Personnel and Employment Part 6
Policies Personnel and Employment Part 6
While the CVCC’s goal is to consider reasonable alternatives to reduction-in-force, the occasion may arise when such reduction is necessary. The purposes of this policy are (1) to establish the procedure for determining when a reduction-in-force is appropriate and necessary and (2) to establish fair and equitable criteria and procedures for reduction-in-force. If the Board of Trustees determines that there is a necessity for a reduction in force because of financial exigency, decline or change in student composition or enrollment, program change, or other valid reasons which will result in termination of any employee(s), the following procedure shall be followed. A definition of terms is listed at the end of this policy.
The President shall determine the employment categories in which reductions shall take place, the number of reductions within affected categories, and the particular employees to be terminated. In selecting which employees within particular employment categories are to be terminated, the President shall give primary consideration to the maintenance of a sound and balanced educational program that is consistent with the mission of CVCC. Secondary consideration will be given to the following, and will only be taken into account in the event a decision cannot be made based on the primary considerations:
- Degrees held
- Years of Experience
- Services Performed
- Length of Service
Notice to the Employee
Notice of reduction in force termination shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the employee to be terminated. The notice shall include a statement of condition requiring termination of employment, date of the termination and other pertinent data. The employee’s address, as it appears on the college’s records, shall be deemed to be the correct address. It shall be the employee’s responsibility to see that the college has his/her current address on file.
An employee shall be given not less than 30 calendar days notice before the termination becomes effective, unless the reason is financial exigency. When termination is based on financial exigency, the college shall make every reasonable effort, consistent with the need to maintain sound educational programs and within the limit of available resources, to give as much notice as is possible under the circumstances of the financial exigency.
Appeal of Individual RIF Terminations
Within ten (10) days after receiving a notice of termination, an employee may appeal the action to the Board of Trustees. Appeals may be made solely to determine whether the decision to terminate was arbitrary or capricious with respect to that individual. Appeals under this policy shall be limited to matters involving termination of employment and shall not apply to reductions in employment length. An appeal of a reduction in force decision must be in writing and addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, with a copy to the college President. The appeal must specify the grounds on which it is contended, that the decision was arbitrary or capricious, and must include a short, simple statement of facts that the employee believes supports the contention.
The appeal hearing shall, if possible, be conducted prior to termination of employment. The Board of Trustees may hear the case or direct a committee designated by the Board to conduct a hearing of the facts and issues. The hearing shall include only members of the Board of Trustees, the employee, the President and such witnesses as may be called in attendance, except that the employee and the President may each be accompanied by a person who may give counsel. The cost of a transcript, if desired, shall be borne by the party making the request. The burden is on the employee to prove to the Board, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the decision to terminate was arbitrary or capricious. A board member who has a significant conflict of interest shall disqualify himself/herself or be excused by the Board’s adoption of a motion to disqualify himself/herself. An appointed committee shall report its findings to the Board with recommendations. The Board at its next meeting, or as soon as possible thereafter, shall consider the report and modify, alter, set aside or affirm said report and certify its findings to the President, which shall be binding. Such a determination finally concludes the appeal. If the Board determines that the employee’s contention has been established, it shall direct the President to so notify the employee by a written notice and to state what corrective action will be taken.
Obligations with Respect to Re-employment or Other Employment
For one year after the effective date of a termination pursuant to a RIF, the Board shall not fill the position of an employee whose employment has been terminated, without first offering the position to the person whose employment was terminated. If there are several former employees who are qualified for a position that is now available, the President shall, acting on the recommendation of an interview committee, select that person who he/she considers will best fill the position. The offer of re-employment shall be made by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and the employee must accept in writing within five (5) calendar days from receipt of the offer. His/her failure to do so eliminates all re-employment rights of the employee.
An employee who is re-employed within one year shall have restored to him/her all of the sick leave he/she had accrued on the effective date of the termination.
When requested by the person whose employment has been terminated, CVCC shall give reasonable assistance in finding other employment.
Exclusive Reduction-in-Force Procedure
This procedure is the only procedure that applies to a reduction-in-force. Procedures for discharge, non-reappointment, and grievances are not applicable for a reduction-in-force. Similarly, no other personnel action other than a reduction in force may be considered under this reduction in force procedure.
Definition of Terms for RIF Policy
Day – the college working days, except where calendar days are specified.
Degrees Held – the achievement of educational degree(s) from a recognized college or university which is (are) directly related to the needs of the college.
Employee – any person employed by the college by letter of employment.
Financial Exigency – any significant decline in the Board of Trustee’s financial resources that compel a reduction in the college’s current operations budget.
Length of Service – Years of employment with Catawba Valley Community College for those with an instructional assignment, a nine month letter of employment will constitute one year of service.
Performance – the appraisal of work quality and effectiveness by the employee’s appropriate superiors.
Productivity – the numbers of student served and /or student credit hours generated or the quantity/volume of services produced by an employee.
Program Change – any elimination, curtailment, or reorganization of a curriculum offering, program, or college operation.
Services Performed – the scope and magnitude of activities performed and /or directed by and employee, but not limited to classroom teaching, which are utilized by the college.
Skills – the areas of expertise in which an employee has been trained and the degree to which these areas have been developed by an employee and which are of benefit to the college.
Termination – the cessation of employment before the end of an employment period. The non-reappointment of an employee on a specified term appointment is not a termination, and no objection to the non-reappointment may be filed with this procedure.
Training – instruction not normally leading to an academic degree, which is related to need of the college.
Years of Experience – total years of work experience related to an employee’s current position, regardless of location. For those employed with a teaching assignment, nine month contracts will constitute one year of service.
The privacy of employee personnel records is maintained in accordance with Chapter 115D Article 2A North Carolina General Statutes. Requests to inspect personnel records must be submitted to the CVCC Personnel Office. In order to ensure the safekeeping of personnel records, the CVCC Personnel Office may require inspections, examinations, and any copying to occur under the supervision of or in the presence of a designated CVCC personnel records custodian.
Inspection and Copying of Public Records
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute G.S. § 115D-28, the College will maintain, and upon request, during regular business hours, provide access for inspection and/or copying to North Carolina citizens certain documents identified in the statute.
Questions concerning personnel file inspection and copying should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources.
The purpose of this procedure is to establish uniform procedures for handling requests under amended North Carolina General Statute G.S. § 115D-28 “Certain Records to Be Kept by State Agencies Open to Inspection.”
Records to Maintain - To the extent applicable, the College will maintain a record of each of its employees, showing the following information with respect to each employee:
Contractual terms, if any, including former contracts still in the College’s possession.
Original hire date or appointment.
Date and amount of each increase or salary.
Date and type of each promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position or classification
Date and general description of the reasons for each promotion.
Date and type of each dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons taken by the College. If disciplinary action resulted in dismissal, any written notice of the final decision by the College’s Board of Trustees if applicable.
The office or campus to which the employee is currently assigned.
Confidential Personnel Records - Those records not listed above.
Records Open to Inspection - Records identified as “Records to maintain.”
Salary - Includes pay, benefits, incentives, bonuses, and deferred and all other forms of compensation paid by the employing entity.
Process for Inspection of Records Open to Inspection
Except for confidential personnel records, “records open to inspection,” as identified in this policy, will be open for inspection by citizens of North Carolina in the College’s Human Resources office during regular business hours.
Persons requesting to inspect personnel records must present a photo identification showing proof of North Carolina citizenship and complete a “Public Records Inspect/Copy Request Form.”
Employees will be notified if their records have been requested for inspection, and of any documents inspected, or copied and produced.
Request to inspect records must be for a specific record. The College is not required to create records or compile information otherwise not required within G.S. 115D-28. If the record is unavailable for some reason, i.e., filed in the archives, being used for official business, etc., then the person requesting the record will be advised when to return to inspect the record. All efforts will be made to provide the record(s) within five business days.
Custody of College records is not to be relinquished. The person requesting to inspect the record must do so in the presence of a Human Resources Department employee, or appropriate designee. If it is not convenient for the record to be shown to the person because of present work requirements, then the person requesting to inspect the records will be advised when to return to inspect the records. All efforts will be made to make the record(s) available within a reasonable period of time.
Copying of Public Records
Upon request, the College will provide, at the requestor's expense, copies of public records. The price includes administrative and actual copying costs.
Records will not be relinquished for copying.
Requesting party must complete a “Public Records Inspect/Copy Request Form” indicating the copies requested.
The requesting party is to be advised that payment for copies must be made at the Business Office when the copies are ready and available for pickup. The requesting party must then present proof of payment to the Human Resources Department, prior to receiving the requested copies.
If it is not immediately convenient for the Human Resources Department to make the copies, the person requesting copies will be advised that the copies will be made and that he/she will be notified when the copies are available. All efforts will be made to make the copies within five business days.
Public Records Inspect/Copy Request Form
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute G.S. § 115D-28, the College will maintain, and upon request, during regular business hours, provide access for inspection and/or copying to North Carolina citizens certain documents identified in the statute. Persons requesting inspection and copying of allowed records must fully complete and submit the Public Records Inspect/Copy Request Form (available in the CVCC Personnel Office upon request) to the Director of Human Resources. The form will then be presented to the President’s office for notification and review.
Catawba Valley Community College (the “College”) is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for its students, staff, college visitors, and constituents, as well as a setting in which the College’s assets are protected. To that end, it is the policy of the College that employment offers (regardless of status as full or part-time, temporary, Faculty, or Non-Faculty) are subject to the College’s receipt of a satisfactory background check in order to facilitate informed hiring decisions.
Types of Background Checks Obtained
The College will obtain background checks on applicants/employees/volunteers/students as set forth below from a third party vendor called the Consumer Reporting Agency (“CRA”). These background checks will be for employment, volunteer opportunities, and required curriculum purposes only and will consist of reports, in part, verifying information provided by the individual, such as name, aliases, current and former addresses, social security number, telephone numbers, etc. The background checks also provide information pertaining to an individual’s criminal convictions at the felony and misdemeanor levels, as well as driving records, as appropriate and in accordance with the law
It is impossible to establish specific rules that account for all of the potential information that may surface from a background check. However, the following guidelines will provide administration with principles for exercising appropriate discretion in administering the College’s background policy in a consistent, lawful, and even-handed manner.
False or Misleading Information
Applicants/employees/volunteers/students must provide accurate information on their employment applications and during the employment process. Applicants who provide false or misleading information will not be considered for employment or, if hired, will be disciplined, up to and including termination, upon the discovery of the false or misleading information. Employees who provide false or misleading information or attempt to bypass the process will be disciplined, up to and including termination, upon the discovery of the false or misleading information. Volunteers/students who provide false or misleading information will immediately forfeit their opportunity with the College and will be barred from future opportunities. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Applicant states on the employment application that he or she has not been convicted of a felony within the past seven years, yet the background check confirms such a conviction.
- Applicant/employee/volunteer provides a social security number that the background check reveals to be nonexistent or that cannot be verified as belonging to the applicant.
Applicant/employee/volunteer provides false credentials or qualifications.
Although a disqualification is possible, a previous conviction does not automatically disqualify an applicant from consideration for employment with the College and will not be used to discriminate on any basis prohibited by law or by College polices. The College will consider factors such as job responsibilities and nature of the job held or sought, nature and seriousness of the offense or conduct, age at the time of the offense or release from prison, circumstances surrounding the conduct, the time that has passed since the offense, conduct and/or completion of the sentence, any information produced regarding rehabilitation or good conduct to determine if the candidate may still be eligible for employment with the College, and any other factors that assist the College in evaluating a candidate’s suitability for a given position. However, generally, the College declines to select individuals whose criminal conviction histories indicate dishonesty, unreliability, or a potential for violence or sexual misconduct though every effort will be made to examine whether a specific conviction is relevant to concerns about risks in the position at issue. CVCC does not have blanket exclusions on particular convictions but, by way of example only, the following is a list of potentially disqualifying criminal convictions:
Child Abuse/Molestation/Child Endangerment.
The College requires that applicants/employees applying, or working in positions in which operating a motor vehicle is within the scope of the duties or responsibilities must have valid driver’s licenses. For safety purposes, the College may disqualify applicants/employees whose driving records indicate an inclination toward unsafe driving practices. The traffic violations that may disqualify applicants from employment include, but are not limited to:
Driving under the influence (“DUI”) or driving while impaired (“DWI”).
Negligent or reckless driving.
Excessive citations for speeding or other moving violations.
In order to ensure consistent application of this policy, the Department of Human Resources (“DHR”) will procure background reports in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and any other pertinent laws.
Once a contingent offer of employment is made, the candidate will be provided with the Disclosure for Background Check and the Background Check Authorization forms. The Background Check Authorization form should be returned directly to the Human Resources Office. A signed Background Check Authorization Form must be obtained before the background report is initiated. The DHR or designee submits an online request to the CRA.
- If no criminal convictions are located, the DHR or designee will notify the Hiring Manager to proceed with the hiring process.
- If a potentially disqualifying conviction is located, the Director of HR, or designee, will discuss the background report with the Vice President of the job posting’s home division or specified designee. To ensure that false or erroneous information has not been transmitted in the background report, and to comply with the FCRA, the following measures shall be taken:
If CVCC is contemplating withdrawing an offer based on information contained in the background report, the candidate will be so informed in writing pursuant to the FCRA’s requirements. The candidate will be provided with a copy of the background report, a copy of candidate’s rights under the FCRA, a pre-adverse action notice, and an invitation to provide more information about the conviction and rehabilitation efforts via certified mail.
- The candidate/employee will be given an opportunity to address the concerns/issues revealed in the background report. The Director of HR will wait five (5) business days from the date the pre-adverse action notice is delivered before making an employment decision.
- Before making an employment decision, if a candidate has a potentially disqualifying conviction, the Director of HR or designee will complete the Criminal Background Check Assessment Form. In completing this form, the Director of HR or designee will review the background check, any additional information provided by the candidate, and a copy of the job description for the position at issue and make a determination as to whether the candidate is eligible for employment, to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Vice President, with notification provided to the President of the College.
- If it is determined that a candidate will not be further considered based upon information revealed in a background report, the Search Committee and/or decision maker may select another candidate for an on-campus interview. The Director of HR or designee will then notify the candidate that offer of employment has been withdrawn. This notification must be sent certified mail, and contain the following information:.
- A statement that the adverse action is based either in whole or part on information contained in the background report provided by the CRA;
- Name, address, and toll-free telephone number of the CRA that provided the report;
- A statement that the CRA did not make the adverse decision and is unable to give specific reasons why the adverse decision was made;
- Notice of the candidate’s right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the provided information; and
- Notice of the candidate’s right to another free consumer report if requested within 60 days.
Candidates applying to vacancies posted on or after March 1, 2011, will have a criminal background check completed prior to beginning employment. This policy applies to all vacant positions of all employment categories. No applicant may commence employment with the College unless and until either (1) the background check process has been completed or (2) in limited and extreme need situations, if approved in advance by the Vice President of the appropriate division.
In the limited situation where an exception is made, the offer of employment is contingent upon receipt of a satisfactory background check. However, in no circumstance will an exception be made for applicants being considered to work with, in close proximity to, or to provide instruction to minor students or children under the age of 18 including, but not limited to, applicants seeking or being considered for a position in Challenger High, and any of the four school systems partnered with the College: Hickory City, Catawba County, Newton-Conover, and Alexander County.
Applicants are subject to a processing fee for procurement of the background report and must remit payment of the fee prior to the College procuring the background report. Applicants refusing to pay the processing fee or provide their consent and authorization to a background check will be considered to have withdrawn their application at the College.
All full-time faculty and/or staff continuously employed by the College prior to March 1, 2011 will be subject to a background check. No current full time employees (Faculty or Staff) subject to this policy may be reassigned or promoted within the College unless and until either: (1) the background check process has been completed, or (2) in limited and extreme need situations, if approved in advance by the Vice President of the appropriate division. Exceptions:
- In no circumstance will an exception be made for current employees (full-time, part-time or temporary) being considered for reassignment, promotion, or transfer to work with, in close proximity to, or to provide instruction to minor students or children under the age of 18 including, but not limited to, employees seeking or being considered for a position in Challenger High, and any of the four school systems partnered with the College: Hickory City, Catawba County, Newton-Conover, and Alexander County.
- No current part-time, temporary, or student employee who was either granted an exemption or was grandfathered in may be reassigned or promoted with in the college until the background process has been completed.
- Faculty and/or staff members who maintain a continuous employment relationship (as defined as lacking any formal legal separation) with the College for any two (2) year period from the date of their last background check will not be subject to additional background check during that two (2) year period.
- Current, full-time employees are not subject to a processing fee for procurement of the background report.
No volunteer may commence employment with the College unless and until the background check process has been completed. Volunteers are subject to a processing fee for procurement of the background report and must remit payment of the fee prior to the College procuring the background report. Volunteers refusing to pay the processing fee or provide their consent and authorization to a background check will be considered to have withdrawn their opportunity to volunteer at the College.
Students applying for work with the College or required as part of their educational curriculum to work with, in close proximity to, or to provide instruction to minor students or children under the age of 18 including, but not limited to, Challenger High, and any of the four school systems partnered with the College: Hickory City, Catawba County, Newton-Conover, and Alexander County, are subject to a background check. Students are subject to a processing fee for procurement of the background report and must remit payment of the fee prior to the College procuring the background report. Students refusing to pay the processing fee or provide their consent and authorization to a background check will be considered to have withdrawn their opportunity to work at the College.
In certain instances where an applicant’s employment at the college is contingent upon their continued current full-time employment with an external health or public safety (HPS) agency that requires a clean criminal background check as a condition of employment (Examples include, but may not be limited to, EMS, Fire Protection, BLET, and certain healthcare workers in clinical settings), the requirement for a background check may be waived.
Verification of an applicant’s full-time employment with an external health or public safety (HPS) agency must be verified prior to their first day of employment with CVCC. If such an employee terminates employment with the external HPS agency, their employment at CVCC will be suspended until a criminal background check is completed. An employee who has been exempted from background check is responsible for notifying their immediate supervisor and the Human Resources Office immediately if their employment with an outside agency has been terminated. Failure to do so may be grounds for termination from their employment with CVCC.
It is important to note that CVCC does not accept background checks from other employers or agencies. The above listing is finite and applies only to specific and limited circumstances.
The death of any member of the College, or a member of their family, can profoundly affect many members of the CVCC community. The CVCC Notification of Loss of an Employees Family Member policy is concerned with the processes CVCC will undertake to ensure information is disseminated and proper consideration and support is provided to the employee affected.
At the request of the CVCC employee affected by a loss of a family member, Human Resources will notify employees, through the distribution of an email, of the loss. Human Resources can only discuss the loss with the CVCC employee and only release information authorized by the CVCC employee.
Upon employee notification to Human Resources of the passing of a family member, Human Resources will prepare an Employee Notification of Loss communication which may include (1) the employee's name, (2) the name/relationship of the deceased, (3) date of loss, (4) funeral/memorial arrangements (5) additional information deemed appropriate by the employee and Human Resources for the specific situation.
The Employee Notification of Loss will be communicated through CVCC’s email system.
Questions in regard to this policy should be directed to the Human Resources Department.
CVCC maintains Finance/Human Resources records in accordance with North Carolina General Statues 121-5(c) and 132-8. Destruction of public records and records retention schedules are administered by CVCC Human Resources Office with consent provided through Retention Schedules provided by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), the Division of Archives and Records, and the North Carolina Community College System.