Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University is a comprehensive teaching and research institution with a student enrollment of nearly 23,000. Its main campus is located in the City of DeKalb with regional sites located in Rockford, Hoffman Estates, Oregon, and Naperville. The University is composed of seven colleges that offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Northern is a NCAA Division I school and the NIU Huskies compete in the Mid-American Conference. NIU is governed by the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees, established January 1996, by an act of the Illinois General Assembly. Seven voting members, appointed by the governor, serve either three-year or five-year terms, and subsequent appointments are for six years. One voting student, selected by the NIU student government, serves a one-year term. It shall be the policy of Northern Illinois University that equal employment opportunity shall be offered in the appointment of employees and that the University shall be in compliance with applicable state and federal equal employment opportunity laws and that employment will be offered without regard to sexual orientation. Operating staff employees are members of the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS) and are entitled to all corresponding rights and requirements. The SUCSS was established by the Illinois General Assembly and provides a program of personnel administration, based on merit, for all non-teaching employees at state universities and related agencies in Illinois. Operating staff employees are represented by the Operating Staff Council which serves as an advisory group to the representative on the State Universities Civil Service Employees Advisory Committee. NIU has one representative on this statewide committee which makes recommendations on policies, rules, and benefits to the Merit Board, the governing body of the State Universities Civil Service System. Employees are elected to the Council and the advisory committee. We extend a warm and delightful welcome to all new staff. We hope that your experience at Northern will be both professionally challenging and personally rewarding.



The Northern Illinois University Operating Staff Handbook contains information valid as of July 1, 2000. This information is subject to further updates, revisions, additions or deletion with respect to procedures, policies, or benefits approved by the Board of Trustees and the administration of Northern Illinois University, State Universities Civil Service System, State Universities Retirement System, Central Management Services, or which change as the result of legislative action. This Handbook is designed as a reference tool for supervisors and Civil Service Staff and is not intended to create any contractual or other legal rights. This Handbook does not constitute an expressed or implied contract of employment, nor is it intended to create any rights regarding the employment relationship which are not expressed in official policies of the University. Nothing said or done by any University representative shall constitute an employment contract unless it is reduced to writing and signed by a recognized University agent. This Handbook is not an official policy document since several complex underlying policy statements have been summarized. In cases where a discrepancy appears between the information contained in this handbook and the original University/Board policy or State statute, the original current document will prevail. Employees requiring more detailed information concerning any topic discussed in this Handbook should consult the official University policy documents or direct their inquiries to the appropriate University office. Civil Service employees whose classifications are within the scope of a Collective Bargaining Agreement should consult applicable sections of those agreements for clarification of any topic discussed herein.


Table of Contents
Page Administrative Closures . . . Adoption Benefit Program . . . Affirmative Action . . . Americans With Disabilities Act . . Appointment Types . . . Attendance/Absences . . . Bereavement Leave . . . Bookstore . . . . Breaks/Rest Periods . . . Campus Security Act . . . Child Care . . . . Child Support . . . . Collective Bargaining/Union Participation . Compensatory Time . . . Confidentiality . . . . Credit Union . . . . Demotion . . . . Discipline . . . . Dress Code . . . . Drug-Free Workplace . . . Educational Benefits . . . Emergency Closure . . . Employee Assistance Program . . Employment Eligibility . . . Entertainment and Athletic Events . . Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Family Relationships . . . Flex-Year Appointments . . . Gifts . . . . . Grievances and Arbitration . . Holidays/Holiday Pay . . . Insurance Benefits . . . Job Classification . . . . Job Descriptions . . . . Job Opportunities . . . . Jury Duty . . . . Layoff . . . . . Leaves of Absence . . . Library Privileges . . . Lunch . . . . . Merit Increases/Review Process . . Name and Address Changes . . No-Smoking Policy . . . Notary Public Service . . . Operating Staff Council . . . Outside Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 10 10 12 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 16 18 18 19 19 19 19 22 22 23 23 23 23 23 23


Table of Contents (continued)
Page Overtime . . . . Parking and Traffic Regulations . . Pay Period Information . . . Payroll Distribution/Deductions . . Performance Evaluations . . . Personal & Professional Development/Release Time Personal Property . . . . Personnel Records Policy . . . Photo Identification Card . . . Physical Examinations . . . Political Activities . . . Pre-Induction Physical . . . Probationary Period . . . Promotion . . . . Reassignments . . . . Recreation . . . . Resignation . . . . Retirement (State Universities Retirement System) Safety . . . . . Salary and Wage Determination . . Seniority . . . . Service Recognition . . . Sexual Harassment . . . Sick Leave . . . . Sick Leave Bank . . . . Shift Differentials . . . Student Loan Status . . . Tax-Deferred Compensation . . Taxes . . . . . Technology Resources . . . Telephone Services . . . Training Programs . . . Transfer of Benefit Credits . . Unemployment Compensation . . Vacation Benefits. . . . Voting . . . . . Work Schedules . . . . Workers Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 26 26 26 26 26 27 27 28 28 28 28 30 30 30 30 31 31 32 32 32 33 33 33 34 34 34 34 35 36 36 36


(Policy/Administrative Services) The University closes during the holiday season, usually between Christmas Eve and New Years Day, except for essential services as determined by authorized supervisors. Usually two holidays (Christmas and New Year's Day) and three floating holidays are scheduled during this time frame. In addition, the University may declare one or two days as Administrative Closure days between December 26 and December 31. Administrative Closure days are compensated according to NIU Board of Trustees regulations. Employees who are not scheduled to work these administrative closure days are usually compensated at the regular rate of pay for these scheduled days off. When there are an insufficient number of holidays and Administrative Closure days available to cover the entire period of closure, it may be necessary for the employee to use vacation, accumulated compensatory time, or leave time without pay to cover this entire timeframe.

(Insurance and Employee Benefits) This program will provide reimbursement (to a maximum of $1,500 per child) for legal and court fees, adoption agency fees, medical examinations for the child, and transportation costs for bringing the child to his/her adoptive parents. See also "FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) " for Leave of Absence options when adopting a child.

See ―Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action ‖

(Insurance and Employee Benefits) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was adopted by the federal government to protect the rights of qualified individuals with permanent disabilities. The university has established a procedure for those seeking reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Act. In all instances, an individual employed at NIU must be able to perform the essential functions of his/her position with or without accommodations. The University may be able to assist an individual in returning to their position after a leave resulting in a recognized permanent disability. Accommodation methods may include modifying positions to adjust for lifting or bending, allowing for a reduced/limited return to the work schedule and coordinating the assistance of co-workers.

(Operating Staff Services) Appointment types will be one of the following: 1. Status Appointment. A status appointment is an employment position which the university intends to continue on a regular basis for six months or more. Status appointments are extended and filled in


accordance with the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules. An employee with a status appointment is entitled to all applicable employee benefits. Status appointments of less than 100 percent time may be issued. 2. Provisional Appointment. A provisional appointment is an employment position offered in the absence of a register for that specific classification, provided the person possesses the minimum qualifications for the position. In order to establish eligibility for a subsequent status appointment in that classification, the appointee must pass the examination for the appropriate classification. At this point, the appointment is changed from provisional to status. If an individual is a provisional employee and the register subsequently provides a fully qualified candidate prior to passage of the examination, a provisional employee is subject to replacement. Provisional employees receive all applicable employee benefits but do not begin a probationary period until a status appointment is issued. 3. Trainee Appointment. A trainee appointment is an employment position issued under the following conditions: a) there are no qualified candidates available from a reemployment or promotional register for the class; b) the applicant lacks one or more of the minimum qualifications for the class; c) a predetermined and scheduled program of training and/or experience, as approved by the SUCSS, is established for the candidate; d) whenever the scheduled program has been completed, the applicant must apply for the original entry examination for the class and must pass such examination to remain in the position, if funded by the department; e) at no time during the training period may the trainee receive a salary that is more than 95 percent of the minimum of the range or of the minimum rate for the class. Employees with trainee appointments receive all applicable employee benefits. The probationary period does not begin until the completion of the traineeship. 4. Learner Appointment. A learner appointment is an employment position offered in an entry classification, other than a recognized trade or craft class, under the following conditions: a) there are no qualified candidates available from a reemployment register for the class; b) a predetermined and scheduled program of training, not in excess of 12 months and as approved by the SUCSS, is established for the learner; c) the learner is accepted on the basis of pre-employment examination provided by the SUCSS, and d) at no time during the learner status period may the learner receive a salary which is more than 95 percent of the minimum of the range or of the minimum rate for the class. If the learner completes the prescribed training program, the employee is then certified to a position in the related class. Employees with learner appointments receive all applicable employee benefits. At the completion of the learner program the employee will begin the probationary period if employment continues. Contracts, Records and Reports issues a "Personnel Action Form (PAF)" to all operating staff employees. The notice reflects the type of appointment, job class, rate of compensation, and other conditions affecting employment. The notice continues in effect until employment is terminated or conditions of employment are changed, in which case a superseding notice is issued. Additional information regarding appointment types (extra help and temporary) which receive no university benefits is located in the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules 250.70(a) and 250.70(g).

(Employee/Labor Relations) Employee notification to supervisory personnel or other departmental/university designees in accordance with departmental protocols is mandatory for all absences from work. Failure by any employee to report to


work as scheduled for three (3) consecutive work days without proper notification may be treated by the University as job abandonment and considered a voluntary resignation. Job abandonment determinations and resignation procedures are to be initiated only after consultation with Human Resource Services.

(Policy/Administrative Services) The amount of leave provided in the following chart is available to be used only when the need for that amount of time can be justified. If the employee cannot return to work at the end of the allowable funeral leave days, the employee may take such leave without pay or may use accrued vacation/personal leave, at the approval of the supervisor. (Up to Three Days Leave)
Paid leave of three scheduled work days (at percent time of appointment) to attend the funeral and for travel and bereavement time, upon the death of the following: A member of the employee's immediate family or household In-laws Grandchildren Grandparents

(Up to One Day Leave)
Paid leave of one scheduled work day (at percent time of appointment) to attend the funeral and for travel and bereavement time, upon the death of the following: Any other relative who is not a member of household

The number of hours paid per day is calculated as 1/5 of the full-time weekly work schedule of the employee's classification times the employee's percent time of appointment. These hours multiplied by the eligible employee's regular straight-time hourly rate (or benefit hourly rate) equals the amount of funeral leave to be paid.

(University Bookstore) Employees may receive a discount of 10% on single copy purchases of books bought at the University Bookstore in Holmes Student Center. The discount applies to individual purchases of textbooks, used books and general books. Other services provided by the University Bookstore include cap and gown sales and rental, gift certificates, film developing, magazine subscriptions, matting and framing, imprinting of stationary/card/announcements, and special order service.

(Policy/Administrative Services) It is the practice of the university to permit two 15-minute rest periods per day to any full time hourly employee, one during the first half of the work schedule and one during the second half of the work schedule. The rest period is not a guaranteed right, but a privilege which is granted for the employee's wellbeing.


The "break" is to be scheduled by the supervisor and is to be preceded by and followed by an extended work period. There are no provisions for the accumulation of rest periods to be taken as late arrivals, early departures or time off in some other way. Employees are requested to make every effort not to abuse this privilege. Repetitive employee violations of this privilege may result in disciplinary action.

(Policy/Administrative Services) State law requires that public institutions of higher education identify "security sensitive" positions and provide for criminal background investigations prior to employing individuals in those positions. Generally, security sensitive positions involve public safety, care and supervision of minor children, and/or major responsibility for the expenditure and control of fiscal resources. The University periodically reviews and updates the list of positions with respect to potential inclusion under the definition described in the policy description.

(NIU Campus Child Care Center)

The NIU Campus Child Care Center is a licensed facility which offers quality child care to children of NIU students, faculty, and staff, ages 2 months - 10 years. The center is also accredited through the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, which serves as an indicator of a high quality program. The center is housed in a new child care facility located on the east side of Annie Glidden Rd. Part-time as well as full-time child care is available. Parents may schedule a minimum of three hours and a maximum of ten hours of child care per day. A current list of rates can be found on our website. The center is open Monday - Friday, 7:15 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. during fall, spring, and summer semesters. Full-time child care is also available between semesters (interim) for a limited number of children. Parents interested in enrolling their children should contact the center two to eight months prior to the semester in which they need child care, in order to be placed on the application mailing list. Applications are then sent to everyone on the mailing list approximately eight weeks prior to the beginning of each semester. Enrollment is secured on a first-come, first served basis with priority given to currently enrolled families. Enrollment is also dependent upon space availability for a particular age group and the ability to match part-time schedules. Enrollment is limited to the children of NIU students, faculty and staff. The center is staffed with qualified teachers who have either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, or a related field, along with student workers who serve as teacher aides in the classroom. The teacher-child ratio is 1:3 for infants and toddlers, 1:4 for two year olds, 1:5 for preschoolers, and 1:8 for school-age. School-age child care will consist of ―holiday‖ and summer care. To learn more about the program, please visit our website. Go to NIU’s homepage (, click on Campus Support Services, and then Campus Child Care. You can also fill out a form to get on our mailing list for specified semesters through our website.

(Contracts, Records and Reports)


Under Illinois law, all newly hired state employees are required to provide information regarding any child support obligations. This information is gathered at employee orientation sessions and does not affect eligibility for employment.

(Labor Relations) Various operating staff classifications are represented by unions. The university recognizes the right of employees to organize, if so desired, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. The University neither favors nor opposes union membership; it is entirely a matter of the employee's choice and determination. By law, employees in any classification represented by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, have the right to belong or not belong to the representative unit or union. Employees in classifications covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements are paid negotiated rates regardless of union membership or nonmembership and are usually required to pay "fair share fees". No collective bargaining agreement shall be effective or implemented until approved by the Board of Trustees, signed by the Board chair or an authorized designee and signed by the employee organizations' authorized representative(s). Upon official certification by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, any substantive or procedural rights or privileges as set forth in any applicable provisions of the university system of shared governance shall immediately become subject to negotiation for such positions and employees contained within the scope of exclusive representation pursuant to the certified bargaining unit description. Such rights and privileges shall not be maintained except to the extent negotiated and fully ratified within the scope of a collective bargaining agreement.

See "Overtime."

(Policy/Administrative Services) Many employees at NIU work in departments and classifications that require interactions with confidential information. It is expected that no confidential information will be released to unauthorized agencies or personnel. Any violation of this confidentiality provision will be considered a serious work rule violation subject to disciplinary action.

(NIU Employees' Federal Credit Union) Status employees are eligible for membership in the NIU Employees' Federal Credit Union. The Credit Union is a cooperative, nonprofit savings and lending organization, which can provide a plan for systematic savings and loans. For more information about these and other services available, contact the Credit Union office, 753-1911.


(Operating Staff Services) As defined by the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules, any of the following employer-initiated actions shall be defined as a demotion: 1) a status employee is appointed to a position in a lower class in a promotional line 2) a status employee is appointed to a position in a class outside a promotional line with a lower minimum pay potential 3) a status employee is given a non-status appointment 4) a status employee is given a reduction in percentage of time worked 5) a status employee is subject to a reduction in salary in their current position Any of the above actions shall not be considered a demotion when such action has been initiated, or has been willingly accepted, by the employee. Further reference and procedural guidelines can be obtained by reviewing Chapter VI, Section 250.110 of the State Universities Civil Service System and Rules.

(Labor/Employee Relations) The university believes in progressive and corrective discipline. In cases other than extreme employee misconduct, written warnings will be issued prior to any formal disciplinary action being taken, e.g., suspension or discharge. See SUCSS Statute and Rules Section 250.110(d) and (e).

(Policy/Administrative Services) NIU has no university-wide dress code. Employees are nevertheless expected to dress in good taste and to portray a professional image for the university. Standards of dress in the academic community should parallel those in the outside employment setting. It is anticipated that common sense, respect for others and their property, and good taste will prevail to avoid adverse public opinion. Departments are given the freedom to establish appropriate standards of dress as required. Questions regarding uniforms or appropriate dress for a particular area should be directed to the supervisor.

(Employee Wellness and Assistance) The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, and the policies of Northern Illinois University prohibit unlawful possession, use, and/or distribution of controlled substances and alcohol on university property or in association with any university-related activities.


The university encourages any employees who have a problem with the illegal use of drugs and alcohol to seek professional advice and treatment. The university provides or can assist in arranging education, assessment, counseling, intervention, treatment, rehabilitation, and aftercare. Some of these services may be without charge and the cost of others may be partially paid by employee health insurance. Further information on any of these support services may be obtained from the Employee Wellness and Assistance Program at 753-9191. Northern Illinois University may impose disciplinary sanctions upon any employee who is found to be in violation of laws or policies relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol. Such sanctions may include, without limitation, any of the following: a) Referral to criminal prosecution b) Employee discipline (including suspension or dismissal) pursuant to provisions of the NIU Constitution and By-Laws, personnel policies, or the State Universities Civil Service System c) Referral to an educational or rehabilitation program d) Referral for fitness for duty evaluation e) Additional procedures pertain to employees in designated positions subject to the Federal Department of Transportation Alcohol and Drug Testing Program regulations

(Contracts, Records and Reports) a) Employee/Retiree

Tuition and fee waiver shall be granted to any Northern Illinois University retiree or any employee in a status position under the State University Civil Service System, if admissions standards are met and if the initial date of employment is on or before the 30th calendar day following the scheduled beginning of the academic term involved, or the last day of registration, whichever is earlier to attend NIU. The waiver granted in any one semester shall be to the following maxima: Retirees and full-time employees -- 2 courses not to exceed 8 hours 3/4-time employees -- 2 courses not to exceed 6 hours 1/2-time employees -- 1 course not to exceed 4 hours A full-time employee may not register for credit in excess of the number of hours for which tuition and fees may be waived as listed above unless recommended by appropriate supervisory authority. For full-time employees the total number of registered credit hours may not normally exceed a credit-hour load associated with two courses. These maxima are employee benefit limitations and do not apply to enrollments in approved work-related training programs, the purpose of which is to improve university services.

For summer session the waiver shall be subject to the following maxima:

Retirees and full-time employees -- 4 hours 3/4-time employees -- 3 hours 1/2-time employees -- 2 hours


For employees not working full-time during the summer (including those on seasonal layoff), the waiver maximum may be determined by the employment rate of either the summer or of the semester immediately preceding the summer, whichever would yield the highest waiver. For the purposes of this Regulation, the summer session shall be considered to include all sessions, regardless of title (summer session, presession, postsession, intersession, etc.) between the close of the second (spring) semester of one academic year and the beginning of the first (fall) semester of the succeeding academic year. Inter-Institutional Waivers Civil Service employees in appointments of 50% or more may also be eligible for tuition waivers at other institutions served by the State Universities Civil Service System. Eligibility and waiver limitations will be based on the applicable policies of the institution attended.


Children of Employees

It is the purpose of the Board of Trustees to provide tuition waiver benefits to eligible children of employees in an orderly manner that is consistent among different employee groups and in compliance with applicable statutory guidelines. In accordance with Board Regulations, eligible children may obtain a waiver of 50% of the tuition assessed to employee's children until such time as a total of 4 years undergraduate 50% tuition waiver benefits have been expended. The 50% tuition waiver is available for eligible children of NIU employees hired prior to 1/1/99 and who have three or more years of NIU employment as of the beginning of the semester for which the tuition waiver benefit waiver would apply. If an employee was hired on or after 1/1/99, they must complete seven years or more of employment service before their dependent is eligible for this benefit. Natural children, step-children, and adopted children of full-time status employees are eligible for a waiver of one-half of the tuition at Northern Illinois University, subject to the following conditions: 1) 2) 3) 4) The child must be under the age of 25 at the beginning of the fall semester. Children of part-time employees are eligible after the employee earns seven years of service credit under SURS. Children of retired employees are eligible for this waiver if the employee had at least seven years of service credit upon retirement. The eligible child must continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward graduation in accordance with NIU policies.

Limitations The 50% tuition waiver is the total amount available from the employer per child even though both parents may be full-time employees of the university. The maximum four years' undergraduate tuition waiver will be granted for a total of eight semesters as a full-time student and not more than four summer terms. These semesters need not be taken consecutively. The benefit is also conditioned on the student's maintaining satisfactory academic progress toward graduation. The waiver is not applicable for noncredit or graduate/professional academic programs.

Eligibility The employee must have met eligibility requirements for inclusion in the program at the time that application is made for the benefit. The benefit shall not be rescinded or suspended in the event an employee becomes ineligible during any given academic semester; however, no


future benefits may be extended until the employee regains eligibility status. Eligible children of individuals who have retired from Northern Illinois University with at least seven years of full-time service with NIU may participate in the same manner as children of active full-time employees with seven years of service at NIU.

Inter-Institutional Waivers Children of civil service employees with seven or more years of service within the public universitiy system may also be eligible for tuition waivers at other institutions served by the State Universities Civil Service System. Eligibility and waiver limitations will be based on the applicable policies of the institution attended. . c)

Survivors of Deceased Employees

The surviving spouse and the legally dependent child or children of any Civil Service employee who has died while employed full time (or on educational leave with pay, sick leave, or disability leave) with Northern Illinois University shall be entitled to waiver of tuition and other registration fees (as defined in Section V.K. of these Regulations) to attend NIU, except those fees (such as the student health insurance fee) where eligibility is determined by fee submission to an outside agency or vendor, while enrolled for course work creditable to the baccalaureate degree. Should both parents be full-time employees, the death of one parent makes the child or children eligible for the waiver. "Legally dependent child or children" for this purpose shall mean and include any child who qualified, at the time of the employee's death, as a dependent for income tax exemption purposes under the provisions of Section 152 of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Children of deceased civil service employees may also be eligible for tuition waivers at other institutions served by the State Universities Civil Service System. Eligibility and waiver limitations will be based on the applicable policies of the institution attended. To obtain tuition waiver forms or for further information on this benefit, contact a member of Contracts, Records and Reports at 753-6000.

(Policy/Administrative Services) If an emergency situation arises (for example, severe snowstorm, tornado or civil disturbance) in which the safety or welfare of employees is endangered, the President or ranking administrative officer may close the university. Employees scheduled to work will be dismissed and paid for their regular work shifts. Employees working their regular hours in designated "necessary services" during the closed period will be provided compensatory time off at time and one-half for actual regular hours worked in addition to receiving their regular rate of pay. Employees in "necessary services" who work overtime to cover for employees unable to work will receive the appropriate overtime compensation and will be granted compensatory time off at straight time for all hours worked. Employees on approved sick leave or vacation status during the emergency closure will still be charged with the appropriate benefit deduction.


(Employee Wellness and Assistance) The Employee Wellness and Assistance Program is an informal, confidential program available to all faculty, staff, and their dependents, as well as to all NIU annuitants. The office provides information, referral and short-term counseling for personal or family problems, professional concerns, substance abuse, and other health concerns. Training and consultation is also provided for supervisors, department chairs, and other administrators. Employees using the Employee Assistance Program may be eligible for an enhanced benefits for psychiatric or substance abuse treatment. The office provides health education and health enhancement services, including health screening, smoking cessation clinics, and referral to other wellness services.

(Contracts, Records, and Reports) It is the intent of the university to fully comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This Act makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire a non-resident who is not authorized to work in the United States or to continue to employ such an individual after finding out that he or she is not authorized. The law also requires verification of the employment authorization and identity of each person hired, including U.S. citizens. New status employees are required to furnish, on or prior to their first day of work, appropriate documentation by completing an I-9 form. Non-status employees are required to follow this procedure on their first day of work by reporting to Human Resource Services to complete all necessary employment paperwork.

Employees of NIU have opportunities to attend athletic, artistic, musical, dramatic, and educational programs throughout the year. The university sponsors many of these programs and may provide admission benefits or other special privileges for employees.

(Diversity Resources/Affirmative Action) Northern Illinois University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution in accordance with Civil Rights legislation. University policies recognize that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or other factors prohibited by law in any of its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies, except where age, sex, or lack of a physical or mental restriction are bona fide occupational requirements. University policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Problems regarding Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action are to be resolved within existing University procedures. Concerns should be referred to: Northern Illinois University, Diversity Resources/Affirmative Action Office, Lowden Hall 302, De Kalb, IL 60115, phone 815-7531118 or 815-753-6017, telephone for the hearing impaired TDD/TT 815-753-8686. Information regarding services for individuals with disabilities may be obtained by calling the Center for Access-Ability Resources at 815-753-1303, University Health Service 408.


(Policy/Administrative Services) Civil Service employees are selected for employment and promotion without regard to relationship by blood or marriage, in accordance with appropriate qualifications for the performance of specified duties. However, no individual may initiate or participate in personnel decisions involving initial employment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence or other direct benefit to an individual employee who is a member of the same immediate family or immediate household. Immediate family is defined as an employee's spouse, parents, brothers, sisters and children.

(Operating Staff Services) Flex-year appointments are permanent and continuous Operating Staff appointments which have both scheduled work periods and non-work periods during the appointment. These appointments are considered status appointments and subject to the rules/statutes that govern conditions of employment for all Operating Staff employees, except that seniority does not typically continue to accrue during non-scheduled work periods.

(University Legal Counsel) The State Gift Ban Act (P.A. 90-737) was enacted August 12, 1998 and became effective January 1, 1999. The Act prohibits constitutional officers, members of a government body, and government employees and their spouses and immediate family living with them from receiving any gratuity, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other tangible or non-tangible item having monetary value from a prohibited source, with exceptions. The Act also provides a detailed process for the investigation of allegations of violations of the Act and for the hearing(s) held to determine whether a violation has occurred. For further information, see the State Gift Ban Act (5 ILCS 425/60) or call the Clerk of the Governor's Ethics Commission at (217) 557-5414.

(Labor/Employee Relations) Employees have the right to a fair hearing on any grievance arising in the course of employment. Each supervisor and each employee has an obligation to make every effort to resolve employment problems as they arise. The university has established a grievance procedure whereby issues may be resolved via written communication, and arbitration may be provided as determined by the university. Please contact Human Resource Services for further details of the internal grievance procedures. Employees whose job


classifications are covered by collective bargaining agreements are subject to the grievance and arbitration procedures contained in those agreements and may not use the internal grievance procedure.

(Policy/Administrative Services) All facilities are closed and all employees excused, except for those in necessary operations, on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and four additional days to be determined each year by the President of the University. An annual holiday schedule is issued by Human Resource Services. To be eligible for holiday pay, an employee must have a learner, apprentice, trainee, provisional or status appointment and must have worked or been on pay status the last scheduled workday prior to, and the next scheduled workday after, a University observed holiday. However, employees eligible for retirement under the State University Retirement System may elect to retire during the university-observed holiday or official administrative closure, provided that they worked or were on pay status their last scheduled workday prior to the university observed holiday or closure. Such employees shall be entitled to the holiday pay until the date of said retirement. If an absence is not excused, supervisors may withhold holiday pay from any employee who is absent immediately before or after a holiday(s) by making a notation "unauthorized absence" on the employee's timecard. Eligible employees with part-time appointments receive holiday pay prorated to the percentage of the appointment(s). Employees placed on layoff who have been in "pay status" within 10 working days before or 10 working days after the holiday), and who are recalled proximate to the observed day or days preceding and following Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Day, are eligible for the observed holidays within the layoff period. Holiday pay will not be awarded until the employee returns to work. Whenever a holiday falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday is ordinarily treated as the holiday, and whenever a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday is normally treated as the holiday. This applies only to those employees with a Monday through Friday schedule. For employees who work other than a Monday through Friday schedule, the calendar holiday is observed as the holiday. When a shift bridges two calendar days, one of which is a holiday, the shift beginning on the calendar holiday is recognized as the holiday shift. Employees required to work on a holiday are paid at the rate of time and one-half of regular rate of pay plus regular compensation. Holiday pay is given to eligible hourly employees at the regular rate being earned immediately prior to the holiday, exclusive of overtime. Such regular rate of pay is interpreted to include night differential. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement will be compensated in accordance with the terms of that agreement.

(Insurance and Employee Benefits) Health Insurance The Quality Care Program is a self-insured group insurance program for eligible state employees administered by Central Management Services. It provides benefits for hospital and medical services needed due to non-occupational injury or sickness. New members are covered by the Quality Care Health Program on the first day of their status employment date or actual date of reporting to work, whichever is


later. If it is available and elected within the first 10 days of employment, the member may choose to participate in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in lieu of the Quality Care Health Program. There is a small employee premium based on the employee's annual salary. New members may also enroll dependents (member-paid) within the first ten days of employment, with coverage of dependents effective on the date of the member's coverage or the date of election, whichever is later. During this initial enrollment period, enrollment of dependents does not require evidence of insurability. A Benefit Choice Period (May 1 – 31) is available each year during which employees may change coverage and/or carriers subject to certain restrictions. Because premiums are tax-exempt under the Illinois Premium Payment Plan, the employee's choice during the Benefit Choice Period becomes irrevocable for the following fiscal year unless there is a change in family status or employment. All benefits, claims and procedures, and limitations of the health insurance program are in accordance with CMS policies and procedures which may be amended from time to time. In accordance with Public Act 92-0600, State of Illinois, retirees/annuitants and survivors may elect not to participate in the health, dental and vision coverage of the State of Illinois Group Insurance Program. Opt Out Election Certificate may be found on NIU’s Human Resource Services website. Eligible part-time employees hired on or after January 1, 1980 have the option of participating in the aforementioned programs. Employee costs are calculated and determined based on the level of employment. All full-time and part-time employees have basic life.

Life Insurance The Group Life Program (state-paid) provides group term insurance for eligible state employees with benefits equal to the employee's annual basic salary. Optional term life, spouse life, child life, and accidental death and dismemberment are available under the state life insurance program with the member paying for the additional coverage. Eligible part-time employees hired on or after January 1, 1980 have the option of participating in the aforementioned programs. Employee costs are calculated and determined based on the level of employment. Reliastar ING Life Insurance (member-paid) is a tri-term policy that has a three-year graduated rate level which is renewable as long as the insured continues to work. Eligible employees must apply within 90 days of their employment date for acceptance. If enrollment is past the eligibility period, coverage can be available only after supplying satisfactory evidence of insurability. Coverage is also available for dependent spouse and children. A detailed explanation of the program and enrollment application is available. Insurance plans are explained in the insurance information booklets titled Member Benefits Handbook and Illinois State Employees Group Life Insurance Program. Handbooks are located in the documents section of the Human Resource Services website.

Dental Insurance The Quality Care Dental Program is available to employees and their dependents with limited coverage. There is a Managed Care Dental Program available to employees as an alternative that has a wider range of benefits. Premiums, if any, are dependent on the program selected. Because premiums are tax-exempt under the Illinois Premium Payment Plan, the employee's choice becomes irrevocable for the following fiscal year unless there is a change in family status or employment. All benefits, claims and procedures, and


limitations of the health insurance program are in accordance with CMS policies and procedures which may be amended from time to time. AETNA Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (member-paid) This is 24-hour coverage for accidents on or off the job. Eligible employees may enroll during the first 90 days of employment or during an annual open enrollment period in September. Coverage may range from $10,000 to $150,000, with the amount of coverage no more than 10 times the annual basic salary. An additional amount for a spouse, from $10,000 up to half the amount of coverage on the insured employee, may be purchased. A brochure entitled Group Accident Insurance is available. Flexible Spending Accounts These programs are available to new employees within 60 days of their new employment date or beginning July 1, if the spending account is selected during the Benefit Choice Period. Through this program, employees can use tax-free dollars to pay for either dependent care (day care) or medical/dental care for eligible dependents. An employee must contribute, through payroll deduction, at least $20 per month but no more than $5,000 per year toward eligible care. Money contributed but not used during the year for eligible care will be forfeited in accordance with regulations. Vision Care Plan For employees and their dependents enrolled in any of the state's medical plans, Quality Care, or an HMO, this free vision plan allows the insured to have an eye examevery year and contact lenses or glasses at a discount once every two years.

(Operating Staff Services) Each Operating Staff position is assigned to one of a variety of job classifications established by the Civil Service Merit Board, based upon the nature of the work performed. All positions in the same classification have the same employment requirements, title, and salary range. A set of documents called class specifications listing employment requirements and typical duties for each classification is available for review in the University Library Reserve Room or the NIU website ( Individual positions may be reassigned (reclassified/reallocated) to a different class when significant permanent changes occur in the assigned duties and responsibilities. An employee in a position that has been reassigned (reclassified/reallocated) must pass the Civil Service examination for the new class and may receive a salary increase if the new class is considered a promotion.

(Operating Staff Services) A job description is the official document which specifies the duties, responsibilities and essential functions assigned to a given position. Originating in the employing department, the description is considered valid until otherwise reported to Operating Staff Services. The position description provides the written basis for all classification actions. A job description must include signatures of the person who performs the work, the supervisor who assigns and reviews the work, the department head who approves the delegation of the work to the position, the dean if the position is located in a teaching college, and the vice president/provost/president. In addition to job duties and responsibilities included in the job descriptions, employees may be assigned other related duties from time to time by the supervisor. Job descriptions are to be reviewed every two years by the employee and supervisor.


(Operating Staff Services) Employees interested in information on current Operating Staff job openings may call 753-1051, a 24-houra-day, 7-day-a-week answering service. Position openings are also posted on-line at:

(Policy/Administrative Services) Upon request and receipt of proper documentation, leave without loss of pay is available for jury duty. In some cases, the supervisor may request that the employee be excused from serving if the operation of the department would be seriously impaired by the employee's absence. An employee on jury duty is expected to report for work whenever services are not required by the court. If, after being excused by the court, a half-day or more remains in the employee's university work schedule for that day, an employee must return to work. Prior to receiving pay for the period(s) involved, the supervisor may require an employee to present evidence of the hours of each day required by the court. Leave without loss of pay is also granted for witness service not associated with the employee's personal concerns provided the employee is subpoenaed for such service.

(Operating Staff Services) When a reduction in work force is necessary, layoffs are issued in inverse seniority within the affected classification. Written notice is given to the employees to be laid off at least 30 calendar days before the effective date of the layoff (when the layoff exceeds 30 consecutive workdays). This notice may be posted in instances such as calendar break layoffs, when a considerable number of employees are involved. Employees are returned to work by simple seniority. Employees placed on layoff due to a break in the academic calendar have the option of having their vacation benefits paid out after the effective date of layoff. For indefinite layoffs, all vacation benefits are paid out. Sick leave benefits will not be paid to employees on layoff status. While on layoff, employees are entitled to service credit and full protection under State University Retirement System, (SURS) for 120 days. Contributions cannot be made for this period of layoff. After 120 days of continuous layoff, an employee may apply for a refund of their contributions to SURS.

(Contracts, Records and Reports) Employees with status, provisional, learner, apprentice, or trainee appointments may be eligible for various forms of paid and unpaid leaves of absence. Following is a brief summary of the many types of leave options available to employees. Educational Leave of Absence


Educational leaves of absence are available to status operating staff employees and are intended for academic studies. To be eligible for leave without pay, the employee must be a full-time employee with at least three years of continuous, consecutive, full-time service at NIU. To be eligible for a leave with half or full pay, the leave must be for job-related graduate level studies in an approved graduate program and the employee must be full-time with five years of continuous, consecutive full-time service at NIU. It is expected that the recipient of an educational leave with pay will return to NIU and remain a full-time employee for a minimum of one year. Educational leaves shall be for 4 1/2 months at full pay, 9 months at half pay, or two consecutive summers (not to exceed 2 1/4 months each) at full pay. Requests for educational leaves must be accompanied by a statement explaining the job-relatedness or basis for the request, the program and/or studies to be pursued, and the length of the educational leave being requested (not to exceed one academic year). Application forms for educational leaves may be obtained from the Contracts, Records and Reports Office. Requests for leave must be recommended by the supervisor, department head/director, dean and director of Human Resource Services and must be sent to the appropriate Vice President, who will submit his/her recommendation to the President for final decision. Extended Illness Leave An employee is entitled to extended illness leave with pay for a documented serious health condition as similarly defined under the Family Medical Leave Act. Extended illness shall be limited to 20 days in a 12month period. Extended illness leave may not be used until the employee has used all accumulative sick leave earned in the 12 months prior to the extended illness leave. An employee is eligible for extended illness leave even though he or she may not be eligible for Family Medical Leave. See "Family Medical Leave Act." Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) This federal law provides employees with leave entitlements along with job and benefit protection. Employees who have a total cumulative service of at least one calendar year, and who have worked at least 1250 hours during the twelve months immediately preceding the leave, may take up to a total of 12 weeks during a 12-month period, defined as the FMLA benefit year, if the procedures in this policy are followed and leave is requested for any of the following reasons: 1. 2. 3. Birth or adoption of a child or foster care placement of a child; Care for an eligible "family member" of the employee if that individual has a serious health condition which renders that individual incapacitated; or A serious health condition rendering the employee incapacitated and unable to perform their job duties.

Employees may utilize applicable accrued sick leave, compensatory time, vacation time, and extended illness leave prior to being placed in unpaid status. An employee's group health insurance and other existing benefits will be maintained for the duration of FMLA leave. Any applicable premium contributions or payroll deduction amounts related to standard or elective employee benefits will remain the responsibility of the employee. Employees will be billed for these amounts if any or part of an FMLA leave period is unpaid. Upon return from the FMLA leave, employees will be reinstated to their original position or an equivalent position. For more specific information and to complete a standard FMLA application form, employees must contact Insurance and Employee Benefits, Human Resource Services. Illness Leave


This unpaid leave, authorized at the discretion of Human Resource Services, is available to employees who have exhausted all available sick leave and/or all 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave, but is still unable to return to work because of a medically certified serious health condition as defined under the FMLA. Military Leave of Absence Leaves of absence without pay are granted to employees who either enlist or are inducted into the Armed Forces. Upon Discharge and in accordance with federal and state law, such a person will be restored to a position of like seniority, status, and pay under the following conditions: (1) the discharge must be other than dishonorable; (2) the request for reemployment must be within 90 days of discharge; and (3) the employee must qualify physically and mentally to perform the duties of the employment position. If, as a result of military service, the employee is not physically or mentally qualified to perform the duties of such a position, the employee will be restored to a position for which he or she is qualified. Temporary Military Duty Leave with pay is granted for up to 15 days per year for Limited Training for an employee who is a member of the Illinois National Guard, Illinois Naval Militia, or reserve components of the Armed Forces. Leave with pay is granted for up to 30 calendar days per year for Emergency Call-Up. A copy of the "orders" for either Limited Training or Emergency Call-Up must be filed with the Contracts, Records and Reports Office when the employee signs leave of absence papers. Miscellaneous Types of Absences New Employee Orientation: New employees are excused without loss of pay to attend an orientation meeting to complete all employment and payroll forms. Physical Examination: Employees are excused without loss of pay to take a physical examination as provided by the University Health Services if such is required as a condition of continued employment. State University Civil Service Exams: University operations permitting, and with supervisory approval, employees are excused without loss of pay to take State University Civil Service exams in Operating Staff Services. On-Campus Job Interviews: University operations permitting, and with supervisory approval, employees are excused without loss of pay for on-campus job interviews when such referrals are made from registers maintained in Operating Staff Services. Consulting with HRS Staff: University operations permitting, and with supervisory approval, employees are excused without loss of pay to consult with staff members in Human Resource Services on work-related issues. With reasonable consideration for operational needs, employees shall always be excused to participate in any recognized dispute resolution process. See the Business Procedure Manual for other miscellaneous leaves such as Councils and Committees, Discipline and Grievance Hearings, Voting, Personal and Professional Development and School Visitation Rights. Personal Leave of Absence A personal leave without pay may be granted to a status employee who requests such a leave. If employment status is to continue, an employee who, with supervisory permission, is absent from work for five or more consecutive scheduled work days without pay must be officially on a personal leave of absence as approved by the Associate Vice President of Human Resource Services or their designee. It is the employee's responsibility to request and sign leave papers in the Contracts, Records and Reports Office before a leave is granted.


All the following conditions must be met before any personal leave may be granted: supervisory recommendation, justification for leave, reason for request, work performance of the employee, duration of leave and employee replacement possibilities. Personal leaves are granted only with the right to return to the same position in the classification. Due to potential significant insurance costs for employees electing a personal leave, employees should confer with Insurance and Employee Benefits before requesting such a leave. Supervisors are advised to confer with professional staff members in the Contracts, Records and Reports Office regarding personal leaves. Employees must pay applicable insurance premiums in accordance with CMS policies. Benefit coverage while on leave status: All employees in a non-pay status may continue their coverage by payment of premiums directly to the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office. Employees will receive a bill for each pay period in which they are in a non-pay status. It is the responsibility of the employee to make premium payments on a timely basis. Failure to make timely payments can result in termination of coverage. Employees will continue to receive disability, death and survivor insurance protection while on leave. Employees will not receive earnings or service credit unless they elect to make contributions at their normal rate of pay for the salary that is forfeited while on leave.

(University Libraries) All permanent employees are entitled to use the University Libraries and, in general, are subject to the same regulations as students and other users. The employee identification card must be presented to check out books and other materials.

(Policy/Administrative Services) Scheduled unpaid lunch periods on any shift should be a minimum of 30 minutes and not exceed one hour. Lunch periods are specified under the Fair Labor Standards Act if an employee is scheduled to work seven and one-half hours or more on a consecutive basis.

(Policy/Administrative Services) Merit increases are base salary movements for conscientious and competent performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. They are discretionary and not automatic. Merit increases are usually awarded each fiscal year on the basis of work performance and not merely upon continued employment. It is anticipated that the rationale for the employer’s decision to grant or withhold an increase will be reflected in the employee’s performance report or other correspondence between the supervisor and employee. Employees in open range classes may formally request a review of the awarded yearly salary increment. An employee who desires a review of the awarded salary increment shall initiate the request within ten (10) days after the employee id notified of the increment. Further information on this formal procedure can be obtained from Human Resource Services.


Name and address changes may quickly be made by filing a Name and Address Change Form or by emailing/telephoning the Contracts, Records, and Reports office of Human Resource Services.

(Policy/Administrative Services) Effective November 1, 1999, smoking is prohibited in all facilities at Northern Illinois University, including private offices, building lobbies, stairwells, and other areas that had been previously designated as approved smoking areas. Smoking is permitted outdoors, including designated smoking areas adjacent to buildings. However, smoking is prohibited in outdoor areas where fixed seating is provided, such as Huskie Stadium.

(Contracts, Records, and Reports) Notary service can be obtained from any university notary at no cost. This service is available at many University offices including Human Resource Services.

The Operating Staff council consists of 16 individual representatives elected by the operating staff at large and charged with providing assistance to civil service employees with questions or concerns. Elected representatives serve three-year terms representing various divisions of the university. The officers of the council are elected from the membership of the council. The elected member of the Employee Advisory Committee to the Merit Board is an ex-officio member of the council. The council nominates and/or names representatives of the operating staff to committees of the university. The Operating Staff Council meets in open session the second Thursday of each month in one of the meeting rooms of the Homes Student Center. The meetings are open and anyone is welcome to attend. Any member of the staff who wishes to have an item placed on the agenda of the council is to contact one of the council members 10 working days prior to the scheduled meeting.

(Operating Staff Services) There are no restrictions on university employees having other jobs during off-duty hours, as long as the other employment does not affect the employee's work at the university, or the employee's availability.


(Policy/Administrative Services) Hourly paid (FLSA non-exempt) employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement are paid time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all overtime hours worked or, if mutually agreed to by the employee and the supervisor, by granting compensatory time off at the rate of one and one-half time for all overtime hours worked. Compensatory time may be accumulated to a maximum of 15 workdays. All compensatory time accrual and use must be reported to the Payroll Office by using the Hourly Time Sheet form available from Human Resource Services web site ( Monthly paid (FLSA exempt) employees are not typically eligible for overtime compensation. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement who are required to work overtime will be paid or granted compensatory time in accordance with the terms of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. Employees are not permitted to work overtime unless authorized by the supervisor. Overtime worked without proper supervisory approval may be considered a violation of University policy and subject to disciplinary action.

(Parking Services) Employees using University parking facilities must register their vehicle with the Parking Division of the Department of Public Safety and must purchase a decal which permits parking in the appropriate lots. The publication "Motor Vehicle and Parking Regulations" documents all related rules.

(Payroll and Compensation) All operating staff employees and students are paid on a semi-monthly basis. Nonexempt operating staff and students are paid (hourly) on a semi-monthly basis with pay periods beginning on the 1st through the 15th and the 16th through the last day of the month. The pay period for exempt operating staff begins on the first of the month and ends on the last day of the month. Hourly Time Sheets which are signed by the employee and supervisor, must be completed for each pay period and sent to the Payroll Office on the first workday following the close of a pay period. Accuracy of reported time worked, absences, and leave time usage is monitored and is expected of all employees.

(Payroll and Compensation) It is university policy to pay all new employees by electronic direct deposit. Enrollment is made by completing the Direct Deposit Authorization section of the Personal Data/Name Address form available from Human Resource Services. Confidential earnings statements, which contain earnings, deduction, reduction, contribution, and year to date information, are normally distributed before the 1st and 16th of each month to the employee's department . State law prohibits pay advances and early release of payroll


warrants. The Payroll and Compensation Office should be contacted immediately if there is an error in the paycheck that can't be reconciled by the employee and supervisor. Employees may authorize the withholding of a portion of their salary for U.S. Savings Bonds, the NIU Credit Union, various charities, the NIU Foundation, membership to the campus recreation center and its facilities, union dues, and a tax free deduction for the annual parking permit. The employee must complete an authorization card approved by the Payroll and Compensation Office. Deductions for universitysponsored insurance and tax deferred annuities may be arranged in the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office. Deductions will continue in force until employment has terminated or Payroll receives written notice to cancel the deduction. Deduction revocation cards are available in the Payroll and Compensation Office. All changes or new deductions must be received by Payroll as per the dates on the NIU payroll schedule.

(Contracts, Records and Reports) See "Probationary Period." for information pertaining to evaluations during the probationary period. After completion of the probationary period, employees will be periodically evaluated. Evaluations are made on job-related performance factors chosen on the basis of the job description and job expectations. Job performance will be rated for each factor as: "Performs unacceptably for this factor," "Performs marginally for this factor," "Performs satisfactorily for this factor," "Performs at a high level for this factor" or "Performs at an outstanding level for this factor." Supervisors must document each factor rated "unacceptable" or "outstanding." Supervisors also must stipulate ways for the employee to improve on factors rated "unacceptable" or "marginal." Employees are encouraged to include their own comments on the evaluation form. Employee evaluations are not subject to the grievance procedure.

(Policy/Administrative Services)) Employees with status, provisional, learner, apprentice, or trainee appointments may use up to one day each year with pay to attend on-campus programs designed for personal and professional development. Attendance at such programs may comprise portions of days until 7.5 hours or 8 hours, depending on the employee's normal work day, have been used. Departments are to maintain records on employee participation on a July 1 through June 30 basis. All release time to be approved under this policy must be at the discretion of the supervisor and shall take into account the operational needs of the department.

The university assumes no responsibility or liability for the personal property of its staff. University personnel who bring personal property to campus do so at their own risk. Employees desiring to protect their personal property from damage or loss should make their own arrangements for insurance.


(Contracts, Records and Reports) The Contracts, Records and Reports Office maintains the official university employment file for all operating staff employees. Individual files are available for review by the employee who must present proper identification to the Contracts, Records and Reports Office. Employee files are also available for review by potential supervisors who are interviewing current employees for potential transfers, promotions or demotions. Employees are requested to contact the Contracts, Records, and Reports Office to schedule a time to review any personnel files. Employees must arrange payment for any copies of materials from their official personnel file.

The card necessary to obtain a photo ID (OneCard) is given to new employees at New Employee Orientation. Employees should then go to the lower level of Holmes Student Center to obtain the OneCard. If the card is lost, the employee must pay a fee for a new card. For a name change, there is no charge.

(Operating Staff Services) Offers of employment to candidates in specified classifications are conditioned on results of a medical history and, when indicated, a medical screening. Employment opportunity will not be denied employees with disabilities or applicants for employment if the basis for the denial is the need to make reasonable accommodation for the individual's physical or mental limitations. Fitness-for-duty examinations may be required upon return to work from medical leave and in cases where documented performance problems may be the result of medical conditions.

(Policy Administrative Services) Employees are encouraged to participate in public affairs and seek elective offices. Participation in such activities is restricted to those which do not interfere with university job duties and responsibilities. Employees are prohibited from soliciting support or money for any political party or candidate on university property. Employees are also prohibited from soliciting support or contributions for a noncharitable, political, commercial, or religious interest during work hours.

(Operating Staff Services) An employee, upon request to the supervisor, is excused without loss of pay for one day when required to report for a pre-induction physical for the armed forces.


(Operating Staff Services) An employee who has been certified to a status position is required to serve a 6-month or a 12-month probationary period. If the probationary period is interrupted by an unpaid leave of absence, extended illness leave, layoff, or suspension, a comparable amount of time is added to the probationary period. The State Civil Service Merit Board may designate specific classifications which require probationary periods of varying lengths. Performance evaluation forms are sent from the Contracts, Records and Reports Office at three months and five and one-half months for employees serving six-month probationary periods. For those employees serving a 12-month probationary period, evaluations are usually sent just prior to five, nine, and 12 months. Evaluation forms are available upon request at other times during the probationary period at the request of either the supervisor or the employee. Service during the probationary period is part of the examination, and if during this time the employer determines that the employee has failed to demonstrate the ability and qualifications necessary to furnish satisfactory service, the employee may be dismissed. If the employee is not dismissed during the probationary period, the employee will become a status employee upon the completion of the probationary period. Status employees are not required to serve more than one probationary period in the same classification nor is an employee required to fulfill an additional probationary period if the status notice of an appointment change indicates "Change in Title Only." However, in any other change (promotion, reclassification, reallocation) in which the employee moves from one classification to another, a probationary period in the new class is required. Dismissal During Probationary Period (Operating Staff Services) If the employing department determines that the employee has failed to demonstrate the ability and the qualifications necessary to furnish satisfactory service, the employee may be dismissed at any time during the probationary period which is considered part of the examination. A minimum of one week's written notice must be given to the employee. Such cases are not subject to review as defined by the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules. An employee who is permitted to complete the probationary period becomes a status employee, at which point any subsequent disciplinary actions must comply with the suspension and discharge provisions of the State Universities Civil Service System Statute and Rules.

(Operating Staff Services) Employees are encouraged to seek promotional opportunities within the university. Employees desiring to take advantage of promotional opportunities should talk with an employment officer and fill out a "Request to Test" form in the Operating Staff Services Office. It is left to the discretion of the employee to notify the present supervisor of the desire to move to another position.


(Operating Staff Services) A reassignment may be defined as the movement of an employee to a new position within the same classification. Reassignments within the same classification may be made by the employer when such reassignments are in the best interest of the university. An employee seeking a reassignment to a different position in the same classification must fill out a "Request for Reassignment" form in Operating Staff Services. Such reassignment requests will not be approved during an employee's probationary period, unless such reassignment is determined to be in the best interest of the University.

(Office of Campus Recreation) The Office of Campus Recreation offers recreational programs, excursions, and activities for employees and their families throughout the year. Membership at the Student Recreation Center is also available on an individual or family basis.

(Contracts, Records and Reports) Upon deciding to resign, hourly-paid (FLSA non-exempt) employees are expected to provide the supervisor with a minimum of two weeks' notice and monthly-paid (FLSA exempt) employees are expected to provide a minimum of one month's notice. In addition, all employees must sign resignation papers in the Contracts, Records and Reports Office. A former employee who leaves in good standing can be restored to his or her former Civil Service class with the supervisor's and employer's approval, if the request is made within six months of resignation. (Civil Service Regulation Chapter 250, point 60, rule 6.) Upon termination of employment, an employee will be paid in lump sum for any unused vacation, compensatory time and applicable sick time as of the last day of work. The resignation date must be the actual last day of work and may not be extended by the payment of vacation benefits. In the event that a terminated employee has received a benefit payout, he or she may not be re-employed by the university in any capacity in the 30 days immediately following the last day of work. If the employee were to be reemployed, he or she must repay the benefit payout. State health, dental, and life insurance coverage for both the employee and insured dependents ceases at midnight on the last date of employment. Continuation of coverage is available subject to federal rules outlined in COBRA. Notification of an employee's rights under COBRA to continue coverage will be sent to the last address the employee has on file. On the last day of work or earlier, employees must turn in their keys, American Express cards, ID cards, and time cards.

(Insurance and Employee Benefits)


Effective Jan. 1, 1984, Public Act 83-543 requires that all new status employees participate in the State University Retirement System as of the first day of employment. Participation in SURS requires a legislatively determined reduction (lowering taxable income) from wages or salary per paycheck. There is also a legislatively determined employer contribution that is used to supplement the employee contribution. Effective 4-1-99, employees may select their primary retirement program from among three options: a) Traditional SURS Benefit Program - Defined Benefit Program b) Portable Benefit Program - Similar to traditional, but with significant differences in survival and refund provisions c) Self-Managed Program - Defined Contribution Program General information regarding SURS or personal information on the employee's account may be accessed toll free 24 hours a day through the SURS Benefit Line at 1-800-544-1223 or 1-800-ASK SURS (2757877). This line may also be used to order forms or brochures. Retirement Annuity An employee may retire from the system and receive an unreduced pension if the individual has a minimum of five years of service credit at 62 years of age or eight years of service credit at age 60. Early retirement with a reduced annuity may be elected by an employee between the ages of 55 and 60, if the individual has eight or more years of service credit. Specific retirement annuity information should be obtained from the SURS, depending on the employee's plan selection. Disability Benefits: Illness disability benefits are available to an employee who has completed a minimum of two years of service credit. No minimum service credit is required if the employee is disabled due to an accident. Disability benefits are payable at 50 percent of the employee's basic compensation on the date the disability began, or 50 percent of average earnings during the 24 months immediately preceding the month in which disability occurs - whichever is greater. The employee continues to earn service credit while on disability. Pregnancy or childbirth are considered disabling, with time limitations. An employee who believes that he or she may need to access disability benefits -- for either a short or longterm disability -- should be aware that there is a minimum 60-day waiting period and that the employee must use all available sick time first. Contact Insurance and Employee Benefits at the onset of the disability to complete the disability application. NIU also offers a supplemental disability benefit option through Fortis that provides disability compensation in addition to the SURS disability benefit. This coverage is optional with employee rates based on age and salary level.

Termination: When an employee terminates employment at NIU, he or she may elect to receive a refund of contributions to the State University Retirement System plus interest. Refund amounts and taxability may differ depending on plan selection. Specific refund information should be obtained from the SURS. Death and Survivor Benefits: Survivor benefits differ significantly depending on plan selection. Specific survivor benefit information should be obtained from the SURS.


(Risk Management) The prevention of accidents and fires and protection from job hazards is the responsibility of every supervisor and employee. Safety should always be of prime concern to everyone and any unsafe conditions should be reported to the supervisor immediately. All workplace injuries/illnesses must be reported to the supervisor immediately.

(Operating Staff Services) NIU policy provides for compensation and working conditions comparable to those in the community. Appropriate wage/salary market surveys are used to compare and establish equitable salary levels of the various employee classifications. Employees are defined by specific wage/salary types and afforded salary increases as follows: 1. Salary range rates. The vast majority of employees are in salary ranges and are eligible for an annual merit increase based upon annual increment guidelines and satisfactory work performance. Salary increases are granted on an individual basis by the employing department. 2. Negotiated rates. This type of salary group applies to all employees in each job classification represented by a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Salary increases are determined by the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement. 3. Prevailing rates. This type of salary group is reserved for many specialized skill and craft trade classifications. By law, these rates increase when the Illinois Department of Labor notifies the University of such an increase. increase

SENIORITY (Operating Staff Services)
After the completion of a probationary period, seniority begins to accumulate and dates back to the beginning date of employment in a status position. Seniority is earned by classification and is accumulated on the basis of hours in pay status exclusive of overtime. Seniority accrual may be affected by a transfer, leave of absence, layoff, percentage of appointment, disciplinary suspension, or other conditions of employment. Detailed information can be found under SUCSS Statute and Rules Section 250.120.

(Contracts, Records, and Reports) NIU appreciates and recognizes the length and meritorious service of its employees. Operating staff members in status positions receive service recognition at the completion of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service. Staff celebrating 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years at Northern are honored at the annual Operating Staff Banquet. In addition, four operating staff members are selected each year to receive Outstanding Service Awards including substantial cash gifts.


(Diversity Resources/Affirmative Action) It is the policy of NIU to strictly prohibit sexual harassment in any form. Any employee or student found to be in violation of the policy will be subject to disciplinary action. All university employees are accountable for compliance with this policy. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: 1) Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment; 2) Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or 3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment [29 CFR 1604.11(a)]. Employees are encouraged to contact their immediate supervisor or other appropriate administrator when situations of this nature occur.

(Contracts, Records and Reports) Employees with status, provisional, trainee, apprentice, and learner appointments are eligible to accrue and use sick leave benefits. Hourly- paid (FLSA non-exempt) employees accrue accumulative sick leave, without limit, at a per hour rate for each hour in pay status, exclusive of overtime, or approximately 12 days per year. Full-time, monthly-paid (FLSA exempt) employees accrue accumulative sick leave at the rate of one day for each month of service. Monthly-paid employees will have salary deducted when they overuse earned benefits. Additional sick leave will continue to accrue while an employee is using leave previously earned. Purpose of Sick Leave: An employee may use accumulative sick leave when ill, injured, or when obtaining medical or dental consultation or treatment. An employee may also use accumulative sick leave for absences due to illness of parents, spouse, or children if the illness is such that the presence of the employee is required; such leave may also be used for illness of other persons living in the immediate household. Such use of sick leave for non-FMLA absences due to illness of another person shall not exceed 12 days in a fiscal year. In cases where accumulative sick leave is used for absences due to the serious medical conditions of parents, spouse or children, pursuant to the FMLA, sick leave must be used in accordance with the FMLA. (See Leaves of Absence/Family Medical Leave Act)

Sick Leave and Holidays: An employee who requests payment of sick leave prior to or immediately following an approved vacation period or a holiday may be required to submit a physician's statement certifying that the employee or family member was treated for the claimed sick leave. Employees who elect to use university benefits for lost time due to a work-related injury are ineligible for temporary total disability under Worker's Compensation for the same period of time. Any employee who would like information about purchasing back the utilized university benefits, may contact the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office.


The university reserves the right to require acceptable evidence of illness, injury, or disability before allowing any sick leave benefits. Any employee who is (or expects to be) absent from employment must notify the supervisor immediately, and, in cases where the absence will be for more than three days, the employee must notify the supervisor of the anticipated length of absence -- so that arrangements can be made for the employee's duties to be assumed during the absence. Any employee who becomes ill while using accumulative vacation may request that the illness be charged to accumulative sick leave benefits. Such requests can be approved only by Contracts, Records and Reports after review of a statement from a physician. Sick Leave and Layoff: The use of accumulative sick leave benefits terminates on the date an employee is placed on layoff. An employee on layoff will be returned to the payroll for the purpose of using accumulative sick leave if, on a seniority basis, the employee becomes eligible for reemployment from layoff. Use of sick leave under this provision is extended only to the period of time the employee would normally be eligible to work. If a department head or supervisor questions an employee's physical, mental, or emotional ability to continue to perform essential duties, the employee may be referred for medical consultation.

(Payroll and Compensation) Sick Leave Banks are available to assist NIU employees who face a major health crisis or medical catastrophe—such as cancer, heart surgery or a stroke—and who have exhausted all other benefits. Employees who contribute may request use of the benefit in the form of additional sick leave credit provided that paid leave benefits have become exhausted while experiencing a qualifying illness or injury. Participation is limited to those who contribute one or more sick days from their accrued sick leave balance. Contributed days are taken from compensable balances before non-compensable balances and employees must have at least 10 days of accrued sick leave remaining for personal use after donating. Employees may join during the Benefits Choice Period, May 1-May 31. To join, call Human Resource Services at 753-6000.

(Operating Staff Services) Non-exempt Civil Service employees in status positions who work outside the normal workday schedule will receive an additional twenty cents (20 ¢) per hour for all hours in pay status on a given day when the employee begins work between 3:00 p.m. and 4:59 a.m. This differential pay is not applicable to hours in pay status in this time period if the particular workday begins between 5:00 a.m. and 2:59 p.m. Non-exempt employees covered by collective bargaining agreements are paid night differentials as specified within the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements Agreement.

(Contracts, Records, and Reports) Illinois Public Act 85-0827 requires that all state agencies obtain certification that employees hired after Jan. 1, 1988, are not in default on educational student loans from the State of Illinois or from any other


public funds. If in default, the prospective student must make provisions to repay the loan within six months of employment. The individual must also provide written certification from the lender that the repayment plan is satisfactory.

The purpose of this plan is to provide an optional benefit to help employees provide for retirement and defer tax liability on those contributions withheld each pay period. The NIU Board of Trustees has approved companies that offer fixed annuities, variable annuities, combination fixed-variable annuities, mutual funds and other variations to individuals wishing to defer a percentage of their taxable income to some future date, as allowed under the provisions of Section 403(b) or 403(b)(7) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

(Payroll and Compensation) The Payroll and Compensation Office is responsible for the maintenance and verification of deductions from gross earnings. The university is required by law to deduct federal and state withholding taxes. All new employees must complete a W-4 form for tax withholding purposes. Any time a change in tax status occurs, for example, for personal allowances, marital status, etc., a new W-4 form should be completed. W4 forms are available in the Payroll and Compensation Office and also available from the Human Resource Services web site. It is important to complete the W-4 correctly and concisely. Payroll and Compensation personnel will assist with any special tax problems or questions. If employment began after March 31, 1986, employees are required by federal law to have the HI (Medicare) portion of FICA deducted from their wages. Effective July 1, 1991, employees are required by federal law to have full FICA (OASDI and HI) deductions withheld from their wages. If the employee is a participant in the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), the employee is exempt from the OASDI portion of FICA, but not the HI portion. Employees with F-1, J-1, or M-1 visas are may be exempt from FICA taxes.

Information technology resources, including the Northern Illinois University data communications network (NIUnet) comprised of the network of networks on the NIU campus, off-campus education and research centers, and the computers attached to this network, are for the use of persons currently affiliated with Northern Illinois University, including faculty, staff and students. Information technology resources are provided by the university to further the university's mission of research, instruction and public service. Use of these resources should be consistent with this mission and this policy. Acceptable use of NIU information technology resources is based on common sense, common decency, and civility applied to the networked computing environment. These principles and guidelines are extended to networks and information technology resources outside the university accessed through NIUnet via the Internet. Networks or information technology resource providers outside the university may, in turn, impose addition conditions of appropriate use, which the user is responsible to observe when using those resources.


Access to the information technology environment at Northern Illinois University is a privilege and must be treated as such by all users of these systems. Like any other campus facility, abuse of these privileges can be a matter of legal action or official campus disciplinary procedures. Depending on the seriousness of an offense, violation of the policy can result in penalties ranging from reprimand (i.e., don't do this any more), to loss of access, to referral to university authorities for disciplinary or legal action. In a case where unacceptable use severely impacts performance or security, in order to sustain reasonable performance and secure services for the rest of the user community the Computing Facilities will immediately suspend an individual's access privileges. This policy is subject to amendment at any time. For a copy of the most recent policy see the Northern Illinois University web server at

(Policy/Administrative Services) Employees should consult the supervisor and review the university telephone directory to become familiar with the method of placing calls, transferring calls or arranging conference calls. Telephone Services should be contacted for additional information or if problems arise. Telephones are to be used only for University business and any use for personal needs shall be limited.

(Training and Development) The Operating Staff Services Office provides training programs in supervisory skills and communication skills as well as other seminars and workshops designed to enrich staff members' working experience at NIU.

(Contracts, Records and Reports) A current status employee within the State Universities Civil Service System who is selected for employment and enters such employment without a break in service of more than 120 days, shall be: (1) credited by the hiring institution with the amount of accumulated sick leave credited to the employee on the last day of service with the previous employer -- provided that a lump sum payment for such unused sick leave has not been received; and (2) granted eligibility by the new employer to earn future vacation based on the employee's previous state service and total continuous service to the previous employer, as computed by the new employer.

(Compliance and Labor Relations) Under some conditions, staff and faculty of four-year colleges and universities are eligible for unemployment compensation. Application for unemployment compensation may be made at any local Illinois Department of Employment Security office. In DeKalb, their address is 126 South Fourth Street. Employees are typically not eligible for this benefit during academic break periods.


(Operating Staff Services) The philosophy of the vacation plan is that each employee will use a sizable amount of available benefits for vacation and rest, while reserving smaller increments for personal and family reasons. Vacation is earned and accumulated by each employee by pay period for pay status service in a learner, trainee, apprentice, provisional or status appointment. The amount of vacation earned is based on the hours in pay status, exclusive of overtime, and the number of service years with the state, regardless of continuity of employment. State employment is defined as receiving salary or wages for personal services rendered to the State of Illinois. Each employee who is non-exempt (paid on an hourly basis) and receives overtime compensation (if required to perform overtime) shall earn vacation according to the following schedule:

Years of Service

Accumulated Hours Per Hour of Pay Status (Excluding Overtime)

Vacation Days Per Year (Approximate)

0-3 3-6 6-9 9-14 14+

.0462 .0574 .0689 .0807 .0957

12 15 18 21 25

Each employee who is exempt (paid monthly with no overtime compensation) shall earn vacation at the rate shown on the following chart:

Years of Service

Accumulated Hours Per Month of Pay Status

Vacation Days Per Year (Approximate)

0-3 3-6 6-9 9+

15.6 16.3 16.9 17.5

25 26 27 28


An employee may accumulate an amount of leave equal to that earned in two service years, but upon reaching this accumulation, will cease to earn any additional vacation except as the accumulation is reduced. All vacation leaves are scheduled by the department head with regard for the operating needs of the university. In the event of an emergency situation where the need for vacation is accompanied by factors beyond the control of the employee and arising too suddenly to permit advance approval, the employee may be granted post-approval by the supervisor. In determining whether to give such approval, the supervisor will take into account staffing requirements needed to insure necessary continuity of operations. Upon termination of employment, the employee will be paid for any accumulated vacation at the regular base rate of pay. The effective date of all terminations is the last actual work day and may not be extended by payment of vacation benefits.

(Employee Relations) Employees requesting time to vote in any national, state, or local election may be excused without pay for no more than two hours if the request is made to the supervisor at least one day before the election. This time off may be charged to the employee's accumulated vacation if the employee desires.

(Operating Staff Services) Some University operations are open and functional seven days a week, 365 days per year. Thus work schedules vary according to the department and employment areas. The basic work week is 37.5 hours, normally consisting of five consecutive 7.5-hour days, Monday through Sunday. A limited number of classifications have a work schedule of 40 hours a week, eight hours a day. The employing department may change work schedules from time to time to meet varying operating conditions of the programs of the University. In designated administrative, executive and professional classifications, it is understood that the scheduled work week is that amount of time required to complete the responsibilities of the position, but that the basic work week will generally be defined as 37.5 hours.

(Insurance and Employee Benefits) NIU is subject to the State of Illinois Worker's Compensation Act and Occupational Diseases Act. Compensable claims are those injuries that occur in the course of, during and arising out of a person's employment. However, failure to follow provisions of the Act may affect an employee's right to compensation or to reimbursement of incurred expenses.


In the event of a work-related injury or illness, the employee may seek medical attention. If the injury/illness is critical and any delay in reaching a hospital may cause irreparable damage or endanger life, the employee's supervisor or equally responsible person should call 911 for transportation. For non-critical injury/illness, the employee may seek treatment at the University Health Service, or a medical facility of the employee's choice. The injured employee must contact his or her supervisor immediately and then report the incident to the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office. The employee must complete and sign the Employee's Notice of Injury form. This notice must be completed within 45 days of the accident or the State of Illinois may deny compensability. It is the employee's responsibility to notify the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office of any days the employee was absent from work as a result of injury/illness. The employee must obtain a physician's statement verifying inability to work. A fitness for duty evaluation is required at the University Health Service. Note: If restricted or modified duties are dictated by a physician, the employee must contact the Insurance and Employees Benefits Office immediately.


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