision) insurance is provided by the university or the state for an employee's or volunteer's personal vehicle while that vehicle is being used on university business. Circumstances may require an employee to use his or her personal vehicle in emergent situations and/or when it has been confirmed that no University fleet vehicles are available. When private vehicles are used for state business purposes and reimbursement is expected pursuant to applicable state law, the transporting of private passengers should be held to a minimum. For additional information on this policy or questions, please contact the Office of Risk Management on your campus..


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5.12.2 LEASED/RENTED VEHICLES

The University’s liability coverage extends to vehicles leased or rented by individuals or departments of the University while the vehicles are being used on University business. No physical damage insurance is provided by the University or state; physical damage coverage for the leased/rental vehicle must be purchased by the individual or department. For example, if using a rented vehicle while traveling on University business, employees/departments must purchase the Collision Damage Waiver unless a personal automobile insurance policy will extend physical damage insurance to the rented vehicle, or the University contract with the auto rental company exempts liability for collision damage. Further information is available from the Office of Risk Management.


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5.13 TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

All commercial air travel must be purchased from the travel agencies designated by the state's central purchasing division or by a University contract. This can be done at HSC and Tulsa by using the University purchasing system or by purchasing directly and requesting reimbursement along with other travel expenses on the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher after completion of the trip. For the Norman campus, travel may be purchased using the ghost card account established for the University at each travel agency or by purchasing directly and requesting reimbursement along with other travel expenses on the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher after completion of the trip. Advance payments for other travel expenses are prohibited by state law. Upon completion of a trip, the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher should be completed and submitted to Financial Services (Norman) or Financial Services, Accounts Payable-Travel Section (HSC and Tulsa). All receipts of $25.00 or more, including those for lodging, registration, and public transportation must be attached. Regulations concerning travel reimbursement are published for the Norman campus in the University Guide to Services and in the procedures manual for the Health Sciences Center campus.


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5.14 CANDIDACY FOR POLITICAL OFFICE

Any employee of the University who becomes a candidate in any primary or general election for any county, state, or federal office shall, prior to announcing candidacy for any said offices, offer his or her resignation to the Board of Regents, without reservation. In making the announcement of the adoption of the resolution, the Board of Regents stated: “In adopting this resolution, the Board of Regents does not want to be understood as offering discouragement to faculty members or employees from becoming candidates for public office. As an American citizen, an employee may regard it his or her duty to become a candidate.”


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5.15 KEYS

Keys for buildings, offices, classrooms, storerooms, and laboratories are issued by Facilities Management at the Norman campus, by Site Support at the Health Sciences Center, and by Operations at the Tulsa campus. Employees entrusted with keys are responsible for reporting any loss of keys immediately and for turning in all keys issued to them upon termination of employment.


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5.16 FUND RAISING

The employees of the University of Oklahoma have historically contributed generously to community and national charitable agencies. In order to minimize personal inconvenience to the employees and disruption of job functions, the following policy has been developed. The term "fund raising" shall refer to solicitation of funds by an agency, organization, or individual irrespective of the employee’s receiving a token or symbol in exchange for this contribution. This policy does not pertain to the solicitation or fund-raising activities of students, which is addressed in the University of Oklahoma’s Norman Campus Student Code-Distribution of Information, Solicitation, and Proselytism. Nor does it conflict with the Board of Regents' policy that no solicitations be conducted in the stadium on football game days.


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Responsible Office

All agencies, organizations, and/or individuals wishing to initiate a fund-raising campaign on the OU campus shall contact and receive approval from the Office of the Vice President for Development, which shall approve, coordinate, and monitor external agency fund-raising activities.


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Eligibility Criteria

The follow criteria are considered in determining agency eligibility: (1) agencies requesting approval for an OU campus fund-raising campaign shall meet the Internal Revenue tax-exempt status (Sections 501-504); (2) the approved agencies shall have the primary purpose of providing human health, social, and recreational services; (3) agencies approved for a fund-raising campaign shall normally devote at least 80% of all donated funds to providing services; (4) no more than 20% of all collected funds shall normally be used for fund raising, lobbying, legislative analysis, and other overhead expenses by approved agencies.


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Policy On Voluntary Giving

There shall be no pressure or coercion applied to any OU campus employee to contribute to or to participate in any fund-raising activities. Comments pertaining to nonparticipation shall not be a part of any employee's performance evaluation. Normal career progression and promotion are not contingent upon an individual's participation. If an employee has a complaint or concern relative to fund raising, he or she should contact the Office of the Vice President for Development.


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5.17 EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The University recognizes that it is in the best interests of both the University and its employees to provide assistance for employees in dealing with personal problems that may adversely affect their job performance. For this reason, the University has established an Employee Assistance Program.

The purpose of the Employee Assistance Program is to provide: (1) immediate assistance to employees with personal problems, including alcohol and drug abuse, which affect their work or job performance; (2) job security and advancement opportunities for those who take advantage of this program; will in no way be jeopardized due solely to their participation in the program;(3) complete confidentiality—all records involving services provided by the Employee Assistance Program shall be treated as confidential medical records and shall be maintained separately from personnel records; (4) employees who exhibit job performance problems the opportunity to seek assistance voluntarily through the Employee Assistance Program; (5) the supervisor’s discretion in referring an employee when there is evidence of work deterioration that has been documented by the supervisor

In addition while the employee has the right to decide whether or not to use the Employee Assistance Program or to follow any of its recommendations, if personal problems continue to adversely affect work performance, established University employment policies will be followed in handling the situation. There will be no cost to the employee for the evaluation and assessment services of the Employee Assistance Program. Employees will be responsible for cost incurred in undertaking recommended treatment. Information about the Employee Assistance Program is available through the Human Resources website.


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5.18 UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA TOBACCO -FREE POLICY

The Board of Regents has established a Tobacco Free Policy consistent with Governor Fallin’s Executive Orders 2012-01 and 2013-43. All properties and facilities of the University of Oklahoma, regardless of campus or location, are tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free.


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Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to foster a healthier environment for students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors on the University of Oklahoma campuses by minimizing tobacco use, which is the leading cause of death in Oklahoma and the United States. The policy is designed to prevent or reduce exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke, and to help reduce tobacco use among OU students and employees. The policy is not intended to be judgmental of individual lifestyle choice or to be punitive towards any individual or group.

This policy is subject to all applicable laws, regulations and recognized exceptions contained therein, including without restriction, an exception allowing tobacco use for religious or ceremonial purposes.


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Policy

The use of all tobacco products including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is strictly prohibited anywhere on University grounds or campuses.

1. The use of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is prohibited in any buildings or portion thereof owned, leased, or operated by the University, including, without restriction, University housing/apartments, athletic facilities, within any University parking structure, in any vehicle owned or leased by the University, or on University grounds or campuses, including but not limited to public and non-public areas, offices, restrooms, stairwells, driveways, sidewalks, etc.

2. This policy applies to all persons on University grounds or campuses, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, contracted personnel, vendors, patients and all visitors to a University campus. The policy applies to all University events, including without restriction, football games at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

3. The sale of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices on University property is prohibited.


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Communication of Policy

1. Appropriate signage shall be posted strategically throughout the campus and in University facilities and vehicles as a reminder of the policy.

2. The respective Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost will ensure that University faculty employment announcements and information provided to new faculty recruits and employees contain information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free environment.

3. Human Resources will ensure that University staff employment applications, both hard copy and online versions, contain information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free environment, and that new employees receive information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free policy during the new employee orientation.

4. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will ensure that University communications and information provided to prospective students and to new students includes information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free environment.

The full text of this policy shall be available in the Norman, Health Sciences Center and Tulsa campuses’ faculty and staff handbooks, and on their respective campus websites.


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Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance with this policy by all students, employees and visitors to the campuses is expected based upon our commitment to a healthy environment on the campuses and our responsibility to protect individuals from the adverse health effects of exposure to second-hand smoke. This depends on the consideration and cooperation of both users and non-users of tobacco, electronic cigarettes and/or vaping devices. All members of the University community share the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing the policy and have the responsibility for communicating the policy to visitors in a courteous and considerate manner. Any complaints should be brought to the attention of the appropriate University administrative personnel.

Non-compliance with this policy will be handled in the same manner as any other policy violation and is subject to the disciplinary process.

After receiving an initial warning and reminder of the policy, repeated violations of the policy will be subject to fines of Ten Dollars ($10.00) for the second violation of the policy, and Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for the third and subsequent violations. An appeals process will be used similar to that used for appeals of parking fines.


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5.19 COMMUNICATION WITH STATE OFFICIALS

The proper channel through which recommendations concerning the policies and/or administration of the University, its governed entities as a whole, or any of its parts should be communicated to the legislature or other state officials is the President or the Board of Regents. Further, any official statement made on behalf of the Board to the public through the press or otherwise shall be made only by the chair of the Board, provided the President may publicly explain prior Board action as deemed necessary and proper. Nothing in the preceding subsection is intended to or should be construed to abridge the rights and privileges of regents to publicly express their personal opinions on any matter or to abridge constitutional rights of employees to comment on matters of public concern or to prohibit any other rights of communication established by law.


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5.20 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, NORMAN CAMPUS

Refer to the appropriate Vice President or Provost for applicable conflict of interest policies.


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5.21 POLICY ON PREVENTION OF ALCOHOL ABUSE AND DRUG USE ON CAMPUS AND IN THE WORKPLACE

The University of Oklahoma recognizes its responsibility as an educational and public service institution to promote a healthy and productive environment. This responsibility demands implementation of programs and services facilitating that effort. The University is committed to a program to prevent the abuse of alcohol and the illegal use of drugs and alcohol by its employees who may also as students be subject to applicable disciplinary policies and procedures for their respective campuses. This policy is based on the Oklahoma Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act, 40, Okla. Statutes §§551 et seq., the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 (P.L.100-690, Title V, Subtitle D), the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (P.L.101-226), Prevention of Alcohol Misuse and Prohibited Drug Use in Transit Operations 49 CFR Part 655, the Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, and Department of Transportation rules (49 CFR part 40). The University program includes this policy, which prohibits illegal use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace, on University property, or as part of any University-sponsored activities. In order to meet these responsibilities, University policy requires all employees to abide by the terms of this policy as a condition of initial and continued employment. The University:

(1) Recognizes that the illegal use of drugs and alcohol is in direct violation of local, state, and federal laws as well as University policies included in this policy, the staff and faculty handbooks, and applicable disciplinary policies and procedures for each respective campus. University policy strictly prohibits the illegal use, possession, manufacture, dispensing, or distribution of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances in the workplace, on its premises, or as a part of any University-sponsored activities.

(2) Considers a violation of this policy to be a major offense, which can result in a requirement for satisfactory participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, referral for criminal prosecution, and/or immediate disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and suspension or expulsion from the University. A criminal conviction is not required for sanctions to be imposed upon an employee for violations of this policy.

(3) Recognizes that violations of applicable local, state, and federal laws may subject an employee to a variety of legal sanctions including but not limited to fines, incarceration, imprisonment, and/or community service requirements. Convictions become a part of an individual's criminal record and may prohibit certain career and professional opportunities. A current listing of applicable local, state, and federal sanctions can be obtained through Human Resources.

(4) Requires an employee to notify his or her supervisor in writing of a criminal conviction for drug- or alcohol-related offenses occurring in the workplace no later than five calendar days following the conviction.

(5) Provides access to the University's Employee Assistance Programs for counseling and training programs that inform employees about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Voluntary participation in or referral to these services is strictly confidential. More information is available on the Human Resources Website at WWW.HR.OU.EDU.

(6) Forbids an employee from performing safety-sensitive (as defined by applicable federal and/or state laws, including the Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 Vol.6, Part 655) functions while a prohibited drug is in his or her system.

(7) Mandates pre-employment drug testing of employees who will be performing safety-sensitive functions, and drug testing of such employees when there is reasonable cause, after an accident, on a random basis and before returning to duty after refusing to take a drug test or after not passing a drug test. (Safety-sensitive functions are defined pursuant to applicable federal and state law. Further information regarding safety-sensitive functions and related positions is available for review in Human Resources.) Specific policies and procedures are available from departments with safety-sensitive positions.

(8) Provides for annual distribution of this policy to all staff and faculty.

Health risks generally associated with alcohol and drug abuse can result in but are not limited to a lowered immune system, damage to critical nerve cells, physical dependency, lung damage, heart problems, liver disease, physical and mental depression, increased infection, irreversible memory loss, personality changes, and thought disorders.

The University's Employee Assistance Programs are responsible for informing employees about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and the availability of counseling and rehabilitation programs. The appropriate provost or executive officer is responsible for notifying federal funding agencies within ten calendar days when an employee is convicted of a drug-related crime that occurred in the workplace. This policy is subject to the dispute resolution procedure as stated in the staff and faculty handbooks and applicable disciplinary policies and procedures for each campus.


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5.22 DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY

The University, in compliance with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admission, financial aid, and educational services. Please refer to the Institutional Equity Office Website for relevant policies WWW.OU.EDU/EOO.

The University Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator (IEO) is charged with the responsibility for administering the Sexual Assault, Discrimination and Harassment policy. The Equal Opportunity Officer (EOO) is charged with the responsibility for administering the Nondiscrimination Policy and the Affirmative Action Plan. The Institutional Equity Office will serve as a repository for all records of complaints, investigative reports, and remedies/corrective actions in connection with this policy. Complainants should contact the University Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator: Norman campus and Norman-based Tulsa campus programs, Room 102, Evans Hall, Ph: (405) 325-3546; Health Sciences Center campus and HSC-based Tulsa campus programs, Room 113, Service Center, Ph: (405) 271-2110. Hard copies of the policies may be requested from these offices as well.


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5.23 CONSENSUAL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS POLICY

Definitions - As used in this policy, the terms "faculty" or "faculty member" mean all those who teach at the University and include graduate students with teaching responsibilities and other instructional personnel. The terms "staff" or "staff members" mean all employees who are not faculty and include academic and nonacademic administrators as well as supervisory personnel. The term "consensual sexual relationship" may include amorous or romantic relationships and is intended to indicate conduct that goes beyond what a person of ordinary sensibilities would believe to be a collegial or professional relationship.

Consensual amorous, dating, or sexual relationships have inherent risks when they occur between a faculty member, supervisor, or other member of the University community and any person over whom he or she has a professional responsibility. As noted in the sex discrimination and sexual harassment policy, the risks include a student or subordinate’s feeling coerced into an unwanted relationship to ensure they receive a proper educational or employment experience; potential conflicts of interest in which the person is in a position to evaluate the work or make personnel or academic decisions with respect to the individual with whom he or she is romantically involved; a perception by students or employees that a fellow student or coworker who is involved in a romantic relationship with his or her supervisor or professor will receive an unfair advantage; either or both of the parties engaging in behavior destructive to the other or their academic or working environments if the relationship ends; and the potential that University/state resources are used inappropriately to further the romantic relationship.

Those with professional responsibility over others and with whom they have a romantic relationship should be aware that their involvement may subject them and the University to legal liability; consequently, such relationships are strongly discouraged. “Professional responsibility” is defined as performing functions including but not limited to teaching, counseling, grading, advising, evaluating, hiring, supervising, and making decisions or recommendations that confer benefits such as promotions, financial aid awards, or other remuneration, or that may impact upon other academic or employment opportunities.


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Faculty/Student Relationships

Refer to the Norman or HSC Faculty Handbook.


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Staff/Student Relationships

Consensual sexual relationships between staff and students are prohibited in cases in which the staff member has authority or control over the student. A staff member who fails to withdraw from participation in activities or decisions that may reward or penalize a student with whom the staff member has or has had an amorous relationship will be deemed to have violated his or her ethical obligation to the student, to other students, to colleagues, and to the University. Failure to abide by this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


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Staff/Subordinate Relationships

Supervisors, or those with professional responsibility, over someone with whom they have or have had an amorous, consensual, romantic, or sexual relationship must notify their direct supervisor that a management-control plan needs to be implemented, or that the supervisor wishes a transfer so that he or she is no longer in a position of professional responsibility over the affected individual. To avoid the severe risks noted, supervisors in such relationships may not manage, supervise, evaluate, or make other employment decisions concerning the individual with whom they are engaged in a romantic relationship. If the relationship ends, the management-control plan must remain in effect. Failure to notify a supervisor to ensure a plan is in place may result in disciplinary action, including termination, for that supervisor.


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Complaint Procedure

Complaints alleging a violation of the Consensual Sexual Relationships Policy shall be handled in accordance with the Grievance Procedure for Complaints Based upon Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Consensual Sexual Relationships, Retaliation or Racial and Ethnic Harassment. Complainants should contact the University Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator: Norman campus and Norman-based Tulsa programs, Room 102, Evans Hall, Ph: (405) 325-3546, Health Sciences Center campus and HSC-based Tulsa programs, Room 113, Service Center, Ph: (405) 271-2110.


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5.24 REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION POLICY

The University of Oklahoma will reasonably accommodate otherwise qualified individuals with a disability unless such accommodation would pose an undue hardship, would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the service, program, or activity, or would result in undue financial or administrative burdens. The term "reasonable accommodation" is used in its general sense in this policy to apply to employees, students, and visitors.

Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to (1) making existing facilities readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities, (2) job restructuring, (3) part-time or modified work schedules, (4) reassignment to a vacant position if qualified, (5) acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, (6) adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials, or policies, (7) providing qualified readers or interpreters, (8) modifying policies, practices, and procedures.

The Disability Resource Center (WWW.OU.EDU/drc/home.html) unless otherwise provided, is the central point of contact to receive all requests for reasonable accommodation and all documentation required to determine disability status under law. This center will then make a recommendation concerning accommodation to the appropriate administrative unit. Reasonable accommodation with respect to employment matters should be coordinated with Human Resources. Reasonable accommodation with respect to academic matters, including but not limited to faculty employment, should be coordinated with the Office of the Provost while all other issues of reasonable accommodation should be coordinated with the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Individuals who have complaints alleging discrimination based upon a disability may file them with the University's Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator in accordance with prevailing University discrimination grievance procedures.


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5.25 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

Please refer to the Equal Opportunity Office website (WWW.OUHSC.EDU/EOAA) or the respective offices noted in Section 5.22 above.


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5.26 UNIVERSITY OMBUDS SERVICE

The University Ombudsperson serves employees on the Norman campus in the areas of dispute resolution and mediation of campus-related issues. The Ombudsperson also provides information about employee dispute resolution procedures and the administrative appeals process.


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5.27 COMMUNICABLE DISEASE POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to inform employees and students about how the University of Oklahoma will respond to employees with a communicable disease. The University wishes to provide an environment free of hazards and will take reasonable precaution to protect employees and students from individuals who are known to have communicable diseases. Information on the communicable disease policy can be obtained from Human Resources on the Norman campus and in the OUHSC/OU-Tulsa Infectious Diseases Policy, located on the Environmental Health and Safety Office Policy and Programs website.


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5.28 EMPLOYEE FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS

Employees, including student employees of the University, shall be required to pay all outstanding financial obligations due the University in accordance with the due dates established for such obligations. Those who do not pay their past due financial obligations as indicated on the billing statement will be subject to the University's collection processes, including paying any collections costs. The administration is directed to establish procedures at the Norman, Tulsa, and Health Sciences Center campuses to provide the means for the University to gain access to funds to which it is entitled.


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Norman Campus Procedure :
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Communication of Policy

Employees should be informed of this policy at the time of their appointment and at the time they purchase goods and services from University departments.


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Determination of Account Status

University departments selling goods or services to University employees are responsible for determining the ability of the employee to pay. Prior to the provision of goods or services to an employee, the selling department should access the University's accounts receivable system to determine if the employee is past due on any University charges. Based upon the status of the employee's account, the selling department shall make a managerial decision as to whether or not to sell goods and services to the employee.


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Collection Procedures

For purposes of implementing this policy, the following account-aging guidelines shall apply: Charges appearing on a Bursar statement for the first time are considered to be Current charges. Charges are considered to be 30 Days Past Due if they are outstanding on the second Bursar statement. Charges are considered to be 60 Days Past Due if they are outstanding on the third Bursar statement. Charges are considered to be 90 Day Past Due if they are outstanding on the fourth Bursar statement. Monthly, after the mailing of the Bursar statements, the Bursar’s Office will identify University employees with outstanding charges that are 90 or more days past due. Excluded from this process are student employees (including graduate assistants) who are paying their accounts in accordance with the University's tuition and fee payment plan, or who have made alternative payment arrangements. The accounts will be referred to University Collections, a division of Legal Counsel.


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Overpayments

Any University employee who receives an overpayment through his or her payroll for whatever reason (e.g., termination of employment, overestimate of hours, or clerical error) will be responsible for repaying all amounts owed, including any collection costs and/or tax consequences that result from the overpayment. However, if it is determined that the department is responsible for the error that resulted in an overpayment, the department shall bear the associated collection costs.


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Health Sciences Center Procedure :
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Communication of Policy

Employees should be informed of this policy at the time of their appointment.


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Collection Procedures

For purposes of implementing this policy, the following account-aging guidelines will apply to accounts turned over to the HSC Bursar’s Office for collection. Charges appearing on a billing statement for the first time are considered to be Current charges. Charges are considered to be 30 Days Past Due if they are outstanding on the second billing statement. Charges are considered to be 60 Days Past Due if they are outstanding on the third billing statement. Charges are considered to be 90 Days Past Due if they are outstanding on the fourth billing statement.

Each month after the billing statements are mailed, the Bursar’s Office will identify University employee accounts with outstanding charges that are 90 or more days past due. Excluded from this process are student employees (including graduate assistants) who are paying their accounts in accordance with the University’s tuition and fee payment plan, or who have made alternative payment arrangements with the Bursar’s Office.

The Bursar’s Office will send a letter to each employee identified above requiring immediate payment in full. If the employee does not pay the outstanding debt in full, the Bursar’s Office will follow its normal procedure for collection accounts, including, but not limited to, referral to University Collections, a division of Legal Counsel.


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Overpayments

Any University employee who receives an overpayment through his or her payroll for whatever reason (e.g., termination of employment, overestimate of hours, or clerical error) will be responsible for repaying all amounts owed, including any collection costs and/or tax consequences that result from the overpayment. However, if it is determined that the department is responsible for the error that resulted in an overpayment, the department shall bear the associated collection costs.


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5.29 HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for the entire University community and to complying with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to occupational and environmental safety. Academic and administrative personnel with supervisory and teaching roles must ensure that procedures are developed and followed which are designed to prevent injury, protect the assets of the University, and protect the environment. It is the responsibility of all University faculty, staff, and students to follow safe working practices, obey health and safety rules and regulations, and work in a way that protects their health and that of others and does no harm to the environment. The OUHSC/OU-Tulsa Comprehensive Safety and Health Program is available on the Environmental Health and Safety website (WWW.OUHSC.EDU/EHSO).


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5.30 BICYCLE POLICY

Any bicycle operated on the University campus shall be registered with the University Police Department (OUPD or Campus Police) through the University and City of Norman joint bicycle registration program. This requirement applies regardless of whether the owner is a student, faculty, or staff member. Registration is at no cost. Bicycle operators may contact Campus Police or the Safe Walk Office for information about how to register. Bicycles shall be parked only in designated racks placed on campus. Bicycles secured to campus fixtures other than designated racks shall be subject to removal without prior notice.

The responsibility for the security of parked bicycles rests with the owner; the University shall not be responsible or liable in any way for lost, stolen, or damaged bicycles. Bicycles shall also be kept in good working order and shall not be allowed to deteriorate or become otherwise derelict. The University may remove any bicycle that appears to be abandoned. A bicycle that is observed to be apparently parked in the same location longer than two weeks, or that is apparently broken, inoperable, or derelict shall be considered abandoned. If a removed bicycle is registered under this policy, the University will try to contact the registered owner to arrange for removal. If an abandoned bicycle is not registered, the University may remove it immediately.

The University is not responsible for the cost of locks, chains, other security devices, or any other item that may be damaged or destroyed as a result of removing any bicycle. The University may dispose of any bicycle that has been in storage longer than three months. The University may destroy or otherwise dispose of any removed bicycle. Any owner wishing to reclaim a removed bicycle from the University shall produce evidence of ownership. The University may charge fines for reclaiming removed bicycles and payment of fines shall be the responsibility of the bicycle’s owner and cannot be subject to appeal.


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5.31 MEDIA SANITIZATION AND ELECTRONIC DATA DISPOSAL POLICY

When declaring electronic devices or media (computers, copy machines which store data, hard drives, floppy diskettes, CDs, DVDs, flash drives, tapes, cell phones, mobile devices, etc.) as excess, departments must ensure that all electronic data contained on these items is disposed properly and not vulnerable to theft or electronic compromise. This is called media sanitization or electronic data disposal.

According to the Information Technology policy definitions document, sensitive data include but are not limited to social security numbers; driver's license or state ID card numbers; any financial account numbers; any credit or debit card numbers; any security code, access code, or password; any health-related data; and any critical infrastructure details. Media sanitization/electronic data disposal comprises all actions necessary to protect data on surplus or end-of-life University-owned media from unauthorized access.

Prior to electronic data disposal, a department should ensure compliance with any known Legal Hold Notices and records-retention requirements for data contained on the media by consulting with designated OU officials (e.g., Open Records Act Officer, Legal Counsel, records retention officers, or departmental or University privacy officers). Following disposal, departments must maintain a disposal record for each item. The record should detail the type of device or media, date, disposal method, and the final disposition of the media (sold, recycled, returned, etc.). The full Media Sanitization and Electronic Data Disposal Policy and other policy documents; as well as, more information about data classification, can be found on the Information Technology Website for each campus:

Norman Campus: WWW.OU.EDU/OUIT
OUHSC Campus: HTTP://IT.OUHSC.EDU
OU Tulsa Campus: WWW.OU.EDU/TULSA/IT.HTML

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5.32 WORKPLACE THREATS AND VIOLENCE

The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and a safe and prosperous educational experience for its students in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. The University is also committed to providing a professional work environment that promotes dignified and respectful treatment of all. This policy applies to the conduct of any person on University premises or at University-sponsored events, including faculty members, students, staff members, visitors, or contractors while on University-owned or controlled property or while engaged in University business. The University has a zero-tolerance policy for workplace threats and/or violence in any form as described below. The University prohibits acts of workplace violence that include threats, intimidation, physical attacks, stalking, or property damage and violent behavior.


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Definitions :
Threats - A threat is the expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm. Such an expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the person communicating the threat has the ability to carry it out, and without regard to whether the threat is made on a present, conditional, or future basis. In determining whether the conduct constitutes a threat, including whether the action caused a reasonable apprehension of harm, the University will consider the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the situation. Threats come in many forms, including, but not limited to, oral and written threats, or threats communicated through conventional mail, electronic messaging, digital imaging, photography, fax, or telephone, and may be direct or implied.
Physical Attack - A physical attack is, without limitation, unwanted or hostile physical contact such as hitting, pushing, kicking, shoving, tripping, poking, biting, spitting, throwing of objects, or fighting.
Intimidation - Intimidation includes but is not limited to stalking, bullying, or engaging in verbal, written, expressive, or physical actions that intentionally or recklessly frighten or coerce an individual or that would be viewed by a reasonable person as such. Stalking includes, without limitation: willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following or harassing another person in a manner that would cause a reasonable person or a member of the immediate family of that person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; and actually causing the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. In the context of stalking, harassment may occur when an individual demonstrates a pattern or course of conduct directed towards another individual that includes repeated or continuing uninvited contact, e.g., contact after the individual has clearly communicated that contact is unwanted. Unwanted contact includes: (1) following or appearing within the sight of that individual in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe he or she were being followed or watched by that individual; (2) approaching or confronting that individual in a public place for a nonbusiness-related purpose or on private property; (3) appearing at that individual’s workplace and/or workspace for a nonbusiness-related purpose; (4) appearing at the residence of that individual; (5) contacting that individual by telephone for a nonbusiness-related purpose; (6) sending mail or electronic communications to that individual for a nonbusiness-related purpose; (7) placing a nonbusiness-related object on, or delivering an object to, that individual’s workplace and/or workspace; (8) placing an object on or delivering an object to the individual’s residence.
Property Damage - Property damage is intentional damage to or destruction to or destruction of property owned by the University or its students, employees, contractors, vendors, or visitors.
Violent Behavior - Violent behavior includes any behavior, whether intentional or reckless, which results in bodily injury to another person and/or damage to property, and can include, but is not limited to: (1) injuring another person physically, including slapping, hitting, punching, pushing, poking or kicking; or physical gestures or actions which would be viewed by a reasonable person as threats to inflict physical harm; (2) engaging in behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury in another person; (3) brandishing or using a weapon or other destructive devices or an object that reasonably appears to be a weapon, and where not otherwise allowed by law, possessing a weapon while on University premises or engaged in University business; (4) damaging property intentionally or recklessly; (5) threatening to injure an individual or damage property verbally, in the form of digital photography, or in written or electronic form; (6) committing acts motivated by or related to domestic violence or sexual harassment; (7) stalking, as defined above.

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Guidelines for Reporting Violent Situations

The University encourages all employees to be alert to the possibility of violence on the part of current and former employees, current and former students, vendors, and visitors to the University. Supervisors are responsible to respond promptly, effectively, and in a manner consistent with University procedures when notified of an alleged incident of workplace violence, or when they observe workplace violence.

A person who believes that he or she has been the target of workplace violence or observes workplace violence must immediately report the alleged incident to his or her supervisor or manager, Human Resources, the University Police Department, and/or the city-of- residence police department. In emergency situations, the Police Department should be called immediately by dialing 911. The University also provides an Emergency Communication System for reporting activity that appears to be an immediate threat to an individual by calling any of the following numbers: on the Norman campus (405) 325-1911; on the Health Sciences campus (405) 271-4911; or on the Tulsa campus (918) 660-3333. The University prohibits retaliation against or harassment of individuals who act in good faith by reporting real or perceived violent behavior or violations of this policy.

All employees who commit violent acts or who otherwise violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, for unacceptable personal conduct, and may also be subject to criminal prosecution. The University prohibits employees from making deliberately false or misleading reports of violence or threats of violence under this policy, and employees who make such reports will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Other individuals who engage in acts of workplace violence as described above may be subject to different disciplinary action applicable to them through the Faculty Handbook, applicable disciplinary policies and procedures for each respective campus, University policy, and state or federal law.


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5.33 Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protection

Employees working on a federal, grant, or contract issued beginning July 1, 2013, through January 1, 2017, are subject to the rights and remedies of the Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protection. An employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or sub-grantee may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for “whistleblowing”.

Whistleblowing is defined as making a disclosure that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of:

  • Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant
  • A gross waste of federal funds;
  • An abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant;
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or
  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant)

To qualify, the employee’s disclosure must be made to:

  • The employee’s manager, an administrative or executive officer of the University, or to the Office of Compliance;
  • A court or grand jury;
  • An official from the Department of Justice, or other law enforcement agency;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the granting agency
  • The Government Accountability Office;
  • An Inspector General; or
  • A member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional committee.

An employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to prohibited reprisal may submit a complaint regarding the reprisal to the Inspector General of the agency that awarded the grant or contract.

Whistleblower protections cannot be waived by any agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment


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5.34 Fraud Preve ntion, Reporting, and Whistleblower Protection Policy

The University prohibits fraudulent and dishonest behavior in the conduct of University business. It is the policy of the University to prevent, deter, and detect dishonest and fraudulent activities and consistently investigate suspected fraud. For the purposes of this policy, fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it. Fraudulent activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Misappropriation of University property or other fiscal irregularities;
  • Intentional misrepresentation in, or forgery or inappropriate alteration of, any document used for University business, including, but not limited to: checks, promissory notes, or securities; purchasing and procurement materials; employee benefit or salary-related items such as time sheets, billings, claims, assignments, or changes in beneficiary; records relating to health; student-related items, such as grades, transcripts, loans, or fee/tuition documents; and
  • Willful and unauthorized destruction of records, property, or equipment with the intent to conceal evidence of fraud, dishonest behavior, or irregularities in the conduct of University business.

Fraud detected or suspected by a University employee must be reported immediately to the University’s Internal Audit or the University Fraud Reporting Hotline. University employees are prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against an individual for good faith reporting, or causing to be reported, suspected fraud. Any person who has been subjected to retaliation in violation of this policy should notify any of the following responsible offices: Internal Audit, Legal Counsel, the University President, or the Board of Regents. If confirmed, retaliation in violation of this policy shall result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

The Chief Audit Executive shall be responsible for managing investigations in response to reports of fraud, except when a real or reasonably perceived conflict of interest could compromise the validity of an investigation, as determined by the President of the University or the Board of Regents, in consultation with the General Counsel. In cases where a report of fraud implicates specialized subject matter or an area in which the University has established investigatory or review procedures (e.g., Academic Integrity, Compliance, Ethics in Research, Institutional Equity), the matter should be referred accordingly unless, as determined by the Chief Audit Executive in consultation with the General Counsel, such a referral is not in the best interest of the University.

Investigations of suspected fraud shall, to the extent reasonably practicable and to the extent permitted by law, be conducted in a manner that protects both the participants in an investigation and the reputation of the person(s) who are the subject of an investigation. If an investigation reveals evidence that supports a finding of fraud, the investigative report shall be referred to the executive officer over the area, the President, and/or the Board of Regents for corrective action. Corrective action may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary action against the perpetrator and/or adjustments to policies, procedures, or controls, or referral to law enforcement.

The Chief Audit Executive is empowered to 1) make recommendations to academic and administrative units to promote fraud prevention and deterrence, 2) adopt procedures consistent with generally accepted standards of fraud investigation to govern its conduct of fraud investigations, 3) manage the appropriate referral of reports.








Copyright © 2013
University of Oklahoma Staff Handbook is maintained and updated by Human Resources.