HR Update OCTOBER 2021

Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

The university will be closed November 22 - 26 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The university will be closed December 21, 2021 – December 31, 2021 for the Winter Break. Please review the Holiday Schedule and University Closings website for the Holiday and Closing Schedule.

Classified Employee Leave

With the holidays fast approaching, now is a good time for classified employees to review vacation leave balances for any hours that would be above the maximum carryover limit. Employees should work with their supervisor to use any excess leave hours by Sunday, January 9, 2022. As a reminder, you must work or be on approved paid leave the day before and the day after a holiday to receive holiday pay. Please review your leave balances in the event you are carrying a low leave balance and may fall into a time loss situation. Contact Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist, with any questions.

Time & Attendance Records for Non-exempt Staff

All non-exempt employees are required to maintain a Time and Attendance Record each leave year that shows hours worked, leave taken, scheduled days off, and university closures. This record must be submitted to Human Resources each January. Employees will receive an email in January with instructions on how to submit the record.

Election Day

Election Day for the next general election is Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Voters are required to show acceptable forms of ID for Virginia polls.

The COVID –19 pandemic may present challenges or concerns for some who normally vote in person on Election Day. For alternatives to voting in person on Election Day consider the following options:

  • Early Voting in Person
  • Apply to vote by absentee mail

A link is provided here to the Virginia Department of Elections webpage for details and instructions on these options. Not a resident of Virginia? Visit your state’s department of elections webpage for more details on alternative voting options.

Election Day Attendance

Election Day can present staffing challenges resulting from employees wanting to arrive late or to leave early. It is important to ensure that employees have a reasonable opportunity to vote, to maintain sufficient staffing coverage throughout the day, and to employ an approach that is equitably applied to all staff.

  • Encourage employees to vote before work, after work, or during their lunch breaks, and to coordinate their schedules with supervisors and co-workers.
  • Advise employees that late arrivals and requests for early departures or extended lunch breaks will require the use of personal leave. Annual, family/personal, overtime, or compensatory leave may be used for this purpose. Community Service Leave cannot to be used to vote.
  • Consider adjusting the schedules of non-exempt employees as an alternative to using leave.

Election Day Volunteers

Employees are encouraged to volunteer to be Officers of Election. Those who serve as Officers of Election shall be allowed to use up to 8 hours of Civil and Work-Related Leave on Election Day. As with all leave, supervisory approval is required.

Employees who serve as Officers of Election shall be allowed to use Civil and Work-Related Leave to attend the required Officer of Election certification training only when the employee's locality does not offer the training during non-work hours. Training schedules are available from local registrars and are typically posted on the localities’ websites. Contact Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist, if you plan to serve in this capacity.

If an employee uses Civil and Work-Related Leave to work as an Officer of Election and receives payment for duties and/or training, they must submit the payment to the Commonwealth. Contact Payroll Services to arrange the return of payment.

  • If the employee wishes to retain the payment, they must use annual, family/personal, personal day, overtime, or compensatory leave.
  • Employees who are reimbursed for expenses only (travel, parking, etc.) are permitted to keep such payments.
  • Neither Civil and Work-Related Leave nor Community Service Leave may be used by employees who wish to volunteer on Election Day in another capacity (e.g., poll workers not certified as Officers of Election, political workers, etc.) These activities are considered political activities, not community services as defined in the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Policy 4.05 - Civil and Work-Related Leave.

Benefits Broadcast

Our goal with the Benefits Broadcast is to feature a specific benefit each month. This month’s featured benefit is…

Voluntary Benefits Open Enrollment Ends Oct. 29

The Legal Resources Legal Plan covers the attorney fees for a broad range of frequently needed legal services.

  • Legal plan coverage ensures you, your spouse, and qualifying dependent children are protected.
  • There are no annual usage limitations, co-pays, or deductibles for the fully covered services.

Pet Insurance with Nationwide:

  • My Pet Protection pet insurance from Nationwide is a reimbursement indemnity plan for dogs and cats. That means we reimburse members for a portion of eligible veterinary expenses related to accidents, injuries and illnesses.* Wellness coverage is also available for routine preventive exams and services.

Liberty Mutual Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Employees potentially save $947 with customized auto and home insurance.* Take advantage of payroll deduction for additional savings. Call 800-699-4378 and reference Client #136852 or Click here to get a free quote.

*Savings validated by new customers who switched to Liberty Mutual between 1/2020-10/2020 and participated in a countrywide survey. Savings may vary. Comparison does not apply in MA. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company or its affiliates or subsidiaries, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116.

New Guarantee Issue Life Insurance with Long-Term Care

  • Due to the unique guarantee issue offer being provided, you will need to speak with an enrollment counselor to accept or waive coverage. Accept or waive coverage with a benefits counselor and help JMU raise money for UVA Children’s*.

*Review Chubb’s LifeTime Benefit Term with an enrollment counselor and a donation of $10 will be made on your behalf. There is no obligation to purchase.

Scheduling Virtual Appointments Now! Click here to Schedule Your Appointment to learn more or simply call Pierce Insurance at 800-421-3142, ext. 177 to speak with a benefits counselor.

Need to Talk with an Expert?

Did you know that every month, company representatives for your benefits are here on campus in the Wine-Price Building? Below is a list of upcoming dates when you could schedule a time to talk with an expert:

Social Security Column Newsletter for October

National Retirement Security Month is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. NRSM provides an opportunity for employees to revisit their personal retirement goals and determine if they are on track for a secure future.

According to Retirement Insecurity 2021, a recent report on American's view of Retirement, "more than half of Americans are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their ability to achieve a secure retirement." Therefore, making the time to consider plans for the future is a must for everyone.

Tune in throughout the month to the weekly emails and webinars to get information and resources that can help you confidently plan for your future.

‘Inside Money’

This presentation will discuss how to help make money work, the importance of cash flow and how to use it, saving and spending, understanding debt and how to manage it. - Presented by TIAA

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 11:00AM

Virginia Retirement System Member News

Be sure to read the latest issue of Member News from VRS. Included in this issue is information regarding updated plan handbooks retirement security, online retirements, and many other topics. Subscribe to Member News directly for the latest updates.

Open Enrollment for Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE)

October is open enrollment for participants in the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE). You have the opportunity to change providers, effective with the first payroll in 2022.

Two provider options are available: DCP (record kept by ICMA-RC) and TIAA. Register for an online open enrollment meeting to learn more about your options during open enrollment.

If you wish to change providers during open enrollment, you can view your options and make a selection in myVRS. Once logged in, the following message will appear on your account home page through October 31, or until you make a provider change:

No action is required if you do not wish to change your provider during the open enrollment period.

Please note that selecting a new provider does not impact your balances. If you wish to transfer balances to your new provider you will need to request a plan-to-plan transfer. For additional information or assistance, please email orphe@varetire.org.

Consent to Receive Your W-2 Electronically

JMU Payroll Services would like to remind employees that they may elect to receive their W-2 statements online through MyMadison, in an IRS approved PDF format. This allows you to print and send the online form with your tax return. Electronic W-2 forms for 2021 will be available in MyMadison upon the completion of W-2 processing in January. Please consent to receive the form electronically and forego the paper copy.

Benefits to receiving Form W-2 electronically include:

  • Online delivery provides earlier access than the traditional paper process
  • Employees can support the university’s mission of environmental sustainability.... Help us save paper and reduce processing costs (forms, printing & postage)
  • Online delivery eliminates the chance that the W-2 might be lost, stolen, delayed or misplaced by the U.S. mail service or by the employee
  • Access is available in MyMadison, at the same easy-to-use, secure web site where employees access their payslips
  • Access to the form can be attained even if the employee is not presently at his/her usual residence

How do I consent to receive my W-2 electronically?

  1. Log in to MyMadison
  2. Navigate to the Employee tab
  3. Under Employee Payroll and Banking, click ‘W-2/W-2c Consent Form’
  4. Read the notice, check the box and click submit
  5. You will be prompted to verify your identify before your consent is final
  6. Once consent is given, it carries forward each year and does not need to be repeated.

Questions… Contact Payroll Services @ 540-568-6233 or payroll-operations@jmu.edu.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Information Technology would like you to know that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This month, please take some time to learn or review practices that can help protect you online. A number of private companies, non-profits, and government organizations have co-produced the “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” campaign, available at stopthinkconnect.org. This website provides tips and advice for practicing good online safety habits. Please review this information and incorporate these practices into your online routine, because it will help protect you and the JMU community.

JMU IT also publishes numerous training resources regarding online safety. For example, you may not be aware that you can review our Security Awareness Training videos from the “My Accounts” tab in MyMadison. The Security section of the JMU Computing website (jmu.edu/computing/security) is another great resource. There you’ll find the “Is It Real?” video (training to identify phishing messages), the address and procedure for reporting security incidents or abuse, and information about our IT training workshop, RunSafe. Finally, LinkedIn Learning provides access to many videos about important security topics, including phishing. LinkedIn Learning is available to all JMU faculty, staff, and students; please visit https://www.jmu.edu/computing/help-and-support/linkedin-learning.shtml.

October is Campus Sustainability Month!

JMU employees are invited to participate in this international celebration of sustainability in higher education.

Learn More

  • Listen to the Democracy Matters Podcast - Episode 57: Can We Stop Climate Destruction? by the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement. This episode features Dr. Tobias Gerken, assistant professor in the School of Integrated Sciences at JMU, discussing climate modeling, environmental effects of climate change, and making informed decisions about climate policy.
  • Watch Bending the Arc to Environmental, Climate, and Racial Justice: The Role of Community Science presented virtually by guest speaker Dr. Sacoby Wilson. Dr. Wilson addresses the social determinants of health, equity, the built environment, and the importance of community-university partnerships. The event was hosted by the College of Health and Behavioral Studies as part of the Academic Affairs Visiting Scholars Series.
  • Join the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement at the Wilson Hall Semicircle for a Tent Talk with primer about climate justice from 12:00 to 2:00 PM on October 20, 2021.

Act Now

Improve campus sustainability performance and engage others around sustainability solutions.

All JMU Libraries Resources in One Place

There's so much more you can do with JMU Libraries if you know what is available to you. Now you can find it all in one place! Learn more about Libraries services for staff and faculty, or visit our pages for students, graduate students, and visitors to find out more.

Virtual Makerspace Workshops

The Makery in JMU Libraries offers an array of technologies to encourage creativity, brainstorming, exploring, rethinking, problem-solving and curiosity. Try one of our fun, free makerspace workshops on Zoom this fall! Sign up now for a virtual Makery workshop on 3D Modeling and 3D printing, mixed media painting, audio editing, or electronics.

Talent Development


"My metric for success can be summed up in one phrase: Earn customers for life.” -Mary Barra

Raving Fans

Everyone you come in contact with is your customer. Would they give you a five star review? This workshop discusses ways individuals and teams can improve their customer service skills in order to turn dissatisfied customers into Raving Fans by learning the three rules discussed in the book Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. Participants will become more aware of their customer service skills and develop an action plan to prevent roadblocks.

Raving Fans (TD1355)

Thu, 11 Nov 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Register with course number in MyMadison.


“Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.” - Anonymous

Addressing Substance Abuse in the Workplace*

If you are a supervisor, come learn more about what to do when you observe an employee who is displaying impairment in the workplace from the use of alcohol or other drugs. This training will assist supervisors in learning how to: Recognize, Identify, Plan and Refer employees for evaluation and treatment.

*Training designed to comply with JMU Policy #1110 - Alcohol and Other Drugs. All supervisors are strongly encouraged to attend.

Addressing Substance Abuse in the Workplace (TD1398)

Mon, 1 Nov 2021 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Register with course number in MyMadison.


“Nothing will work unless you do.” -Maya Angelou

Event Planning at JMU: Everyone Can Benefit

Don’t panic, plan! If you are organizing an event, join the JMU Event Management Team members as they guide you through the process of putting together the perfect event. Important resources, helpful hints and access to the Event Management System online scheduling software will be shared with participants and attendees. Outstanding occasions don’t just happen… they are created by planning ahead!

Event Planning at JMU: Everyone Can Benefit (TD1006)

Wed, 10 Nov 2021 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Register with course number in MyMadison.


“The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.” - George Foreman

Faculty: What to Expect When You Retire

If you are a faculty member in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) and contemplating retirement, you'll want to attend this workshop! Come learn about retirement eligibility, the retirement process and what happens to your benefits when you retire. This hour and a half session will equip you with everything you need to know to make a smooth transition into retirement!

ORP Participants: What to Expect When You Retire (TD1352)

Tue, 9 Nov 2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Register with course number in MyMadison.

October is Fire Prevention Month

See Risk Management’s October Safety Tips to learn more about fire safety and prevention.

Let JMU Know What YOU Think!

Campus climate includes the attitudes, behaviors, standards and practices of a university’s employees and students. Personal experiences and perceptions shape the climate, along with institutional efforts. How do you feel about the climate at JMU?

For the first time, the university is conducting a campus climate survey to get the opinions of employees and students about the JMU environment. Your confidential responses will influence future institutional planning, and senior leadership has committed to using feedback from this survey to improve the climate at JMU.

The online survey will take about 15 minutes to finish, and you can enter to win a prize after completing it. Access the survey at www.jmu.edu/speak-up-dukes.

49th Annual Years of Service Recognition

Plans are underway for the 49th Annual Years of Service Recognition Events. If you are a recipient, you should have received your invitation via email from the Office of the President.

The Faculty Years of Service Recognition and Lunch will be held on Wednesday, November 10 at 12:00 p.m. in the Festival Conference and Student Center Ballroom. Questions regarding faculty invitations can be directed to Mary Walala at walalamv@jmu.edu , 540-568-8037.

The Staff Years of Service Recognition and Breakfast will be held on Thursday, November 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the Festival Conference and Student Center Ballroom. If you or someone you supervise are expecting an invitation for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 years of service and have not received one, contact Tara Roe, roetb@jmu.edu, 540-568-5533.

Human Resources is dedicated to customer service, a positive approach to change and the pursuit of excellence that promotes university and individual success.


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