HR UPDATE September 2020

Physically Distanced People Walking Around Campus

Covid-19 Quick Reference Guides

New quick reference guides have been added to the ever-evolving Return to Workplace Guidelines

Connections Day

If you are a new employee who was hired in 2020 you are invited to join us for Connections Day. This event will be held over WebEx and is designed to help new employees learn more about JMU. You will learn about JMU’s history, resources and opportunities available to all JMU employees and connect with other new hires from different departments throughout the university. The next Connections Day event will be held on Thursday, October 1 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Supervisors, we ask for your assistance in encouraging your new employee to attend this event.

Registration is required to attend. Please go to the Connections Day webpage for additional dates, details, and registration.

If you have any questions, contact Beth Aldrich, Onboard Specialist, at 540-568-4473 or onboard@jmu.edu.

Protect Yourself - Get a Flu Shot!

Although flu shots are no guarantee against getting the flu, you can protect yourself by getting a FREE flu shot at your local drug store. Just show your COVA Care, COVA HealthAware, or COVA HDHP insurance card to the participating pharmacist to get flu shots at no cost for you and covered family members. Flu shots will also be administered on campus at on the following dates:

  • Friday, October 2 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Student Success Center 1075
  • Monday, October 5 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Festival Highlands Room
  • Monday, October 12 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The Union Taylor 306
  • Thursday, October 15 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Union Taylor 306

With our health insurance, the flu shot is covered at 100% (be sure to bring your insurance card). If you do not have health insurance, the cost is $30.

  • Payment by credit and Insurance (check our website for insurance companies accepted). No cash or checks.
  • Quadrivalent vaccine available, no high dose flu shots available at this clinic.
  • Participants must be 18 and over to receive the vaccine.

Monthly Information from Social Security

Cupola at Sunset

Mailing Address in MyMadison

Payroll Services would like to remind employees to check their mailing address in MyMadison by December 31 under the Employee Tab, to ensure timely delivery of their 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: 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.

Performance Evaluations due in HR by September 30

Time is running out to complete your non-probationary classified employee and Administrative & Professional faculty performance evaluations. Performance evaluations are due in Human Resources by September 30.

Performance Cycle Timeline

Non-probationary classified employees: October 25 to October 24

A&P faculty: July 1 to June 30

Classified Evaluations

Employees are encouraged to complete a self-evaluation. While the self-evaluation does not become part of the employee’s personnel file, it does provide valuable information and serves as an excellent resource for the supervisor when completing the formal evaluation.

This is a great opportunity for an employee to review their position description and reflect upon accomplishments and opportunities for development. Employees can view their published position descriptions in MyMadison.

Supervisors must attach the classified employee’s completed Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) to the evaluation form. IPDPs are required and completed forms must have a minimum of one goal. The IPDP is a valuable resource in identifying and developing a plan for professional development and growth.

When rating a classified employee as an overall Extraordinary Contributor or Below Contributor, an Acknowledgment of Extraordinary Contribution or Notice of Improvement Needed (unless a Written Notice is on file) must be attached to the completed performance evaluation to support the overall rating. Supervisors considering an overall rating of Below Contributor must discuss this with their HR Consultant before completing the performance evaluation.

Please refer to the Performance Evaluation Process on HR’s website for links to applicable forms, policies and process details for classified employees, or contact your HR Consultant or the HRCS Team Assistant, Shakini Sachdev with questions.

A&P Faculty Evaluations

Please refer to the Performance Evaluation Process for A&P Faculty on HR’s website for links to applicable forms, policies and process details for A&P faculty.

Signature Requirements

With some faculty and staff continuing to work remotely, there is some flexibility this year regarding signature requirements for performance evaluations. If possible, the preference is to obtain signed, original documents. Evaluations may be sent inter-office mail to MSC 7009.

For those unable to obtain signed, original documents, the review process and signatures may be completed remotely and scanned electronically. Completed evaluations and IPDPs may be emailed to HR’s Consulting Services mailbox at: workforcemgmt@jmu.edu

Please contact your HR Consultant with questions you may have regarding performance management and JMU’s evaluation process.

Election Day Voting Options

Election Day for the next general election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Voters are required to show a photo ID at the 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 voting options.

Election Day Attendance Election Day can present staffing challenges resulting from employees wanting to arrive late or to leave early. It’s 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, (s)he must submit the payment to the Commonwealth. Contact Payroll Services to arrange the return of payment.

  • If the employee wishes to retain the payment, (s)he 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.
Jimmy Statue and American Flag

Election Day Floating Holiday Reminder

The Governor and General Assembly have established Election Day, November 3, as a state holiday. Since this holiday occurs during the fall academic calendar, the university designated the Election Day holiday as a floating holiday.

The university granted 8.00 hours of recognition leave to all full-time classified staff and A&P Faculty to use at their discretion in its full 8.00 hour increment on or before Monday, December 21, 2020. Select the RL TAKEN option in MyMadison to use the leave with supervisor approval.

Questions may be directed to Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist.

Virginia Retirement System Member Benefit Profile (MBP)

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.

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

Flexible Spending Account Deadline

If you were enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) during last plan year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020), you have until September 30 to file claims for covered services during that plan year. If there are any remaining funds in your account after September 30, these funds will be lost.

Benefits Broadcast

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

All employees eligible for benefits are covered with life insurance from the first day of employment. Your basic life insurance coverage is an employer-paid benefit; therefore you will see no deduction from your paycheck for basic group life insurance. For natural death, the benefit amount is equal to your compensation, rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled. In the case of an accidental death, the benefit amount is double the natural death benefit.

The employer-paid basic life insurance policy also includes an accidental dismemberment benefit. For the accidental loss of one limb or the sight of one eye, your benefit is equal to your compensation rounded to the next highest thousand. For the accidental loss of two or more limbs, total loss of eyesight or the loss of one limb and one eye, your benefit is equal to your compensation rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled.

The policy features a safety belt benefit which pays an additional amount equal to 10% of the accidental death or dismemberment benefit or $50,000, whichever is less, if you die or suffer dismemberment in an accident while driving or riding in a private passenger vehicle. In addition, if you die in an accident 75 miles or more from home, the policy will pay a repatriation benefit for the cost of transportation to return your remains to your home, up to $5,000.

Additionally, the basic group life insurance coverage provides additional benefits if you die or are dismembered as a result of a felonious assault while performing your job duties. The incident must have occurred at your normal place of business or while on work-related travel. No benefit is payable if the assaulter is an immediate family member. Felonious assault benefits include:

  • $50,000 or 25% of the accidental death or dismemberment benefit, whichever is less.
  • Virginia College Savings Plan account for each qualifying child if you die as a result of the assault. The amount is approximately equal to the average cost of four years of tuition and mandatory fees at a public college or university in Virginia. The child may attend any accredited college or university that participates in federal student financial aid programs.

If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and have fewer than 12 months to live, you can withdraw some or all of your life insurance coverage to use for any purpose with the accelerated death benefit. Your beneficiary or survivor will receive any amount remaining in your coverage upon your death.

This basic life insurance policy continues when you retire at no cost; however, your coverage begins to reduce on January 1 following one calendar year of retirement. The reduction rate is 25% each January 1 until the coverage reaches 25% of the total life insurance benefit value at retirement.

In addition to the basic group life insurance coverage, you may elect optional group life insurance coverage for you, your spouse, and dependent children.

Optional group life insurance provides benefits for natural and accidental death or dismemberment, and the cost for the premium is an after-tax payroll deduction. You may purchase between 1-4 times your compensation, not to exceed $750,000, and your spouse is eligible for ½ the amount of the additional coverage, not to exceed $375,000. Children are covered at a flat rate of $10,000-$30,000, depending on which additional coverage option is elected. Proof of good health (evidence of insurability) is required in the following cases if: you apply for coverage for you, your spouse, or children after 31 days of your employment date; you wish to purchase more than $375,000 for yourself; you wish to increase your coverage; or, if your spouse’s insurance amount is more than ½ your salary.

Optional group life insurance coverage may be continued when you retire. You may opt to pay for two times additional coverage to the basic life insurance policy, and the amount begins to reduce 25% based on your age. This reduction begins with your normal retirement age, with coverage ending at age 80.

It is very important to keep your beneficiary designation up-to-date since VRS will pay benefits according to the latest beneficiary designation on record.

Please contact a Benefits Specialist or email benefits@jmu.edu if you have any questions concerning your life insurance benefits.

Need More Zoom Help?

There are plenty of self-help resources available from:

You may also submit questions including any issues with Zoom integration with Canvas, through the IT Service Portal or by contacting the IT Help Desk at (540) 568-3555 or helpdesk@jmu.edu.

JMU Talent Development


October Workshops

  • LGBTQ101: Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity (TD2056)
  • Self-Awareness: Always Do Your Best (TDW805)
  • Communication: W.A.I.T – Why Am I Talking? (Why Aren’t I Talking?) (TDW105)
  • Social Media in the Workplace (TD2083)
  • Team Building: Influencing Strategies (TDW605)

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

The Talent Development 2021 calendar will be released in early October.

working out at UREC

Personal Training at UREC:

Hire a Personal Trainer to work with you individually to attain your fitness goals! Safety precautions and modifications are in place. Learn more today!

UREC’s Know Before You Go Guide:

Visit UREC's COVID-19 plan website to learn all about what to expect at UREC this fall, how to pre-register and what to bring with you!

Disinfecting Your Computer

How to safely clean high-touch electronic devices

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


HR Benefits, JMU Photography Services, JMU Risk Management, UREC