HR Update January 2017

Genworth Optional Long Term Care Closed to New Participants

Genworth, our provider of optional long term care, has closed their policies to new enrollees effective January 1, 2017. This has no impact on any long term care policies you currently have with Genworth; all those policies will be honored as they have been written. You will not be able to get a new policy, change the terms of your current policy, or add anyone to your current policy.

The Benefits Team has not been told if the Commonwealth of Virginia will be seeking a new long term care vendor. Please contact a member of the Benefits Team if you have any questions about this.

Self-Directed Brokerage Option for TIAA for Optional Retirement Plan

At Money Matters in fall, 2016, a representative from TIAA provided information to participants in the Optional Retirement Plan regarding a self-directed brokerage account option that was to be available January 1, 2017. VRS has delayed that implementation until February 2017. All Optional Retirement Plan members who are investing with TIAA will receive a packet of information in mid-January outlining this new option and giving you directions on enrolling if you wish to do so.

Please contact Julie Byers at 540/568-3976 if you have any questions about this opportunity once you have received your information.

1095 Forms for Affordable Care Act Verification

If you were a JMU employee at any time during 2016, you will receive a 1095-C form showing if you were covered by any of the Commonwealth of Virginia health plans offered by JMU. You will need to certify on your 2016 tax forms that you had health insurance coverage during 2016 and you will need to keep this 1095-C form for your records (no need to send it to the IRS with your tax form). The certification information goes on line 61 if you are filing a 1040 form, line 38 if you are filing form 1040A and line 11 if you are filing form 1040EZ. If you had more than one employer in 2016, you will receive a 1095-C form from each employer.

These forms must be sent out from the employer by March 2, 2017. You do not need to wait for this form in order to fill out your taxes – you may use your knowledge about your health coverage in order to answer the appropriate line on your tax form.

Classified and Full-time Faculty Leave Types

Are you confused about what leave types you have available to use? Do you know which leave types require documentation prior to requesting time off? If so, please visit HR's Leave webpage in order to review the various leave types available to you.

University Closings Due to Inclement Weather

With winter temperatures reaching the valley, we are preparing for the possibility of inclement weather delays and closures. Please review Policy 1309-University Closings, Class Cancellations and Exam Postponements Due to Inclement Weather or Emergencies to learn more regarding closing decisions, the cancellation of classes, the difference between designated and non-designated staff, and compensation for hours worked during an inclement weather delays and closures.

JMU CommonHealth: The Biggest Loser!

Please join us for the next exciting campaign from JMU CommonHealth: The Biggest Loser! This is a 6-week challenge to promote healthy choices while adding in some friendly competition! This campaign will start Wednesday, February 1 and end on Friday, March 17. You may view the Campaign description and Official Rules by clicking on the links.

We had great success with the campaign last year with almost 200 faculty and staff participants who collectively lost over 1,100 pounds!

Please visit our website for more specifics on the campaign, including information about our kick-off party on Wednesday, February 1.

Time and Attendance Records for Non-exempt Classified Employees

Per Department of Labor requirements, every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must keep accurate record of hours worked for each covered, non-exempt worker. This information includes regular hours worked, leave taken, leave without pay, overtime/compensatory hours worked, holidays, and scheduled days off. The 2016 Time and Attendance Record for Non-exempt Employees must be submitted electronically to Our goal deadline to receive these was Friday, January 20. The 2016 and new 2017 Time and Attendance Records are located on the HR Forms website.

2017 Benefits Series

The Benefits Team is pleased to work with Talent Development to bring you the 2017 Benefits Series. Check out TD’s website for courses with answers to your benefits questions. We hope to see you there!

New Recruitment Specialist

Congratulations to Alicia Proctor who recently accepted the position of Recruitment Specialist! Alicia will primarily serve Academic Affairs and will be responsible for consulting with hiring managers in the development of effective recruiting strategies for faculty and staff positions. She will also oversee the C3 program by providing dual career services and support to new and prospective faculty, staff and their families as they transition to the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area. Alicia has worked in HR as the Onboard Specialist since 2012.

To effectively handle conflict, an appropriate course of action must be taken to produce the change that leads to a positive work experience. Human Resources would like to remind you about JMU Employee Mediation Services available to all non-student employees of the university. With certified mediators to help guide the process, Mediation Services can assist employees from all across campus with resolving many types of workplace conflict.

Through mediation, participants are encouraged to engage in open conversation with honest dialogue, allowing them to address issues in a safe environment. Solutions are reached at the base level, instead of moving up the chain of command. Mediation sessions are free of charge and available for both individuals and groups. Common issues discussed during mediation include:

  • Work style differences
  • Supervisory style differences
  • Communication problems
  • Issues surrounding a grievance
  • Conflict affecting a working relationship between co-workers that cannot be resolved on their own or with a supervisor

We encourage you to review the information on the Human Resources website and become familiar with Mediation Services available to JMU employees. As always, you may contact your HR Consultant with any questions you may have.

OWA (Outlook Web App) login page is getting a new look

From: Dale Hulvey, Information Technology

Effective Wednesday, January 25, the login page that is used to access Outlook Web App will change. The new login page will have the title "Outlook" and is blue in color. Only the login page is changing; after logging in you will see the familiar yellow OWA interface. The link used to access JMU email through Outlook Web App ( will remain the same.

This change is necessary as we prepare to upgrade to Exchange 2016.

For additional information and screen shots of what the new login screen looks like, visit JMU Computing News.

If you have questions, contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 540/568-3555.

Tuition Waiver Taxability

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows eligible educational institutions to offer tuition reductions (waivers) to employees. JMU offers tuition waivers to employees through Policies 1402 and 1405. Qualified tuition reductions are excluded from the employee’s income if the reductions are for education below the graduate level. The IRS does not consider graduate-level courses to be job-related. Therefore, the first $5250 of graduate tuition waivers per calendar year would be considered tax free and the value of any graduate courses beyond that dollar amount would be considered taxable to the employee.

Annually, Payroll Services will collect the appropriate taxes from each employee who exceeds the $5250 threshold for graduate tuition waivers. Taxes will be collected starting the last pay period in October of each year. The employee’s W-2 will include taxable waivers.

Opt-in to the University Policy Committee (UPC) ListServ

The University Policy Committee (UPC) ListServ, available on the Manual of Policies and Procedures website, is a great way to stay informed on new and revised policies (link below). An opt-in feature allowing you to join the ListServ is available on the Home and Ask Questions pages.

As a result of subscribing to the ListServ, employees receive notices when:

  1. policies are updated
  2. policies are posted for public review
  3. the semi-annual policy change notification report has been posted on the site

If you have not already done so, I invite you to consider opting-in to the University Policy ListServ as an avenue to stay current on campus policies and procedures. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Rick Larson, Chair, University Policy Committee,, 540/568-4248.

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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