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Employment Policies and Procedures

This portion of the Employee Handbook summarizes the employment policies and procedures applicable to personnel at Boston College. For more detailed information on this subject, employees are advised to refer to the University's Policies and Procedures.

Supervisors and managers are expected to be familiar with the information presented in this handbook and to be able to respond accurately and impartially to questions regarding policies and procedures. Employees may also contact the Department of Human Resources for advice and for interpretation of the material presented here.

All employees are encouraged to refer to the Employee Handbook when seeking information about employment at Boston College.

Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action

(This section last updated online: April 26, 2012)

Notice of Nondiscrimination

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1863, Boston College is dedicated to intellectual excellence and to its Jesuit, Catholic heritage. Boston College recognizes the essential contribution a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff makes to the advancement of its goals and ideals in an atmosphere of respect for one another and for the University's mission and heritage. Accordingly, Boston College commits itself to maintaining a welcoming environment for all people and extends its welcome in particular to those who may be vulnerable to discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, age, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, military status, or other legally protected status.

Boston College rejects and condemns all forms of harassment, wrongful discrimination, and disrespect. It has developed procedures to respond to incidents of harassment whatever the basis or circumstance. Moreover, it is the policy of Boston College, while reserving its lawful rights where appropriate to take actions designed to promote the Jesuit, Catholic principles that sustain its mission and heritage, to comply with all state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and in its educational programs on the basis of a person's race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, age, marital or parental status, genetic information or family medical history, or military status, and to comply with state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation.

To this end, Boston College has designated its Executive Director for Institutional Diversity to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities to prevent discrimination in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and the ADA. Any applicant for admission or employment, and all students, faculty members, and employees, are welcome to raise any questions regarding this notice with the Executive Director for Institutional Diversity:

    Boston College Office for Institutional Diversity (OID)

    129 Lake Street

    Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

    Phone: 617-552-2323

    Email: diversity@bc.edu

The Executive Director for Institutional Diversity oversees the efforts of the following additional Title IX coordinators: (i) Student Affairs Title IX Coordinator (for student sexual harassment complaints), 260 Maloney Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, reachable at 617-552-3482 or (odair@bc.edu); (ii) University Harassment Counselor, reachable via OID (see above contact information); and (iii) Athletics Title IX Coordinator, the Senior Women's Administrator, 310 Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, reachable at 617-552-4801 or (jody.mooradian@bc.edu).

In addition, any person who believes that an act of unlawful discrimination has occurred at Boston College may raise this issue with the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education.

Affirmative Action Plan

Through its Affirmative Action Plan, Boston College affirms its commitment to the principles of affirmative action, non-discrimination, and equal employment opportunity. Described in the plan are specific and result-oriented measures designed to enhance the inclusion and representation of people of color (Blacks, Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives), women (including women of color), and persons with disabilities in the University's workforce. It is tailored to promote the full utilization of persons of color, women, and other protected groups at all levels and in all segments of its work force where deficiencies exist. It offers means for rectifying patterns of underrepresentation. The University's Affirmative Action Plan focuses on strategies and initiatives undertaken to achieve a more diversified workforce.

The Affirmative Action Plan elucidates policies, procedures, and safeguards designed to advance the aims of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action at the University. It covers all employee categories and facets of employment relationships including (but not limited to) recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, benefits, grievance procedures, and pay. The Plan further analyzes the distribution and representation of people of color and women, identifies problem areas, cites progress made toward the achievement of parity, and offers recommendations for achieving affirmative action goals.

The Affirmative Action Plan acknowledges and documents the University's sustained and continuing efforts toward providing equal employment opportunities and an environment free of discrimination. The Plan communicates the importance and significance of this agenda to each member of the University community and assures that each administrative officer understands her/his role and responsibilities in supporting its effective implementation.

Office for Institutional Diversity

The Office for Institutional Diversity coordinates the University's compliance efforts under the various federal equal-opportunity and affirmative action regulations in employment and education. The Office develops policy statements, provides regular reports on the University's progress and performance, identifies problem areas, and offers problem-solving assistance to management. It also monitors affirmative action implementation; serves as liaison with enforcement agencies; counsels employees; and conducts seminars, programs and activities that advance the participation of people of color, women, persons with disabilities, Vietnam-era and special disabled veterans, older workers, and others at the University. To achieve these ends, the Office for Institutional Diversity administrator maintains linkages with associations, organizations, and groups that advance the interests of protected groups.

The office also monitors and reports regularly on the University's progress in complying with federal anti-discrimination and affirmative action laws. Persons with questions about University equal opportunity and affirmative action policy, or about the various laws governing these matters, should contact this office. The Executive Director of the Office for Institutional Diversity encourages calls about potential or alleged acts of discrimination and harassment and is willing to provide advice and assistance, or to act as a neutral third party to help resolve disputes and conflicts related to such matters. The Office for Institutional Diversity is located at 129 Lake Street on the Brighton Campus.

Individuals with Disabilities

The University complies with overlapping federal requirements that extend civil-rights protection to persons with disabilities and prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, protects qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires affirmative action to employ, and advance in employment, qualified persons with disabilities who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, bars employment discrimination in any program or activity which receives federal financial assistance.

Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Vice President for Human Resources, an appropriate administrator, and/or the Executive Director of Office for Institutional Diversity.

Job Openings and Position Postings Bulletin

(This section last updated online: November 13, 2002)

A listing of current non-faculty job openings is available on the Human Resources website. The position postings allow the University to inform employees of openings that may afford them opportunities for advancement or transfer. Office/clerical/service positions are posted for at least two weeks, and professional/administrative positions appear for at least four weeks.

Inquiries about posted positions are strongly encouraged from qualified internal candidates, and interested parties should contact the Human Resources Department for further information and consideration. All internal inquiries will be treated confidentially.

University employees are also encouraged to refer external applicants for appropriate job openings.

Employment of Relatives

Employment of relatives is permitted, except in circumstances where an appointment would place related people in supervisory and subordinate roles within the same office or department, or in a situation where influence could be exerted, directly or indirectly, on future decisions concerning the status of employment, promotion, or compensation.

Employment of Students

Generally speaking, students are not eligible for hire into regular employee positions at Boston College. For complete information in this regard, refer to Employment Guidelines concerning "Students as Employees and Employees as Students."

Probationary Period

The first six months of employment for professional/administrative employees and the first four months for office/clerical and service employees are considered a probationary period. During this time, work performance is regularly monitored and assessed in order to determine whether or not continued employment status should be granted. A new employee who does not perform satisfactorily according to University standards and/or does not conform to the terms and conditions of employment at Boston College may be terminated after he/she has been given notice in writing. The section on Compensation and Salary Administration in this booklet provides further information relating to salary adjustments in connection with the probationary review process.

Hours of Work

Full-time professional/administrative positions are expected to carry a commitment of at least 35 hours a week; in many cases, however, additional hours may be necessary in order to satisfactorily fulfill the requirements of a job.

For office/clerical and service employees, most full-time positions entail a 35-hour work week, Monday through Friday. However, some positions involve a 37- or 40-hour week with varying schedules. In addition to one unpaid lunch break, office/clerical and service employees are entitled to a 15-minute break or rest period for each half day worked. Breaks must not be used for late arrival or early departure and must be scheduled by the supervisor.

The University will approve flexible work schedules that are consistent with the needs of the employee and, importantly, the needs of the work unit. Of course, every office or work unit has different time demands, and every position has unique responsibilities that may or may not be suitable for a flexible work schedule. As a result, the responsibility for recommending a flexible work schedule rests with the work unit manager for approval by the appropriate Vice President or Dean and the Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is available to assist employees, managers, or department heads with regard to particular flexible work schedule requests.

Break Times for Nursing Mothers

(This section last updated online: May 29, 2013)

Under a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers are required to provide reasonable break times for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to one year after the child’s birth.  Breaks are to be provided as frequently as needed by the nursing mother, recognizing that the frequency and duration of the breaks will vary.

Boston College will address this requirement on an ad hoc basis as requests arise and, when necessary, will strive to provide adequate, functional space to meet the nursing mother’s needs on a timely basis.  Employees who wish to request accommodation under this provision should contact the Employment Office in the Department of Human Resources.

Technically, this requirement applies only to employees who are not exempt from the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – that is, only to weekly-paid employees at Boston College.   However, recognizing that the privacy concerns of nursing mothers transcend payroll category, the University will work to honor requests under this provision from any nursing mother, regardless of FLSA status.

Promotions and Transfers

In filling positions at Boston College, preference is given whenever possible to qualified persons currently employed at the University, with factors such as ability, experience, potential for growth, and the University's affirmative action goals taken into consideration. Employees are encouraged to express interest in positions for which they believe they are qualified.

A promotion is a change from one position to another (either in the same office or in another office) that is classified at a higher grade level. A promotion normally, but not necessarily, is accompanied by an increase in salary.

A transfer is defined as a change from one position to another within the same classification level and salary range and normally does not include an increase in salary.

To be eligible for a promotion or transfer, a person must have completed at least the probationary period, and a year of prior service at the University is strongly preferred.

Professional Standards and Business Conduct

(This section last updated online: July 18, 2005)

The University assumes that those associated with the institution will conduct themselves ethically and in accordance with what are generally accepted as "standard business practices." The increasingly complex relationships that have evolved between the University and the numerous individuals, companies, and other groups with which it deals, require that persons representing the University exercise a high degree of personal responsibility, integrity, and sound judgment.

Boston College has issued policies and procedures designed to provide guidance to employees concerning employee code of conduct and business ethical issues. These are:

  • Policy 1-100-010, Professional Standards and Business Conduct, General Policy
  • Policy 1-100-015, Professional Standards and Business Conduct, Reporting of Fraud
  • Policy 1-100-025, Professional Standards and Business Conduct, Use of University Technological and Information Resources

Each employee should be familiar with the policies and procedural guidelines that cover the business activities that are his/her responsibility. This requirement will vary significantly depending on the employee's position, and may include information found in the following or in other sources:

  • Bylaws of the Trustees of Boston College University Statutes
  • Boston College Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Boston College Financial and Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Employee Code of Conduct and Business Ethics booklet
  • Departmental operating policies and procedures manuals

It is hoped that by clearly setting forth the standards of behavior that the University expects from its employees, any misunderstandings will be minimized, and any questionable situation can be brought to the attention of the responsible administrator and resolved.

Specific areas of focus include:

  • University assets and resources
  • Proper accounting
  • Use of University computing, information, and records systems
  • Software piracy
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Supplemental employment/outside activities
  • Gifts and entertainment
  • Fraud/embezzlement
  • Any employee who has a question about these issues, or the policies governing them, that cannot be answered by his/her supervisor is encouraged to direct the question to the Vice President for Human Resources or his/her designee.

Termination and Rehire Policies

Notice by the Individual

A staff member should submit adequate written notice to his/her supervisor before voluntarily leaving the University. Those individuals whose responsibilities are determined by the academic calendar are expected to fulfill their commitments through the academic year. Professional and administrative employees are expected to provide a minimum of one month's notice. More advance notice may be appropriate for senior-level positions. Office/clerical and service staff members are expected to provide a minimum of two weeks' notice.

Notice by the University

Termination of an individual may result from reorganization or financial exigencies. Written notice of termination for such reasons will be based on length of full-time service at Boston College and will be communicated to the staff member according to the following schedule:

Professional/Administrative
Length of Service Minimum Notice
Less than 2 years 1 month
2–4 years 3 months
5–9 years 6 months
10 or more years 12 months

Office/Clerical and Service
Length of Service Minimum Notice
Less than 1 year 2 weeks
1–4 years 1 month
5–9 years 3 months
10 or more years 4 months

At the University's discretion, pay may be substituted for all, or a portion of, the notice period. This minimum notice policy does not apply to sponsored program positions funded by outside sources.

Termination for Cause

The termination of an employee for cause by the University is generally the result of an individual's inability to attain the required level of performance in the job, failure to comply with required policies and procedures or standards of professional behavior applicable to employment, or repeated failure to perform required duties. Any termination must be approved by the Vice President for Human Resources, or his/her designee, and must be in accordance with established policies and procedures.

Rehire

Employees who leave Boston College in good standing and later wish to return are eligible for consideration for rehire provided an appropriate position is available. A previous employee who is rehired will be given credit for prior service for purposes of vacation eligibility and other pertinent benefits if no more than two years have elapsed between termination and rehire.

Unemployment Compensation

Employees whose employment is severed from the University may be eligible for unemployment compensation as long as they are available for and actively seeking employment and meet other applicable legal requirements.

To apply for unemployment compensation benefits, an individual must personally visit an office of the Department of Employment and Training (DET), where it will be determined whether or not he/she qualifies for benefits.

All compensation payments made to an individual by the DET are billed to Boston College and are not in any way supported by employee taxation.

Additional Internal or External Employment

Exempt Employees (Monthly Payroll)

The University regards regular professional/administrative employment as a full-time, professional commitment. Anyone considering additional internal or external teaching or consulting work is subject to the following requirements:

A full-time professional/administrative staff member may not engage in outside, or additional inside, teaching or consulting work without the prior written approval of his or her immediate supervisor, the appropriate vice president, and the Vice President for Human Resources. It is the policy of the University to review these approvals at least annually to assure that such activities are consistent with University employment policies.

Payment for an additional internal assignment is extraneous to an employee's regular salary, and fringe benefits are not paid in connection with the supplemental salary.

In all outside employment activities, the employee functions without the sponsorship of the University, and the University assumes no responsibility for the activity. Correspondence and reports may not be written on University stationery, and University personnel, facilities, equipment or other resources may not be utilized.

Nonexempt Employees (Weekly Payroll)

Due to Department of Labor regulations concerning overtime pay, employees on the weekly payroll, both full-time and part-time, may not work a second job at Boston College unless prior approval is received from the Compensation Director in the Department of Human Resources.

Employee Records and Information

The Department of Human Resources maintains a record of each employee's employment at Boston College, including such information as education, experience, work performance, and progress. These records are carefully reviewed when an employee is being considered for promotion, salary increase, or transfer.

In accordance with University policy and applicable law, all employee records (including but not necessarily limited to application forms and other records pertaining to hire, promotion, demotion, transfer, work schedule, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, performance appraisal, and selection for training) kept by the University will be preserved for at least three years from the date of the personnel action. This does not apply to records for positions known to be of a temporary or seasonal nature.

A personnel file may contain personal data as well as employment information. The Department of Human Resources regards this information as confidential and will release it only with the written permission of the employee or by order of a court.

When the Department of Human Resources receives a request for information from agencies, stores, banks, or other institutions, only non-confidential information such as date of employment and name of department will be released. Confidential information such as pay rate, past earnings, home address, or phone number will not be released unless authorized in writing by the employee.

Any change of home or work address or telephone number, or a change in emergency contact information, can be initiated by the employee by accessing Agora and typing in the new information. Employees may also designate the suppression of home address and telephone number in the Communications Directory. Changes in personal data can also be made by informing the Human Resources Service Center in Room 100, 129 Lake Street. Changes in name require the employee to present a copy of a new Social Security card to the Service Center and to complete a form provided by that office. The acquisition of further education or work-related skills should also be reported to the Department of Human Resources.

An employee may schedule an appointment to review the contents of his/her file by calling the Records Coordinator in the Department of Human Resources.

Absences and Lateness

An employee who must be absent from work is expected to notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible, and to keep the supervisor regularly informed if the absence continues for two days or more. In like manner, employees should call their supervisors if they are going to be late for work.

Each supervisor is responsible for keeping accurate records of an employee's absences and of sick leave earned and taken. Boston College reserves the right to request a medical examination or doctor's certificate during or following an illness.

Emergency Closing/Early Release

If offices are closed due to a severe snowstorm, power failure, or other emergency, notification will be broadcast on radio and television between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Stations announcing this information are WBZ Radio (1030 AM), WBZ-TV (Channel 4), and WCVB-TV (Channel 5). Cancellation of classes does not affect the regular operation of University offices; if employees are not expected to report to work, the announcements will specifically state, "Offices are closed." Employees may also call (617) 552-INFO or access Agora for information about an emergency closing or early release.

Since conditions often change during the course of a day, the same stations will broadcast announcements at a later hour regarding cancellation of evening classes in the College of Advancing Studies and the graduate schools.

Should an event warranting an early release, such as a heavy snowstorm, occur during the workday, the Department of Human Resources will instruct supervisors to dismiss their employees. Unless so notified, employees are expected to complete the regular workday. (The decision to dismiss employees is made by the Vice President for Human Resources; the decision to cancel classes is made by the Academic Vice President.)

If conditions in an office cause employees extreme discomfort (excessive temperature/humidity, for example), the supervisor will consult with the Department of Human Resources to determine whether an early release is appropriate.

Employees in essential services (including Dining and the Libraries) is required to remain at, or report to, work during emergency closings.