HR Update November 2020

Classroom and Campus Scenes

Recapping the 48th Annual Faculty and Staff Years of Service Recognition Program

On October 29 and 30, JMU recognized 260 faculty and 213 staff members during our Service Recognition program. As has been the case for many things in 2020, we needed to revisit the way we recognized faculty and staff this year. In order to maintain the health and safety of everyone, we opted for a drive-thru event to allow recipients the option to pick up their Service Recognition packet and a delicious dessert box prepared by JMU Dining Services without having to leave their vehicle. We were excited to partner with a local company this year, LDA Creations out of Dayton, VA, for our gifting program for those celebrating 15 or more years of service with JMU. Faculty and staff that were unable to attend the event, had their Service Recognition packets mailed to their MSC.

Click here to view the complete list of faculty and staff recipients. Congratulations to all employees who received service milestones!

Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

The university will close November 23 - 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and December 22, 2020 – January 1, 2021 for the Winter Break.

Recognition Leave

The university has granted up to 20 hours of recognition leave (8 hours for December 21, 4 hours for Juneteenth, and 8 hours for Election Day) to A&P Faculty and classified employees for the 2019-2020 leave year. Any remaining balances of recognition leave must be used on or before December 21, 2020 or it will be forfeited. Requests to carry over remaining balances will not be granted. To redeem the recognition leave, select “RL TAKEN” from the drop down menu in MyMadison. As a reminder, recognition leave can only be used in 4 or 8 hour increments and must be approved by a supervisor.

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 - 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 closure.

November's Social Security Column Newsletter

2021 Pension Plan Limits

The IRS recently announced Pension Plan limits for 2021 will remain the same as the current 2020 calendar year. Currently, elective contribution limits for 403(b) and 457 plans are $19,500/year. The catch-up limit for employees over the age of 50 is an additional $6,500/year. If you wish to make a change to your current 403(b) contributions, please complete the Salary Reduction Agreement and return to benefits@jmu.edu. 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. If you have questions regarding the plan limits, 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…

Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance Policy through New York Life Insurance Company

Full-time employees who have been employed by the State for at least six months and work at least 30 hours/week are eligible for this guaranteed whole life insurance policy through New York Life. Employees may elect coverage on their spouse, domestic partner, children, and grandchildren with no medical questions if the employee participates.

Some features of the plan include:

  • Premiums are guaranteed never to increase in cost
  • Death benefit is guaranteed never to decrease in value
  • Policy will earn guaranteed cash value
  • Eligible to earn dividends paid by New York Life
  • Eligible for after-tax payroll deductions

Please click on this link for additional information concerning this voluntary benefit.

The representatives for New York Life Insurance Company will be available for in-person or virtual meetings on Thursday, December 3, in Wine-Price Building, Room 2050. Please contact Debbie Bolen at 540-558-8844 or dbolen@ft.newyorklife.com to schedule an appointment.

Message from the University Records Officer

The Library of Virginia Records Management Services has implemented a new online process of entering records destruction information as well as for authorizing and affirming destruction. The eRM-3 template replaces the Word and pdf versions of the Certificate of Records Destruction form (2013 and 2020 versions) you have been accustomed to using. Earlier versions of the RM-3 form will not be accepted after Monday, November 16.

Documenting the authorized destruction of public records is required by the Code of Virginia §42.1-86.1. It also provides the university with a layer of defensibility when questions arise regarding a records existence or disposition. Proper documentation shows that records were disposed of in accordance with Library of Virginia (LVA) Records Retention and Disposition Schedules, and with records management best practices.

The LVA eRM-3 Training: Form Creator Walkthrough takes approximately 12 minutes to view. See HR’s Records Management website for more information and useful links.


As this unprecedented year comes to a close we are all looking for ways to connect with each other. Come together each week in TD SHARE to discuss topics that include organizing workspaces, re-framing situations, valuing differences, resilience and topics suggested by YOU!

You can choose to attend Monday or Friday. No registration or preparation required. If you and your friends arrive 10 minutes early, you can choose to be in a breakout group with them to talk until we start and to be in that group for the topic discussion.

Mondays: 1 – 1:30 p. m.

Monday Zoom Link

Fridays: 11:30 a. m. – noon

Friday Zoom Link

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

JMU Talent Development

Information Technology

Is your eID password expiring over winter break??

If your password will expire over winter break, you should change your password a few days prior to the break and take special care to update your password on all of your devices (laptops, desktops, phones) and applications (Outlook, JMU-Official-Wireless). To check when your eID password is set to expire, log in to MyMadison and click the MyAccounts tab.

Are you getting a new phone over the holidays?

If you plan to get a new mobile phone, visit the Two Factor Authentication web page for instructions on setting up your new phone to work with Duo. We recommend you review the instructions before you get your new phone and before the University closes for winter break.

Faculty and staff are eligible to receive one free Duo hardware token from the IT Help Desk in the Student Success Center. This is a great backup if issues arise with your cell phone or other primary Duo device over the holidays when the university and the IT Help Desk are closed.

To pick up and enroll your Duo hardware token, email the IT Help Desk (helpdesk@jmu.edu) to schedule an appointment.

Important Zoom update!

Your recordings saved in Zoom’s cloud storage will be available for only 60 days after they were created. Learn how to move your recordings and other media to longer-term storage options. Questions? Contact the IT Help Desk.

Payroll Services

Elect to Receive an Online W-2 Statement

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 2020 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?

  • 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

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.


Upcoming Break Hours

University Recreation will operate on adjusted hours beginning Friday, November 20, 2020. University Park will close for the winter beginning Friday, November 20 as well. Please visit jmu.edu/urec for detailed hours.

Warm a Winter Wish at UREC for Families in Need

Looking for a way to help those in need in the Harrisonburg community this holiday season? Take part in the 25th annual Warm a Winter Wish program! 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 within our local community.

There are TWO ways to participate this year:

1. Pick up a wish tag from the holiday tree located in the UREC lobby:

  • Come to UREC any time between now and December 15 during normal operating hours to pick up a wish tag!
  • Fulfill the "wish" and return items to UREC (unwrapped) by Tuesday, December 15 at noon.

2. Shop the Amazon Wish List from home:

  • Not on campus? No problem! UREC has created an Amazon Wish List to grant wishes this year.
  • Shop the Amazon Wish List here by Wednesday, December 2.
  • All gifts will be shipped to UREC and received by UREC’s Sport Club Council.

Learn more about Warm a Winter Wish here. Thank you for your considerations in support of this program!

Office of Risk Management

Wondering how Daylight Savings Time affects sleep?

Foster a Welcoming and Inclusive Campus Environment

James Madison University has partnered with EVERFI to expand individual and collective employee knowledge in the areas of harassment and discrimination. As a member of our JMU community, you are expected to fully complete this new training by February 28, 2021. You may access the EVERFI link after logging into MyMadison and opening the Employee tab. Questions about this required training may be directed to any one of the following people:

  • Art Dean, Access and Enrollment,
  • Amy Sirocky-Meck and Barbara Hetzel, Title IX Office
  • Amy Sirocky-Meck, interim, Office of Equal Opportunity
  • Chuck Flick, Office of Human Resources

Save the Date

JMU Diversity Conference

Mark your calendars now for the week of March 15, 2021

We are offering an exciting new format, featuring a week full of mostly online programming

Interested in leading a workshop? Look for the Call for Proposals in early December

As the virus resurges across the country, the Virginia Department of Health wants to remind everyone of the basic public health guidance for staying safe:

  1. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and others. This means staying out of crowded places and keeping at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible. Even when staying 6 feet apart, you should limit the amount of time spent with people other than those in your household.
  2. Wear a mask (also known as a cloth face covering) in public settings whenever possible, even when distancing.
  3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be substituted.
  4. Stay home when any of the following conditions are met:
  • You are sick (even if symptoms are very mild)
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 on a viral test
  • You are waiting for COVID-19 test results
  • You have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days

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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