HR Update November 2019

Upcoming University Closings - Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

The university will be closed November 25 – 29 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The university will be closed December 19, 2019 (1:00 p.m.) – January 1, 2020 for the Winter Break. Please review the Holiday Schedule and University Closings website for the 2019 and 2020 Holiday and Closing Schedules.

University Closings Due to Inclement Weather

With winter weather on the horizon, the university is preparing for the possibility of inclement weather delays and closures. Decisions to close all non-essential university operations will be posted on the JMU website and broadcast via text and email alerts. Most university employees are considered "non-designated" employees and are not required to work when the university is closed. However, to continue to provide services to students, some positions are considered "designated" and these employees must report to work when the university is officially closed due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions. Designated employees earn compensatory leave for hours worked up to the maximum number of hours of their normal work shifts. Hours worked over the normally scheduled shift will be compensated in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the excess time worked (i.e., overtime leave earned), provided employees are in a non-exempt classification. When inclement weather or other emergency conditions create transportation difficulties that result in an employee’s late arrival, supervisors may authorize up to two hours of such lost time as an authorized absence not charged as leave. Supervisors should decide each case on its own merits. Any hours worked by non-designated employees during an authorized closing will be paid and not credited with compensatory leave.

Please review JMU Policy 1309-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 closure.

Recapping the 47th Annual Faculty & Staff Years of Service Recognition Programs

On October 17 and 18, JMU recognized 255 faculty and 213 staff members during Years of Service Recognition programs. Together, this group represents over 6,245 years of service to the university. Please visit the Human Resources website to view the complete list of faculty and staff recipients. Congratulations to all employees who received service milestones!

Warm a Winter Wish at UREC for a Family in Need

Are you looking for a way to make a positive impact in the Harrisonburg community this holiday season? Each year, UREC partners with local agencies (First Step, Mercy House, and Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley) to help wishes come true for families in need in the community. Here’s how Warm a Winter Wish works:

  • Come to UREC anytime before December 9 during operating hours and pick a wish tag from the tree in the UREC lobby.
  • Or, if your department would like to sponsor a family or larger gift, contact Lorie Miller at 540-568-8718 / millerla@jmu.edu.
  • Fulfill the “wish” and return the item to UREC (unwrapped) by Tuesday, December 10 at Noon.

Join UREC for the annual Wrapping Party on Wednesday, December 11 from 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. in UREC Sports Forum 2! Supply donations (paper, scissors, tape, bows) are appreciated as well.

JMU 2019 Food Drive

You help sustain life, restore options, and provide hope when donating to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank during the JMU Thanksgiving Drive now through November 22.

2019 Virginia Retirement System Member Benefit Profiles (MBPs)

The Virginia Retirement System Member Benefit Profile (MBP) is an annual benefit statement based on information reported to VRS as of June 30. The MBP provides you with account balance information, retirement eligibility and eligibility for other benefits such as group life insurance and the health insurance credit. To view your Member Benefit Profile, log in or create a secure myVRS account. Under the My History menu item, select Annual Statements.

The MBP can be a useful tool in determining if you are on target for your desired retirement date and income in retirement. Other tools available through VRS include the myVRS Benefit Estimator, which allows you to run different retirement benefit scenarios. In addition, use the myVRS Retirement Planner to set your income-replacement goal and enter expected income sources in retirement, including your VRS pension, Social Security, 403(b) and 457 contributions, and other savings. The planner also helps you project expenses in retirement, such as health care and taxes, and offers calculators and a budgeting worksheet.

Please contact the Benefits at benefits@jmu.edu or 540-568-3593 if you have any questions concerning your MBP.

2020 Pension Plan Limits

The IRS recently announced Pension Plan limits for 2020. Effective with the 2020 calendar year, elective contribution limits for 403(b) and 457 plans will increase to $19,500/year, an increase from the current $19,000/year limit. The catch-up limit for employees over the age of 50 will increase to $6,500, an increase from the current $6,000/year. If you would like to make a change to your current contributions, please complete the Salary Reduction Agreement and return to benefits@jmu.edu. The change in contributions will become effective January 1, 2020. If you contribute to the 457 plan and wish to make a change to your current contributions, please log into your account or contact ICMA-RC Investor Services at 1-877-327-5261, Option 1. The change will become effective the first of the next month after you make the change; therefore, for your change to be effective January 1, 2020, please make any contribution changes during the month of December. If you have questions regarding the plan limit changes, please contact benefits@jmu.edu or 540-568-3593.

Benefits Broadcast

Our goal with the Benefits Broadcast is to feature a specific benefit each month.

This month’s featured benefit is...

Anthem Future Moms

Aetna Maternity Program

If you are enrolled in the COVA Care or COVA HDHP health insurance plan and receive the wonderful news that you (or your spouse) is expecting, then the free Future Moms benefit is for you! If you enroll in Future Moms within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and meet additional program criteria, you can earn a $300 hospital copay waiver!

Other benefits include:

  • A toll-free number where you can speak with a nurse 24/7 about your pregnancy
  • The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy book, showing changes you can expect for you and your baby during the next nine months
  • A screening to check your health risk for depression or early delivery
  • Free phone calls with pharmacists, nutritionists, and other specialists, if needed
  • One additional dental cleaning and exam during the term of your pregnancy, in addition to the normal plan frequency limits
  • Many other helpful tools!

Sign up for Future Moms by calling 1-800-828-5891.

If you are enrolled in the Aetna HealthAware health insurance plan, the Aetna Maternity Program provides help and support to help you have a successful pregnancy. By enrolling in the program within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and participating based on your pregnancy risk profile, you are eligible to receive a $300 incentive contribution to your HRA around the 28th week of pregnancy. Sign up for Aetna Maternity Program by calling 1-800-272-3531, or log into the Aetna member website at www.aetna.com and look under Stay Healthy.

Social Security Newsletter

Check out articles in the November 2019 issue of the Social Security Column for important reminders and information from the Social Security Administration.

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 where you could talk with an expert:

JMU was recognized for “Outstanding Business Collaboration" at the DARS Champion Event

This award was in recognition of the partnerships the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services has with JMU’s Facilities Management department and Recruitment Services in Human Resources. FM has had a long history of providing employment opportunities to DARS clients and has been able to offer internships to consumers from Wilson Workforce. Over the past year Aline (DARS) and Jennifer (JMU) have partnered on several goals such as the job shadow event for local high school students, speaking to Aline’s job club, etc. They are both members of the Harrisonburg Rockingham Chamber of Commerce Diversity Council and this past June they presented a session together as part of the Council’s first diversity workshop that was open to the local business community.

Aline’s remarks regarding the event’s award ceremony: “Poor Jennifer. She was harassed the most by my big ideas. Actually, she may help fuel them. Seriously, she is a champion of the community. She and her team are available when I call on them to speak to my job club-- sharing things-- such as-- how to complete a state application or resume. JMU sponsored our national job shadowing day –allowing 60 students to tour their facilities department and provided lunch. JMU works with our external training program at Wilson Workforce and hires our consumers on a regular basis. JMU exhibits excellence in serving the community and in disability employment.”

I am proud of Jennifer, her team, and for the willingness of FM to partner with us in this important endeavor to nurture an inclusive environment for all.

Chuck Flick, HR Director

JMU Talent Development


  • Advanced AACP Connect: Brainstorming Basics (TD2148)
  • The Value of Play in Your Personal and Professional Life (TD1934)
  • Check Your Mirror: Know How You Lead Customer Service (TD2520)
  • The Places You’ll Grow Info Session (TD2425)
  • Taking Small Steps to Make BIG CHANGES (TD2539)
  • Managing Multiple Bosses (TD2146)
  • JMU JobLink (TD2510)
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful (TD2532)

Visit Talent Development’s webpage for a listing of all they have to offer!

Gail Napora has been named Director of Talent Development. In addition to her experience as JMU Professional Development Specialist where she created 15-20 new workshops and delivered 65 workshops and departmental retreats annually, and her time in JMU IT Training where she was responsible for JMU and Microsoft content, Gail brings a wealth of private sector experience in management, systems development and adult learning to this role.

Gift Card scam emails

Information Technology has seen an increase in scam emails directed at JMU faculty and staff.

The goal of these messages is to get you to purchase gift cards and send card information to the scammer.

How do these scams work?

  • You receive a message from your supervisor/manager/dean. The message creates a sense of urgency by using words like “Quick Request”, “Available?” or “ASAP”.
  • If you respond, you will be asked to purchase gift cards from a local store.
  • After you purchase the cards, you will be asked to send pictures of the claim code and card information back to the scammer. The scammer will promise to reimburse you when they return to the office.
  • Because you have sent the claim code and card number to the scammer, you have little recourse for recovering your money.

It is highly unusual for someone within JMU to make a request for you to purchase gift cards and send them the card information electronically. If you receive requests of this nature, DO NOT respond to the message.

If you are unsure an email is legitimate, contact IT Security at abuse@jmu.edu.

If you have any questions, contact the IT Help Desk at 568-3555 or helpdesk@jmu.edu.

The IT Service Portal Makes Onboarding New Hires Easier

Information Technology

The new IT Service Portal includes an IT Onboarding feature designed to help managers request the most common IT services for new employees in a convenient and efficient manner. By using this tool, Managers are able to request multiple IT Onboarding services all at once. Please note that new hires must have an eID before their Manager can utilize the IT Onboarding tool in the Service Portal. A short and helpful eLearning video can be found here. Simply follow the link and click the “Onboarding” button in the upper right corner.

Electronic W2's in MyMadison

Payroll Services

Electronic W-2 forms for 2019 will be available in MyMadison once W-2 processing is complete in January. The full SSN will be on the W-2 making it an official tax document that can be used if you mail your tax return or have someone prepare your tax return on your behalf. Please consent to receive the form electronically and forego the paper copy!

Benefits to receiving Form W-2 electronically include:

  • Earlier access to the Form W-2
  • Support the university’s mission of environmental sustainability.... Help us save paper and reduce processing costs
  • No possibility an employee's Form W-2 might be lost, stolen, delayed or misplaced by the U.S. mail service or by the employee, once received
  • Access is available at the same easy-to-use, secure web site at which an employee can access his/her payslip
  • Access to the form can be attained even if the employee is not presently at his/her residence, for example, if participating in a university foreign program

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

  • Log in to MyMadison
  • Navigate to the Employee tab
  • Under Employee Payroll and Banking, click ‘W-2/W-2c Consent Form’
  • Read the notice, check the box and click submit
  • You will be prompted to verify your identify before your consent is final

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

Call for Proposals

The Diversity conference committee invites proposals that enhance understanding and skills, while also contributing to productive and positive change within higher education, our community, and beyond. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or groups of faculty, staff, and community members. This conference does not accept proposals from students.

The deadline for submitting proposals is December 3, 2019*.

For full details or to submit your proposal, visit the Diversity conference webpage

*Notifications of proposal acceptance status will be made via email to the primary contact no later than January 17, 2020. Questions? Please contact Andreas Broscheid, chair, Diversity Conference Committee at broschax@jmu.edu or call (540) 568-6991.

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


Gina Holloway HR Benefits team, JMU Photography Services