D.3. Employee Benefits

In addition to the general description of benefits provided below, employees should consult the summary plan descriptions provided for each specific plan. All such benefits are subject to change, with or without advance notice, at the discretion of the Institute. 

D.3.a. Paid Time Off Policies 

The Middlebury Institute at Monterey offers two paid time off policies, Combined Time Off (CTO) and CA Sick Leave (CSL), both of which comply with California’s Paid Sick Leave law.  Eligibility for these benefits is based on employment classification: benefits-eligible staff employees fall under the CTO policy, while all faculty and all student employees as well as all non-benefits eligible staff employees are eligible for CSL. 

Employees should refer to the Combined Time Off and/or the California Paid Sick Leave policies for details on these time off benefits. 

D.3.b. California Paid Sick Leave  

A. Allowable Uses 

Up to 24 hours per year of California Paid Sick Leave (CSL) may be used for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition or for the preventive care of an employee, or an employee’s immediate family member. Covered family members include spouses, registered domestic partners, children, parents (including step-parents and parents-in-law), grandparents, grandchildren and siblings. Paid sick days are also available for employees who are the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

CSL may not be used for “personal” absences or as vacation time. 

B. Eligibility 

CSL benefits are available for all faculty and all student employees as well as staff employees classified as non-benefits-eligible who have worked for the Institute in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment.     

C. CSL: Accrual and Lump-Sum Versions 

There are two versions of CSL, “Accrual” and “Lump Sum”, each with slightly different rules regarding allocation of time, carryover, and procedures for recording time used.  Other rules such as allowable uses and maximum annual time are the same for both versions of CSL.  The chart below shows the differences: 

 

Version

Eligible Employee Types

CSL Allocation

Carryover Rules

Recording Time Used

CSL-

Accrual

Student Employees

 

Non-Benefits-Eligible-Staff Employees

.0334 hours of CSL are accrued for each hour worked (1 hour of CSL accrues for every 30 hours worked), up to a maximum accrual of 48 hours.

Accrued, unused CSL will carry over each year, subject to the 48 hour cap.

Use code “CA Sick Leave” on BannerWeb time-sheet.

CSL-

Lump-Sum

 

Faculty Employees

 

Dual-Role (Faculty/Staff)

Employees

 

Receives a lump sum credit of 24 hours each July 1st (or date of hire for new employees).

Unused time will be forfeited June 30th each year.

Within 3 days of absence notify HR of time used via email.

  

D. Using CSL 

Eligible employees: 

  • Can begin to use available CSL on the 90th day of their employment.
  • Must use CSL in a minimum increment of one hour.
  • Must provide “reasonable advance notification” of their need to use CSL as soon as practicable, either orally or in writing.
  • Who are absent for longer than three days due to illness may be required to give medical evidence of illness and/or medical certification of fitness to return to work. 
E. Protections Under the Law 

The CA Paid Sick Leave Act contains strong protections for employees. The Act forbids employers from: 

  • Denying employees the right to use accrued paid sick days (once the 90 waiting period has passed).
  • Taking any action against an employee for using accrued sick days or attempting to exercise the right to use accrued sick days. Prohibited actions include discharge, threat of discharge, demotion, suspension or any manner of discrimination.
  • Retaliating against employees who file complaints alleging violations of the Act, or who cooperate in an investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation or oppose any policy, practice or act prohibited by this law. 
F. Other Important Information
  • CSL is not recognized as hours worked for purposes of overtime pay.
  • Employees are not entitled to be paid for accrued but unused CSL or unused CSL from a lump sum allocation, upon resignation or termination of employment.
  • If an employee is rehired within a year of his or her separation, the Institute will reinstate any unused CSL that was previously accrued/granted and unused.
  • Available CSL balances will show on employee paystubs and may be viewed on Banner Web. 
  • An employee based in another state who works in CA for at least 30 days in a year will also be subject to the CSL policy (or the CTO policy, if applicable).
  • Employees who work in cities that have paid sick leave ordinances that are more generous than the California Paid Sick Leave law may be covered by the local ordinance. Contact HR for further information. 

D.3.c. Holidays 

Eligibility for holiday pay begins on the date of hire. 

To be eligible for holiday pay, staff employees must be regularly scheduled to work on the day on which the holiday is observed. If employees are required to work on a paid scheduled holiday they will receive Holiday Premium Pay (time and a half).  Benefit-eligible employees required to work on a paid scheduled holiday will receive Holiday Premium Pay in addition to holiday pay. Regular part-time employees receive prorated holiday pay. 

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey observes the following paid holidays:

• January 1 (New Year’s Day)

• Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

• Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after

• Christmas Day 

The Institute is closed the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. These are paid holidays for all staff members eligible for holiday pay. 

In addition, the following holidays are considered “floating” holidays: 

• Memorial Day

• July 4th (Independence Day)

• Labor Day 

Normally, the Institute will be closed on these holidays, and all CTO eligible employees will be expected to record CTO time taken on their time sheets. CTO accruals have been expanded from the former schedule of vacation accruals to account for this change.  If a particular department needs to remain open on a floating holiday in order to support an Institute function, employees of that department will be so informed by their manager, and will be able to use their CTO hours on another day. 

When a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is usually observed on the preceding Friday or the following Monday, respectively. However, the Institute may close on another day or grant other time off within the pay period instead of closing. Any changes to holiday observance will be announced in advance. 

D.3.d. Combined Time Off (CTO) 

Eligible staff employees accrue CTO in accordance with the following schedule: 

Length of Service

Hours per Pay Period

Days per year

0-2 years

7.5

26

2-10 years

8.94

31

10-20 years

10.39

36

20+ years

11.54

40

Administrative officers regardless of length of service

11.54

40

CTO accrual begins on the date of hire. 

Faculty and temporary employees are not eligible for CTO. 

CTO accrues in hours after each biweekly payroll is run. CTO is not accrued while in an unpaid status. 

Employees must receive approval from their supervisors before they may take time off from work, with or without usage of CTO hours. 

Eligible part-time staff who qualify for CTO benefits accrue CTO hours on a prorated basis, based on the accrual rate earned by regular full-time employees. 

CTO hours taken are considered hours worked for purposes of overtime calculation. The Institute does not allow borrowing against future CTO accrual. CTO will not be paid in lieu of taking time off, except upon termination of employment. 

If an Institute recognized holiday falls during an employee’s scheduled vacation, the employee will receive holiday pay for the day if s/he is eligible for such pay and will not be charged for CTO for the day. 

For full-time employees, CTO accrual ceases when the employee’s CTO account reaches the maximum of 187.5 hours (25 days). Accrual will resume when some CTO is used so that the total number of hours is below the maximum. Prior to reaching the accrual limit, employees may choose to transfer some of their accrued CTO hours into Sick Leave Reserve (SLR), which can be used only for those purposes described under Sick Leave Reserve, below. There is no limit to the number of hours that may be accumulated in SLR. It is the employee’s responsibility to monitor CTO accrual and to make the transfer to SLR in Banner as needed. 

The Institute does not grant any alternative form of compensation for any period of time during which the accrued CTO was at the maximum. It is the employee’s responsibility to keep track of her/his accrued CTO time and CTO days used, and to transfer hours to Sick Leave Reserve as desired. 

D.3.e. Sick Leave Reserve 

Employees may use CTO hours to provide a cushion for incapacitation due to illness or injury. They may also use hours they have transferred to Sick Leave Reserve. Sick leave reserve may only be used for legitimate illness or injury to the employee or to care for members of the employee's immediate family who are in need of care by the employee due to illness or injury of the eligible immediate family member. ("Immediate family" is defined for this purpose as the employee's parent, spouse, domestic partner, child, or sibling; or another closely related person living in the household.) Sick Leave Reserve may also be used for time off for medical and dental appointments. The Institute will not tolerate abuse or misuse of sick leave reserve. 

Sick leave reserve is not vested and is not payable upon separation of employment. If an employee is absent three consecutive days due to illness or injury, medical evidence of her/his condition may be required before the Institute honors any sick leave reserve usage. 

At retirement, accumulated SLR days may be used to extend a staff employee’s insurance coverage. To be eligible for retirement, a staff member must have worked for the Institute for ten consecutive years after attaining the age of 45.  Every accumulated sick leave reserve day will convert to an insured day (weekends and the holidays listed in this handbook do not reduce Sick Leave Reserve). For each insured day the Institute will pay 100 percent of the premium to continue the medical and dental benefits for the enrolled employee and enrolled eligible dependents, until the end of the month in which the last insurance day is used. Example: If an employee retires with 30 accumulated sick leave reserve days on July 1, 2010, the employee's converted sick leave reserve would run out on August 12, 2010 and his or her insurance would continue until August 31, 2010. Retiring part-time employees may transfer CTO hours to SLR prior to their retirement, and these hours will convert to paid insurance days at a conversion rate of 7.5 hours per day. CTO days that are not transferred prior to the last day of employment will be paid as wages in the final paycheck. 

D.3.f. Medical Leave Assistance Fund (MLAF) 

There are circumstances in which an employee may find him/herself in an emergency medical situation without enough accrued CTO (Combined Time Off) or SLR (Sick Leave Reserve) to cover the amount of time required for the absence. At such times, if the employee meets the prerequisites, he/she may make application to the fund for up to 150 hours of paid sick leave reserve within a 12-month period. Appeals can be made for further use of the Medical Leave Assistance Fund (MLAF) in situations requiring absences of a longer duration. 

An emergency medical situation is defined as the incapacitation of an employee for an extended period of time due to a non-work-related illness or injury or quarantine, which creates a financial hardship as the employee has exhausted all accrued CTO and SLR. The emergency medical situation may relate to either the employee or a member of her/his immediate family.  The latter refers to an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent of a spouse, and child, stepchild, foster child, or ward. 

A. Prerequisites for applying to the fund:

1.     The employee must be employed at the Institute for six-months.

2.     The employee must be eligible to accrue CTO.

3.     Prior to application to the fund, the employee must have exhausted his/her CTO and SLR.

4.     During the time away from work, the employee must not be receiving any disability benefits, worker’s comp payments, or other type of Institute-related payments.

5.     The employee must have received no written warnings or reprimands for excessive absenteeism during the year prior to the request to the Medical Leave Assistance Fund. 

B. Application to the fund:

1.     The employee or his/her representative, if the employee is medically unable to do so, must request an application form from the Human Resources Office.

2.     The employee or his/her representative must provide all information requested on the application.

3.     The employee’s or immediate family member’s physician must complete a certification form, if FMLA/CFRA is not being used. In cases in which the FMLA/CFRA is applicable, please make note of it on the application form.

4.     The employee or his/her representative must return the completed application and physician’s form to the Human Resources Office. 

C. Administration of the fund:

1.     Upon receipt of the application, the Manager of Human Resources will review the application for completeness. S/he will review the applicant’s employment information to ensure all eligibility requirements have been met.

2.     Upon review of the application, the Manager will contact the applicant or his/her representative. If the applicant does not meet the requirements, the Manager will advise the employee or his/her representative of the decision.

3.     If all eligibility requirements have been met, the Manager will ask the employee or his/her representative whether his/her name should be used in the staff query.

4.     Once an application has been approved, the Manager will send an e-mail to all benefits eligible staff, advising staff that an application to the fund has been made. The notice will ask that the recipient post the request for those without immediate e-mail access. The employee’s name will be used only if permission was given on both the application and upon interview with the Manager. Staff members who are interested in donating time will complete a donation form and return it to the Manager. While the donation will be made in time increments, the number will be converted to dollars based on the donor’s rate of pay.

5.     Upon receipt of MLAF donations, or if there is residual time in the fund, the Manager will transfer the approved amount of time into the employee’s SLR account. This will be based on the employee’s rate of pay.

6.     The employee will be paid the donated time through the regular biweekly pay process, and therefore will be paid a maximum of 75 hours per pay period depending on his/her regular schedule.

Example: An employee makes application for one week’s amount of SLR and is approved for funding. The applicant makes $8.00/hour and works a 37.5 hour workweek. This translates into a maximum of $300/week that can be requested per week. The donor makes $12.00/hour and works a 37.5 hour workweek. This translates into a donation of $450 for one week’s worth of CTO. Upon distribution of the donated time, the approved applicant will receive $300 while the MLAF will contain a balance of $150 to be used in the future by other approved applicants. The remaining amount will not be re-deposited into the donor’s CTO account.

7.     If no donations are made and there is no balance in the fund, the applicant will not receive any payment. If partial funding of the approved applicant’s request can be made, it will be paid. The remainder cannot be made up in a future payment. 

D. Donation to the fund

An employee who has a minimum of 80 hours of CTO and/or SLR may make a maximum contribution of 10 hours of CTO to the MLA fund. This is done by completing the Donor form and sending it to the Manager of Human Resources. SLR and/or CTO hours cannot be donated to the Medical Leave Assistance Fund upon notification of termination of employment. 

D.3.g. Social Security & Medicare (FICA) 

In compliance with the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), the Institute contributes one-half of the total tax prescribed by law, and each employee contributes one-half through payroll deductions. Social Security provides retirement benefits, disability benefits, life insurance/survivor benefits, and medical insurance. Please direct all questions concerning social security coverage to the local offices of the Social Security Administration. 

D.3.h. Insurance Benefits 

Regular staff members who normally are scheduled, and who work 20 hours or more per week, are eligible for enrollment in the Institute’s medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, and life insurance programs. 

Coverage is effective the first day of the month coinciding with or following the date of employment. The enrollment period is for 30 days from the date of eligibility. 

Institute Employees participate in the Middlebury College Health and Welfare Benefits plans. For details about eligibility and coverage, please see the Summary Plan Descriptions for each benefit program, provided to each eligible employee and available from the Human Resources Office. 

A. Medical Insurance

The Institute currently provides a comprehensive medical insurance plan for employees and their eligible dependents. The employee’s contribution, determined by the President and approved by the Board of Trustees, will be deducted each pay period for the elected coverage. 

Dependent coverage, which is substantially subsidized by the Institute at this time, is available at the employee’s option. The employee contribution for dependent coverage is paid through payroll deduction. 

In the event of an increase in medical insurance premium rates, employees may be required to contribute to the cost of increased premiums to retain coverage. Notice of such increases will be made to employees as they occur.

When employees terminate employment (and under certain other circumstances), except in cases of gross misconduct, they have the option of continuing insurance benefits at their own cost plus a minor administration fee, as provided by the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Specific information on COBRA can be obtained from Human Resources, and will be provided when employees enroll in the benefits plans and when they end qualifying employment at the Institute. 

B. Dental and Vision Insurance

The Institute currently provides dental and vision insurance plans for qualified employees and their eligible dependents. Dependent coverage is at the employee’s option and expense, and is paid through payroll deduction. Please refer to the applicable Summary Plan Description, available from the Human Resources Office, for details of the plans. 

C. Long-Term Disability Insurance

The Institute currently provides a long-term disability (LTD) insurance plan for qualified employees. LTD insurance provides partial income replacement for long-term absence when an employee is totally disabled. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description, available from the Human Resources Office, for details of the plan. 

D. Life Insurance

The Institute currently provides a life insurance plan for qualified employees. Benefit level is determined by base salary. Please contact the Human Resources Office for details of the plan. 

E. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

The Institute currently offers Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) for qualified employees and their eligible dependents. Employees pay the full premium for this optional coverage through payroll deduction. Contact the Human Resources Office for details of the plan.

D.3. i. Literacy Education 

California Labor Code Sections 1040-1044 require employers to reasonably accommodate and assist employees in need of literacy education. Institute employees wishing to improve their literacy should contact Human Resources. The Institute itself does not offer literacy education, but Human Resources can provide assistance in the following ways:

• helping employees enroll in adult literacy education programs;

• arranging for literacy education providers to visit the Institute; or

• providing contact information for local literacy education programs.

The Institute will attempt to assist the employee if the accommodation requested would not result in an undue hardship. The Institute does not provide paid time-off for participation in such programs. 

D.3.j. Employee and Family Assistance Program 

The employee assistance program, provided through E4, helps employees and their family members with personal problems. It is available at no cost to all Institute employees and their family members. Employee assistance is confidential; when an employee or family member contacts the program, the employee’s supervisor will not be informed. The goal of the program is to assist staff members to resolve personal problems before they adversely affect an employee’s ability to perform her/his job effectively. For more information go to the e4Health website.

D.3.k. Retirement Plan 

The Middlebury College retirement program includes 401(a), 403(b), and 457(b) plans, all of which are administered by TIAA-CREF.  The plans are designed to offer various advantages to eligible employees, such as a generous employer contribution, tax advantages, and retirement, death, and disability benefits. For information regarding eligibility, contributions, benefits and tax status, contact the Human Resources Office. As a condition of employment, eligible employees are required to participate in the 401(a) plan (called the “Core Retirement Plan”). Employees who are not eligible to participate in the group retirement plan, and who wish to contribute to an individual plan available through payroll deduction, should contact the Human Resources Office for more information. 

D.3.l. State Disability Insurance (SDI) 

Each employee, except those who claim valid exemption, currently contributes to the State of California to provide disability insurance pursuant to the California Unemployment Insurance Code. Contributions are made through a payroll deduction. Coverage begins with the first day of employment and applies without regard to the number of hours worked per day or length of contract. 

Disability insurance is payable when an employee cannot work because of illness or injury not caused by employment at the Institute or when an employee is entitled to temporary workers’ compensation at a rate less than the daily disability benefit amount. 

Unemployment insurance and disability insurance benefits cannot be paid for the same period. 

It is Institute policy to integrate SDI payments with salary continuance payments for covered disabilities (see sick leave policy). Specific rules and regulations governing disability are available from the Human Resources Office. 

D.3.m. Flexible spending accounts 

Sometimes referred to as a cafeteria plan, flex plan, or a Section 125 plan, a Flexible Benefits Plan lets you set aside a certain amount of your paycheck into an account before paying income taxes. During the year you have access to this account for reimbursement of expenses you regularly pay, such as health-care and dependent daycare. When you use tax-free dollars to pay for these expenses, you realize an increase in your spending power and substantial tax savings. 

Additional information about options and limitations is available in the HR office. 

D.3.n. Employee Educational Assistance 

After one year of benefits-qualifying employment, full-time employees and part-time benefits-eligible employees may register tuition-free for one Institute course or four units, whichever is greater, per term or semester. A tuition credit form, available from the Human Resources Office, must be completed and signed by the employee and his/her supervisor,  and by representatives of the registrar’s, cashier’s and HR offices. If the course is scheduled during normal working hours of a non-exempt staff member, an amended work schedule for the semester or duration of the course must be submitted for the file in the Human Resources Office. 

Tuition benefits above $5,250 are taxable, and taxes will be withheld from employee’s pay during the semester of attendance, as required by the IRS. 

D.3.o. Educational Assistance for Dependents of Employees 

After one year of qualifying employment, a full time employee’s dependents may register for up to and including a full load of courses free of tuition. Dependents include spouses; domestic partners; and dependent children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. Dependents of part-time staff are not eligible for tuition credit. A tuition credit form, available from the Human Resources Office, must be completed and signed by the employee and by representatives of the registrar, cashier and HR offices. 

The services of the Custom Language Services (CLS) are not included in this benefit.

If an employee uses this benefit for an eligible dependent, that dependent may not also, in the same semester, receive a merit scholarship from the Middlebury Institute. The employee and his/her dependent must choose between using the benefit and accepting a scholarship. 

This is a taxable benefit, and taxes will be withheld from the employee’s pay during the semester of attendance, as required by the IRS. Please consult with HR to assess the financial implications of accepting this benefit. 

Questions about merit scholarships should be addressed to the office of enrollment management.  Other questions having to do with student financing should be addressed to the office of financial aid. 

D.3.p. Unemployment Compensation 

The Institute currently contributes as required to the California Unemployment Insurance Fund on behalf of its employees. Coverage begins with the first day of employment and applies without regard to the number of hours worked per day or length of contract. For further information, contact the Human Resources Office. 

D.3.q. Workers' Compensation 

Employees are currently protected by the Institute's workers' compensation insurance policy while employed at the Institute, at no cost to the employee. The policy covers an employee in case of occupational injury or illness. Coverage begins with the first day of employment and applies without regard to the number of hours worked per day or length of contract. Benefits may include:

  • payment of all medical expenses related to the accident or illness,
  • weekly payments, tax-free, based on Institute salary to partially cover lost wages, and
  • vocational rehabilitation to help qualified injured employees return to suitable employment.

Since workers' compensation payments are less than normal salary, an employee may elect to use part of her/his sick leave reserve and CTO accrual in addition to the workers' compensation payment in an effort to maintain full salary during the time off work. 

If an employee is injured on the job, s/he must notify her/his supervisor and the Human Resources Office immediately. If medical treatment is needed, Human Resources staff will assist with arranging appropriate medical care. If an employee has sustained a serious injury, someone nearby should call 911 for emergency medical care and then inform the supervisor and the Human Resources Office. 

If an employee wishes to be treated by her/his personal physician in the case of a work-related injury, the employee should make sure that the Human Resources office is aware of this ahead of time by making the request in writing. The request will be placed on file in the Human Resources Office. 

After an employee has received medical care, s/he must provide the Human Resources Office and her/his supervisor certification from her/his health care provider regarding the need for workers' compensation disability leave (if any) and her/his ability to return to work from the leave. 

The Institute or its insurer will not be liable for the payment of workers' compensation benefits for any injury that arises out of voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity that is not part of work-related duties. 

The law requires that the Institute notify the workers' compensation insurance company of any concerns of false or fraudulent claims. Any person who makes or causes to be made any knowingly false or fraudulent material statement or material misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining or denying workers' compensation benefits or payments is guilty of a felony. 

For further information, please contact the Human Resources Office.

D.3.r. Paid Family Leave   

Employees may be eligible for up to six weeks of state-provided paid family leave (PFL) insurance benefits when they take time off for one of the following purposes: 

  • To bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child's birth or placement for adoption or foster care with the employee; or
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling and parent-in-law as defined by the PFL law) who is seriously ill and requires care. 

The PFL benefits described in this policy are a state-provided partial wage replacement benefit, not a protected leave of absence. To obtain approval for a leave of absence for the reasons set forth above, employees must contact Human Resources and comply with applicable eligibility, notice and certification requirements when required by state or federal law. 

A. Amount and Duration of Benefits 

The weekly benefit amount is generally 60 or 70 percent of the employee's earnings (depending upon the employee's income), with benefits capped at a state-imposed maximum weekly benefit amount. Employees may receive up to six weeks of PFL benefits during a 12-month period, but may not receive more benefits than earned in wages during the base period for calculating benefits (generally, the 12 months prior to the quarter in which the claim is made). 

When applicable, PFL benefits will run concurrently with leave time available under the California Family Rights Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Employees may use any accrued but unused sick leave prior to receiving PFL benefits. Employees are required to use any accrued but unused CTO, up to a maximum of two weeks prior to receiving PFL benefits. Employees may choose to use accrued but unused paid time in excess of two weeks. 

Employees should inform Human Resources as soon as they become aware of circumstances that may trigger eligibility for benefits under any of these programs. Although these programs are funded and run by the state and all eligibility and benefit decisions are made by the state agencies involved, not by the Institute, Human Resources will assist you in obtaining additional information about these programs.