HR Update December 2020

Winter Campus Scenes

End of the Year Leave Reminder for Classified Employees

The university’s winter holiday break begins Tuesday, December 22. As we approach the holiday season, please keep in mind that in accordance with Department of Human Resource Management Policy 4.25-Holidays, classified employees must either work on, or be on approved paid leave, the workday before and the workday after the holiday in order to be paid for holiday time.

Classified employees should review their current vacation balance with their supervisor and plan to use vacation hours that will exceed their maximum carry-over limit. Excess vacation hours and the 2020 Personal Day (taken in its full eight-hour increment) must be used on or by Saturday, January 9, 2021, with the exception of the vacation hours earned on Saturday, January 9 for the final pay period (12/25/20 through 1/9/21). These vacation hours will be counted in the new leave year’s total vacation leave balance.

Please have all leave requests for the 2020 leave year entered in MyMadison by Monday, January 11 at 5:00 p.m. Supervisors will have until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13 to approve all requests.

Time and Attendance Records for Non-exempt Classified Employees

2020 Time and Attendance Records for non-exempt classified employees must be submitted electronically to benefits@jmu.edu no later than Friday, January 15. The 2020 Time and Attendance Record is located on the Time and Attendance Reporting website at https://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/benefits/leave/time-attendance.shtml.

Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) Update

Effective Sunday, January 10, 2021, the hours of paid leave provided in the Public Health Emergency Leave Policy (PHEL) will return to a maximum of 80 hours per leave year. The exception approved in March 2020 that expanded paid time off to 160 hours will expire.

The following exceptions related to PHEL eligibility/usage will continue:

  • Caring for family members (beyond immediate family) diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Reasonable time to make Child/Dependent Care arrangements if related to COVID-19 business closings
  • Reasonable time to make/adjust to Virtual or Hybrid Learning arrangements

If you have questions about, or are in need of Emergency Leave including PHEL for use related to the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your Benefits Specialist so that we can help you navigate through your situation.

Full-time Employees may contact their Benefits Specialist according to their last name

Wage employees may contact Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist, at neeserw@jmu.edu or 540-568-3974.

December’s Social Security Column Newsletter


Health Benefits Premium Holiday

As announced in a previous communication from Governor Northam dated December 2, 2020, there will be a premium holiday for the month of December for those enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program.

There will be no health insurance premium deduction from your December 16 and December 31 paycheck. Since no premium will be due, premium rewards will not apply to the premium holiday period.

Contact the Benefits Team at benefits@jmu.edu or 540-568-3593 with any questions concerning the premium holiday.

Benefits Broadcast

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

Employee Assistance Program Ad

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP is a confidential information, support, and referral service offering tools and resources designed to help maximize productivity and meet the challenges of modern life. EAP services are available to employees and their household members enrolled in the state health plans.

The EAP includes up to four sessions at no charge for services such as mental health, alcohol or drug abuse assessment, child or elder care, grief counseling, legal services, and financial services. Areas frequently addressed by the EAP include:

  • Child care and parenting
  • Helping aging parents
  • Financial issues
  • Legal concerns
  • Work and career
  • Emotional well-being
  • Addiction and recovery
  • Wellness and prevention
  • Concierge and convenience services
  • Life events

Interested in learning more about the resources available through the EAP? If so, contact your health insurance plan’s Member Services Department.

  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (COVA Care & COVA HDHP Plans); Member Services: 1-855-223-9277; www.anthemeap.com
  • Aetna (COVA HealthAware Plan); Member Services: 1-888-238-6232; www.mylifevalues.com

Virginia Retirement System Members News

Be sure to read the latest issue of Member News from VRS. Included in this issue is information regarding boosting your knowledge with Education Webinars, designating beneficiaries, planning tools for financial wellness, and VRS benchmark results. Subscribe to Member News directly for the latest updates.

Payroll Services

Mailing Addresses and W-2 Consent in MyMadison (Employee Tab)

Payroll Services would like to remind employees to check their mailing address in MyMadison (under the Employee Tab) by December 31st. Please verify the address on file is correct to ensure timely delivery of your W-2 document in January. Payroll Services will not mail W-2 documents to mail stop codes, JMU departments, JMU student PO boxes or to the JMU designated zip code of 22807 due to the confidential nature of the information contained in the document. It only takes a minute to verify your address in MyMadison, but it may take the mail up to two weeks to return a W-2 document with an incorrect or invalid address.

NOTE: Employees that consented to receive their W-2 electronically will not receive a mailed copy.

NOTE: Student employees may need to update their mailing address under the ‘Employee Tab’ for payroll purposes and under the ‘Student Tab’ for other student related year-end documents.

If you’d like to “Go Green” with your W-2, we encourage employees to consent to receive the W-2 electronically. Electronic delivery supports the university’s mission of environmental sustainability, helps to save paper and reduce processing costs. Consent is easy! Simply log in to MyMadison, navigate to the Employee tab, and click on W2/W2c Consent Form to opt out of receiving a paper form. By choosing to “Go Green”, you eliminate the possibility that your W-2 might be lost, stolen or delayed by the postal service.

For more information on Electronic W-2’s or to view our W-2 Consent Disclosure Notice, please visit our Tax Information webpage.


Talent Development continues to offer many professional Development options in 2020.

  • TD SHARE – Informal 30 Minute Sessions – No Sign Up Required!
  • TD Playlists – LinkedIn Learning videos carefully selected by TD staff – You can access the playlists for each competency by searching for them in the search bar (TD followed by space brings them all up)

**New Series for 2021**

JMU Safety Champion Series

Risk Management has developed a series of workshops to help you become a JMU Safety Champion! This series consists of 6 workshops:

  • January 20th - TD2560 – Evacuation and Fire Safety
  • February 17th - TD2561 – OSHA and Workers Compensation
  • March 24th - TD2562 – Ergonomics and Ladder Safety
  • April 14th - TD2563 – Chemicals, Weather Related Disasters and CPR/AED
  • May 19th - TD2564 – Active Shooter, Terrorism and Disaster Psychology
  • June 16th - TD2565 – JMU Resources, Q&A, Award Certifications

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

JMU Talent Development

Now Accepting Proposals

Diversity Conference Banner

Call for Proposals The JMU 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 Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

Submit Call for Proposals

*Notifications of proposal acceptance will be made via email to the primary contact no later than January 18, 2021. Questions? Please contact Andreas Broscheid, Diversity Conference committee moderator, at broschax@jmu.edu.

Bulk Email Message Sent to All Faculty and Staff Friday, December 11

Governor Ralph Northam recently announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 as new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in all areas of the Commonwealth. Executive Order Seventy-two provides updated direction relevant to all JMU employees, effective Monday, December 14 at 12:01 am and continues through January 31, 2021.

The purpose of this message is to communicate what the Governor’s announcement means specifically for JMU faculty and staff.

JMU has established standards that can be found in the Return to Workplace Guidelines located on the Stop the Spread website. The items noted below represent some modifications to the guidelines based on the Governor’s executive order.

Universal mask requirement: All JMU employees are always required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors in the presence of others. It is unnecessary to wear a face covering when working alone in a private office, regardless of whether the door is open or closed. If another person enters the office, both parties should wear a mask. (This does not apply if you are actively eating or drinking)

Reduction of social gathering size: Social gatherings should be limited to the restrictions of this most recent Governor’s Executive Order (Seventy-two). Now, social gatherings should not exceed 10 people in total (down from 25 people) and should never exceed 50% of a room’s capacity. (This rule does not apply to work-related activities and instruction at educational institutions.) Individuals should always adhere to the appropriate physical distance requirements.

Remote work: JMU faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely to fulfill their job duties without being physically present on campus. While we acknowledge that not all jobs can be performed from another location, we encourage all managers and unit leaders to be as flexible as possible when working with employees in considering remote work. Therefore, many people who returned to work over the summer will be asked to work from home.

State employee travel: Currently, state employees are not permitted to travel out of state for business purposes.

James Madison University will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and additional relevant information that may be communicated from the Governor’s office.

JMU will provide more specific spring semester guidance to all faculty and staff prior to the resumption of classes on January 19, 2021.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and will help JMU overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic.

-Rick Larson, Assistant Vice President, HR, Training and Performance

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


JMU Photography Services, JMU Diversity Council, HR Benefits, Bing Stock Photo