Employment Policy for Employees Exempt from the State Human Resources Act
|Title||Employment Policy for Employees Exempt from the State Human Resources Act|
|Sub-category||Conditions of Employment|
|Authority||Board of Trustees|
Chancellor: October 12, 2005; Board of Trustees: December 16, 2005; Amended: January 1, 2009; Revised December 2, 2013; Board of Trustees: January 13, 2014; Revised July 2014; Board of Trustees: September 19, 2014; Revised July 29, 2016; Revised February 16, 2018.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, (252) 328-9882
1. Scope and Applicability of Employment Covered by These Employment Policies (“Policies” or the “Employment Policies”)
1.1. Scope of Category
Employment positions within East Carolina University that are covered by these Policies (hereinafter "covered positions") are those positions that are not subject to most provisions of the State Human Resources Act (General Statutes Chapter 126).These Policies are adopted by the East Carolina University (hereinafter referred to as “ECU”) Board of Trustees pursuant to policies entitled “Senior Academic and Administrative Officers” (The UNC Policy Manual 300.1.1) and “Employees Exempt from the State Human Resources Act” (The UNC Policy Manual 300.2.1) adopted by the University of North Carolina (hereafter referred to as “UNC”) Board of Governors.If there is any discrepancy between provisions of these Policies and UNC policies, as originally adopted or periodically revised, UNC policies supersede.
1.1.1. The following positions are covered by these Policies except as otherwise stated herein:
126.96.36.199. Senior Academic and Administrative Officers (“SAAO”) (as defined in Section I.B. and governed by Section III of The UNC Policy Manual 300.1.1, “Senior Academic and Administrative Officers”) in the following positions: associate and assistant vice chancellors; associate and assistant deans; and other administrative positions within the University that have been approved by the Board of Governors or President as Tier II positions.
188.8.131.52. Positions within the “instructional and research staff” category under G.S. 126-5 and subject to UNC Policy 300.2.1, “Employees Exempt from the Human Resources Act” that have been designated and approved by either UNC General Administration or East Carolina University (“Instructional, Research, and Information Technology" or "IRIT").
184.108.40.206. Student Health Services Staff Physicians without faculty appointments.
1.1.2. The following positions are otherwise categorized and are not covered by this policy:
220.127.116.11. All faculty positions subject to the ECU Faculty Manual
18.104.22.168. Tier I Positions within Senior Academic and Administrative Officers (as defined in Section I.A. of The UNC Policy Manual 300.1.l, “Senior Academic and Administrative Officers”) category of employment subject to G.S. 116-11(4), G.S. 116-11(5), or G.S. 116-14
22.214.171.124. Positions within the "physicians or dentists" category under G.S. §126-5 with faculty appointments
126.96.36.199. University students who are employed incident to their status as students, as in graduate teaching assistantships or work-study positions
1.2. Applicability of Policies
Except as otherwise stated, these policies apply to all permanent covered positions.
The Chancellor shall be responsible for the implementation of these Policies and may delegate his or her authority to other identified officers of East Carolina University as he or she deems appropriate.
2. Appointments to Covered Positions
2.1. Every appointment to a covered position within East Carolina University shall be made by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee, by means of a letter of appointment that fulfills the requirements of this section.
2.2. Letters of appointment
Every letter of appointment to a covered position shall include the following:
2.2.1. The title of the position;
2.2.2. The initial salary;
2.2.3. Provision for periodic review of compensation (subject to any compensation policies adopted by the Board of Governors or the Board of Trustees);
2.2.4. Provisions consistent with Sections 2.3. and 2.4.2., below, if contingencies based on availability of funding are applicable;
2.2.5. The annual leave entitlement of the employee;
2.2.6. SAAO Tier II Positions.Notice that the employment conferred is “employment at will” and subject to continuation or discontinuation at the discretion of the Chancellor (contract or letter of appointment of the Director of Athletics may be for a term of years and are governed by The UNC Policy Manual 1100.3);
IRIT Positions. Notice that the employment conferred is either for a stated definite term or “employment at will” subject to continuation or discontinuation at the discretion of the Chancellor;
Student Health Services Staff Physicians without faculty appointments. Notice that the employment conferred is either for a stated definite term or “employment at will” subject to continuation or discontinuation at the discretion of the Chancellor
2.2.7. Notice that the employment is subject to these Policies, as originally adopted and as they may be periodically revised;
2.2.8. A copy of these Policies shall be attached to all letters of appointment.
2.2.9. The anti-fraudulent statement as adopted by the UNC Board of Governors and as stated in The UNC Policy Manual 300.2.3[R], “Regulations Governing Fraudulent Job Applications”(The anti-fraud statement is included on the Candidate Profile for all EHRA applicants rather than in the appointment letter.);
2.2.10. Notice that the appointment is contingent on the successful completion of a criminal background check;
2.2.11. SAAO Tier II (as defined in Section I.B. and governed by Section III of the The UNC Policy Manual 300.1.1, “Senior Academic and Administrative Officers”) only: notice that employment is subject to “East Carolina University Policy on Administrative Separation and/or Retreat to a Faculty Position”; a copy of this policy shall be attached to the letter of appointment;
2.2.12. Notice of the University’s Regulation on Conflicts of Interest, Commitment, and External Professional Activities for Pay;
2.3. Source of Funding
When a covered position is funded in whole or substantial part from sources other than continuing state budget funds or permanent trust accounts, the letter of appointment shall state that continuation of the employee's service in that position is contingent upon the continuing availability of funds from such other sources to support that position, shall specify the source of such funds, and shall state that the effect of such contingency may apply without the additional notice otherwise required by Sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3; provided, that the affected employee shall be informed at the earliest possible practicable date of the occurrence of such a funding contingency.
2.4. Multiple Appointment Relationships
2.4.1. When an employee is to serve simultaneously in both a covered position and a position of University employment not covered by this policy, with the result that two different prescriptions may appear to obtain with respect to a particular condition of employment or a right or responsibility of the employee, one position shall be designated in writing as the base position to determine the conditions of employment and the rights and responsibilities of the employee. If appointment to a covered position occurs subsequent to an appointment to a position not covered by this policy, the letter of appointment to the covered position shall embody the required designation of base employment; conversely, if appointment to a covered position precedes appointment to the other category of University employment, the letter of appointment or contract establishing the second employment shall embody the required designation of base employment. In either case, the designation of base employment shall specifically describe the different rights, duties, and compensation for each position and the relationship, if any, between the two positions.
2.4.2. Any funding contingency of the type referred to in Section 2.3 shall be set forth separately for the covered position and for the other position, since the operation of any such contingencies may be independent.
2.4.3. When an appointment to a covered position also includes a faculty appointment that is intended to be nominal or honorary, or to create a faculty affiliation not entailing significant duties or compensation, the term "adjunct", or similar nomenclature, shall be used to identify the faculty appointment. Such nominal or honorary (courtesy) faculty appointments do not confer any right or privileges for promotion and/or tenure.
3. Evaluation of Performance
Any employee in a position covered by these Policies shall receive an annual written review using an evaluation instrument approved by the appropriate vice chancellor, athletics director or equivalent officer, and which comports with the requirements of The UNC Policy Manual 300.2.18[R]. The written evaluation will be discussed with the employee before being placed in the personnel file.The employee should sign the evaluation instrument to indicate that the evaluation has been provided and discussed. An employee’s signature does not imply agreement with the evaluation.
4. Discontinuations of Employment in Covered Positions
4.1 Discontinuation of Appointment with Notice or Severance Pay
Employment within a covered position that is established by the letter of appointment to be an employment at will is subject to discontinuation at any time at the discretion of the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee; provided, that such a discontinuation (as distinguished from discharge for cause, Section 4.4) shall be subject to advance timely notice of discontinuation or the payment of severance pay, in calendar days, as follows:
4.1.1. During the first year of service, not less than 30 days prior to discontinuation of employment or the payment of severance pay for 30 days;
4.1.2. During the second and third years of service, not less than 60 days’ notice prior to discontinuation of employment or the payment of severance pay for 60 days; and
4.1.3. During the fourth and all subsequent years of continuous service, not less than 90 days’ notice prior to discontinuation of employment or the payment of severance pay for 90 days.
The Chancellor or designee may provide the employee with a combination of notice and severance pay that totals the required number of days.The determination of whether the employee shall receive notice of discontinuation of the appointment or severance pay or a combination of the two, shall be in the sole discretion of the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. No provision of these Policies shall be interpreted to extend an employee's right to pay beyond the expiration of the term of notice or the term of severance pay while an appeal is pending under these Policies. Additionally, nothing in this section precludes off-campus work assignments during the notice period when determined to be in the best interests of the University and adequate oversight of the work performed is provided. Any such arrangement is exclusively at the discretion of the University and must be approved by the Chancellor or designee.
4.2. Expiration of Term Appointment
4.2.1. Senior Academic and Administrative Officers. Employment within an SAAO position covered by these Policies that is established by a letter of appointment dated prior to December 1, 2004, to be for a stated definite term, expires automatically at the conclusion of the stated term; however, such an appointment may be renewed at the option of the employer on an employment at will basis, by a new letter of appointment satisfying the requirements of Section 2., above.
4.2.2. IRIT. Employment within a covered position that is established by the letter of appointment to be for a stated definite term expires automatically at the conclusion of the stated term; such an appointment may be renewed at the option of the employer, by a new letter of appointment satisfying the requirements of Section 2., above.
If the employer intends not to renew the employment, the following pertains:
188.8.131.52. To an employee with a term of one year or less, no notice of intent not to renew shall be required;
184.108.40.206. To an employee with a term of more than one year but less than four years, notice of intent not to renew shall be transmitted in writing at least 60 calendar days prior to the expiration date of the term; or
220.127.116.11. To an employee with a term of four years or more, notice of intent not to renew shall be transmitted in writing at least 90 days prior to the expiration date of the term.
Failure to provide written notice as required in subsections 18.104.22.168. and 22.214.171.124. shall result in the automatic extension of employment for a period, respectively, of either 60 days or 90 calendar days, beyond the scheduled expiration date of the term.
4.3. Termination of Employment Due to Financial Exigency, Program Curtailment, or Program Elimination
Employment within a covered position that is established by the letter of appointment to be for a stated definite term may be terminated prior to expiration of the stated term because of:
4.3.1. Demonstrable, bona fide, institutional financial exigency; or
4.3.2. Major curtailment or elimination of program.
"Financial exigency" is defined to mean a significant decline in financial resources of the University that compels a reduction in the University’s budget. The determination of whether a condition of financial exigency exists or whether there will be a major curtailment or an elimination of a program shall be made by the Chancellor, with advance notice to and approval by the President and the Board of Governors. If the financial exigency or curtailment or elimination of a program is such that the contractual obligation to an employee within a covered position cannot be met, the employment of the individual may be terminated, subject to the following notice requirements in calendar days:
126.96.36.199. During the first year of service, not less than 30 calendar days’ notice prior to termination;
188.8.131.52. During the second and third years of employment, not less than 60 calendar days’ notice prior to termination;
184.108.40.206. During the fourth and all subsequent years of service, not less than 90 calendar days’ notice prior to termination.
4.4. Discharge for Cause
Any employee occupying a covered position may be discharged for stated cause. Discharge for cause is to be distinguished from Discontinuation of Appointment with Notice or Severance Pay (Section 4.1.), Expiration of Term Appointment (Section 4.2.), or Termination of Employment Due to Financial Exigency, Program Curtailment, or Program Elimination (Section 4.3.). Stated causes for discharge shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, incompetence, unsatisfactory performance, neglect of duty, or misconduct that interferes with the capacity of the employee to perform effectively the requirements of his or her employment. Discharge for cause is to be preceded by written notice of intent to discharge and is subject to invocation by the affected employee of the review procedures of Section 5. of these Policies. When an employee occupying a covered position has been notified of the intention to discharge him or her for cause, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee may suspend the employment at any time and continue the suspension until the Chancellor or designee makes a decision concerning discharge; such suspension during this time period shall be with full pay. As of the effective date of the discharge, any suspension with pay, if previously invoked, shall cease and the covered employee’s appointment with the University shall end without regard to whether the employee chooses to pursue further appeals. No provision of these Policies shall be interpreted to extend an employee's right to pay beyond the date of a decision concerning discharge, without regard to whether an appeal is pending under these Policies. Upon discharge for cause, the employee shall have available rights of appeal as required under Section 611 of The UNC Code and as provided by Sections 5., 6. and 7. of these Employment Policies.
The University is committed to fair and equitable treatment for all employees. Therefore, the University shall establish separate EHRA Non-Faculty Regulations for employees covered under these Employment Policies in conformance with the policies of The University of North Carolina. The Chancellor has the authority to issue and shall be responsible for approving and implementing regulations or standard operating practices necessary to carry out the requirements of these Employment Policies. However, requests for review concerning Discontinuations of Appointment with Notice or Severance Pay (Section 4.1.); or Expiration of Term Appointment (Section 4.2.); or Termination of Employment Due to Financial Exigency, Program Curtailment, or Program Elimination (Section 4.3.), of these Employment Policies may be brought only upon allegations of violations of applicable notice requirements or violations of any provision of Section 6. or 7. of these Employment Policies.
6. Equal Employment Opportunity
It is the policy and intention of East Carolina University that there be equal employment opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination in all employment within East Carolina University as set in Section 103 of The UNC Code and the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. Employment in covered positions shall be conducted in accordance with all provisions of state or federal law or regulations prohibiting any such discrimination, and in accordance with applicable affirmative action plans.
7. Protected Activity
Employment in covered positions shall not be adversely affected by the exercise of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by Article I of the North Carolina Constitution; provided, that employees in covered positions shall be subject to any limitations on political activity established by Article 5 of N.C. Gen. Stat., Chapter 126. The Board of Governors' policies concerning political activity, The UNC Policy Manual 300.5.1., et seq., as they may be revised from time to time, shall apply to positions covered by those policies.
8. Holiday and Leave Entitlement
Employees in positions covered by these regulations shall be subject to the same State- prescribed holidays given ECU employees subject to the State Human Resources Act.
8.2. Annual Leave (Effective July 1, 2001)
8.2.1. Basic Leave Policy
The amount of annual leave to which a permanent full-time employee (1.00 FTE) in a position covered by these Policies shall be entitled to accrue is 24 workdays per year. Annual leave is accrued at a monthly rate and is adjusted proportionately for permanent part-time employees who work halftime or more (.50 - .99 FTE). The monthly earnings amount is equal to one-twelfth of the annual rate for each month the employee works or is on approved leave with pay. Monthly leave is earned when an employee works or is on approved leave with pay at least half the working days of a month. The scheduling of an employee’s annual leave shall be subject to the approval of the employee’s supervisor. With respect to an incumbent employee who is earning more than 24 days per year as of the date this policy becomes effective, such employee shall be entitled to continue to earn leave at their current rate.
The maximum number of unused days of annual leave that may be accrued and carried forward from one year (calendar year = January - December) to the next shall be 30 workdays. Annual leave in excess of 30 days will be automatically converted to sick leave at the end of the calendar year.
8.2.2. Transfer of Accrued Annual Leave
Upon separation of employment from the employing institution, the employee may either elect a payout of accrued annual leave [Section 8.2.4., below] or transfer the remaining balance of any unused annual leave to another State or local governmental agency, subject to the receiving agency’s approval.
Upon appointment to ECU, an employee may request to transfer the remaining balance of any unused annual leave, subject to a maximum of 30 days, from another UNC constituent institution or State or local governmental agency. The approval of the request to transfer leave is subject to the employing department's acceptance of the fiscal responsibility.
8.2.3. Advancement of Annual Leave
Subject to the approval by the employee’s supervisor, an employee may be advanced the amount of leave that can be accrued during the remainder of the calendar year. If an employee separates from the University and has taken more annual leave than has been accrued, the University will determine the amount of leave that the employee must repay to the University and make deductions from the employee’s final salary check accordingly.
8.2.4. Payout of Accrued Annual Leave
An employee in a covered position who has accrued unused annual leave upon separation from employment with the University and who either does not elect or is not eligible to transfer such accrued leave to another State or local governmental agency, shall be paid for such unused annual leave. The amount paid to an employee who has been employed an aggregate of 24 months or less by one or more State or local governmental agencies is equal to one day for each month worked less the number of days of annual leave taken during the employment period. An employee who has been employed for more than 24 months shall be paid subject to a maximum of 30 such days. Employees in a covered position subject to these Policies who change employment status to a non-leave earning position not covered by these Policies shall receive a payout of accrued annual leave.
8.3. Sick Leave, Family and Medical Leave, Family Illness Leave Act, Civil Leave, Military Leave,Community Service Leave, and Special Annual Leave Bonus
Employees in positions covered by these Policies shall be subject to the same policies concerning sick leave, family and medical leave, family illness leave, civil leave, military leave, community service leave, and special annual bonus leave as may be prescribed for employees subject to the State Human Resources Act. With respect to sick leave, subject to approval by the employee’s supervisor, an employee may be advanced the amount of sick leave that can be accrued during the remainder of the calendar year.
8.4. Leave of Absence Without Pay
Employees in positions covered by these Policies may request leave of absence, without pay, subject to approval of such leave by the Chancellor or his or her designee.
8.5. Educational Entitlement
Employees in positions covered by these Policies may be offered the same educational entitlements as may be prescribed for other University employees subject to the State Human Resources Act, including tuition waivers and the Academic Assistance Program. Employees in covered positions are entitled to the same opportunities as other University employees to invoke the privilege of tuition waiver conferred by The UNC Policy Manual 1000.2.2.
8.6. Voluntary Shared Leave
Employees in positions covered by these Policies with appointments of three-quarter (.75 FTE) or more shall be subject to the same provisions concerning shared leave as are applicable to employees subject to the State Human Resources Act with the exception that the donation and acceptance of such leave shall be computed on the basis of days rather than hours.
9. Statutory and other Rules of Employment
9.1. Privacy of personnel records
Employees in covered positions enjoy the protections of and are subject to the provisions of Article 7 of § 126, entitled "The Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records."
9.2. Employment preference for veterans
Employees in covered positions enjoy the protections of and are subject to the provisions of G.S. § 128-15, which provide for preference in employment for veterans of United States military service and their spouses and widows or widowers.
9.3. Employment of related persons
Employees in covered positions are subject to the UNC policy concerning employment of related persons, The UNC Policy Manual 300.4.2, and ECU’s “Employment of Related Persons (Anti-Nepotism) Policy”, as each may be revised from time to time.
Employees in covered positions may retire in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 135 of the North Carolina General Statutes.