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HR NEws and announcements

Human Resources is a dynamic function across the university campus that changes frequently.

HR News & Announcements highlights new developments and current issues to keep employees up-to-date and informed. 

Since a lot of information is communicated via email, faculty and staff are encouraged to become members of their group's designated email listservs:

All Employees - This email listserv is for all employees of West Virginia State University. To be added as a member, please make your request by emailing hr@wvstateu.edu.

Faculty - This email listserv is for faculty members. To be added as a member, please make your request by emailing swoodar1@wvstateu.edu.

Faculty Senate - This email listserv is for faculty participating in Faculty Senate. To be added as a member, please make your request by emailing TGUETZLOFF@WVSTATEU.EDU

Staff - This email listserv is for staff. To be added as a member, please make your request by emailing hr@wvstateu.edu.
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May 18, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good afternoon,
 
In collaboration with the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), the Department of Human Resources is pleased to offer a new online training system for employees called Safety Skills. Safety Skills provides hundreds of training modules, addressing topics from Art Safety to Fall Protection to Universal Waste Management. This online training will provide convenience and variety in meeting WVSU's employee health and safety training regulatory compliance.
 
EHS TRAINING ASSIGNMENTS & RECORDS
EHS and/or supervisors are able to assign EHS on-line training courses. If there is a topic of interest, contact your supervisor or EHS and that course can be assigned. If needed, EHS can assist and answer questions on how to use the Safety Skills training system upon request.
 
ABOUT THE ON-LINE TRAINING
Most of the on-line training classes can be completed within 30-45 minutes. The duration of each course appears on your assignment listing. If you are not able to complete the entire training course at one time, you are able to resume where you left off or start over from the beginning. After information is presented, there are review questions for that segment. If a question is not answered correctly, the information pertaining to the missed question is reviewed again before moving to the next topic.
 
As you may have noticed, some courses have already been assigned to employees. The training assignments were based on an employee’s role, and also includes any mandatory trainings that all employees are required to complete. You can access your assigned trainings by logging in to Safety Skills and looking under the My Training page.
 
FACULTY
Due to the summer break, faculty will not be required to have their assigned trainings completed until after the start of the fall semester. Upon your return from summer break, faculty will receive an email notifying them that they have been assigned their training. If faculty would like, they may get a head start and begin working on their assigned trainings on a voluntary basis.
 
For your convenience, I have attached the Safety Skills instructions that discusses important information such as how to log in, printing a certificate, etc. Please contact EHS by phone 304-204-4060 or e-mail joseph.davenport@wvstateu.edu if you are experiencing any problems.
 
Best,
 
Justin

Click here to find the Safety Skills instructions attachment included in the original email.
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May 18, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good morning,
 
The half day that the Governor gave for the Christmas Eve proclamation will be observed on Friday, May 22, 2020. Full-time staff will notice that the Governor’s Proclamation has already been inserted into timecards. The Governor’s Proclamation will be observed on the second half of Friday, May 22nd. For the first half of the day, employees must either record their hours worked, submit leave, or be taken off payroll. Additionally, the University will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 25th.
 
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Best,
 
Justin
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May 11, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good afternoon,
 
Employees who want to salute their outstanding colleagues now have an easy – and highly visible – way to do so. “Compliment a Colleague,” a new feature on the WVSU Department of Human Resources’ website, allows employees to anonymously hail those people whose work might otherwise go unacknowledged. The “Compliment a Colleague” webpage will be updated periodically so that the most recent compliments are displayed.
 
You can access the nomination form by clicking here. For a complete list of Human Resources’ events and activities that are occurring on campus, please click here.
 
Best,
 
Justin
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May 5, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good afternoon,
 
With the academic year drawing to a close, it is time for us to make plans for summer schedules. In keeping with a long-standing practice, WVSU will observe a schedule known as “summer hours”. The University’s normal business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. year round; however, summer hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a 30 minute unpaid lunch, during the period from Monday, May 11, 2020 through Friday, August 14, 2020.
 
You can find the WVSU Holiday Calendar by clicking here. Please contact Human Resources at 304-766-3156 if you have questions.
 
Best,
 
Justin
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May 4, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good afternoon, Yellow Jacket Nation,
 
The events of the last several days and weeks, which continue to unfold, are unprecedented. With all of the change that surrounds us on a day-to-day basis, it understandably feels overwhelming. That is why I’m reaching out to you today, to let you know that we are thinking of our work family and Yellow Jacket Nation, and as always, we are here as a helpful resource to you. To that end, the Department of Human Resources has developed a webpage that includes tips and information to assist you in managing stress and anxiety during this unsettling time. You can access this information by clicking here.
 
Please know that we are here for you and that we are all in this together. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out.
 
Best regards,
 
Justin
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April 27, 2020, Regina Powell
Message to All Employees


Impact of the CARES Act on the West Virginia Higher Education Retirement Plans
 
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (the Commission) wants to make you aware of your retirement plan options as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The Policy Commission on April 17 approved changes to the West Virginia Higher Education Retirement Plan.  Modifications to the plan provide additional flexibility with your plan savings as you navigate your financial decisions in the coming months. We recommend you speak with a TIAA financial consultant to review your current situation–along with short- and long-term financial goals–before making decisions that will affect your retirement investment.
 
What does this mean for you?
We know that keeping you and your family healthy and safe amid the challenges surrounding COVID-19 is your first priority. That’s why we’re working with our retirement plan partners at TIAA to make your new options easier to understand so you can determine if they may be right for you.
 
Suspension of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)
As provided in the CARES Act, the Commission has suspended all Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) in 2020 for former employees over the age of 70-½ and their beneficiaries.   TIAA mailed notices to all recipients of RMDs last week with information about the CARES Act and directions for how to suspend RMD payments, if they choose to do so.  Anyone receiving distributions can call TIAA at 1-800-842-2252 to stop RMD payments.  TIAA can also assist participants with rolling distributions already taken back into the plan for reinvestment and to preserve them from tax liability.
 
Qualifying for Coronavirus-Related Provisions
The CARES Act provides relief for participants who need to access their retirement plan funds due to COVID-19. The relief applies to coronavirus-related distributions (cash withdrawals) and coronavirus-related loans between January 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. 
Participants who meet the following coronavirus criteria may take a coronavirus-related distribution from their supplemental (403(b) and/or the 457(b) plans or may take a loan from their primary 401(a) plan. These options are available to a participant:
Who is diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Whose spouse or dependent (as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code) is diagnosed with such virus or disease by such a test, OR
Who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off or having work hours reduced due to such virus or disease, or cannot work due to lack of childcare due to such virus or disease, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual as a result of such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. 

Please be advised that participants will be required to certify the qualifying reasons.
 
Plan Amendments for Coronavirus-Related Cash Distributions
The Commission approved a new in-service coronavirus-related cash withdrawal qualifying event for participants affected by COVID-19.   Eligible participants affected by coronavirus as described above may withdraw up to $100,000 from their supplemental 403(b) and/or 457(b) plans between now and December 31, 2020.

It is important to note that the CARES Act provisions for coronavirus-related cash withdrawal do not apply to the mandatory Qualified 401(a) plan.

Penalties and withholding for taxes are waived for coronavirus-qualified distributions from supplemental retirement plan accounts if the eligibility criteria are met.  This means, new in-service coronavirus-related distributions are exempted from the 10 percent IRS early withdrawal penalty (pre-age 59-½).  TIAA is not required to withhold the usual 20 percent federal tax.  However, the coronavirus-affected participant will be offered the option to have tax withheld. 

Unless a participant opts to include all coronavirus-related distributions in gross income for the year of the distribution(s), (i.e. calendar year 2020), coronavirus-related distributions may be spread out over three years, beginning with the year of the distribution for federal income tax purposes.
The amendments includes the ability for a participant to repay/reinvest coronavirus-related distributions (in any amount up to the aggregate amount of the coronavirus-related distribution(s)) to the plan (or any other eligible retirement plan or IRA) at any time during the three-year period beginning on the day after the distribution, as long as the participant remains an active employee under the eligible retirement plan.
 
Plan Amendments for Coronavirus-Related Loans
Although coronavirus-related cash distributions do not apply to the qualified 401(a) Plan, the Commission approved an expansion of the loan limits provision, should a participant need access to funds in their regular 401(a) retirement account.  

Coronavirus-related loans are available from the 401(a), 403(b) and 457(b) plans.  Effective immediately, and through September 23, 2020, participants affected by the coronavirus as described above may borrow 100 percent of their accumulation across all plans, not to exceed $100,000.  This is an increase from the existing plan loan limit of 50 percent of a participant’s accumulation up to $50,000.  Participants requesting the increased loan amounts are required to certify the coronavirus-related reasons. 

Plan participants are limited to a maximum of three concurrent loans across all plan types – 401(a), 403(b) and 457(b); however, the maximum dollar amount of the combined three loans will double for coronavirus-related loans. The loan approval process will remain the same as it does for non-coronavirus-related loans. 
 
Deferral of 2020 Payments on Loans from 401(a), 403(b) and/or 457(b)
The amendments approved by the Commission include the ability for a participant to defer loan payments up to 12 months.  Any existing or new loan payments due between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020, may be deferred for a period of one year by borrowers affected by the coronavirus as described above.   Interest will continue to accrue during the payment suspension period.  This provision ends September 23, 2020.
 
Please visit TIAA.org or call TIAA at 855-400-4294 if you have questions related to taking a loan or the possibility of deferring payments on an existing retirement plan loan.
For retirement plan distributions and loans, TIAA encourages you to set up electronic funds transfer (EFT) for faster delivery of funds.
 
Other CARES Act Considerations
Tax filing and payment changes
The Treasury Department and IRS have extended federal tax filing and IRA contribution deadlines. The federal deadline for filing a 2019 tax return—and any corresponding 2019 IRA contributions outside of your retirement plan—has been extended to July 15, 2020.

Student loans and stimulus payments
Borrowers who have certain federal student loans may defer payments until later in the year, and qualified taxpayers meeting specific single/joint filing criteria may be eligible to receive stimulus payments. Please consult your personal tax advisor or your student loan provider for additional information.

Next steps
If you meet the eligibility criteria detailed above, would like to speak to a financial consultant, or would like to request loans or distributions, you can do so by logging in to your online account at TIAA.org or calling TIAA at 855-400-4294. You can also visit TIAA.org for more information on the provisions of the CARES Act and other changes to consider.

Please review and be familiar with your options prior to making a decision regarding withdrawal of your retirement savings.
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April 22, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good afternoon,
 
I have been informed that the YMCA Corporate Cup 2020 has been postponed until July and will have modifications. In his email, Chris Wade, Sports Director for the YMCA Kanawha Valley stated, “The YMCA plans to a run a toned down, virtual type version of Corporate Cup. The anticipated time frame would be in July. Monetary contributions will be welcomed and accepted, but it will be free of charge for any company wishing to compete. There won’t be as many events, and all that run will be either be done virtually or in a much limited version without large gatherings. Most of the events can be done on your own, filmed, and sent in.”
 
More information will be shared with the campus in the future.
 
Best,
 
Justin
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April 22, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good morning,
 
I hope you are doing well and adjusting to this unique environment.  You are probably aware that TIAA Financial Consultants are continuing to offer financial counseling sessions via Virtual Counseling or telephone appointments, but we want to assure that all of our employees are aware of this capability and have easy access to schedule these sessions.  To that end, I have attached a flyer to announce TIAA’s availability and provide instructions and a link for scheduling.  As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to the WVSU Benefits Office directly if you should have any questions or concerns. We appreciate all that you do and look forward to continuing to serve our faculty and staff during this challenging time.

Best,

Justin
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April 13, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


PEIA will be conducting benefit fairs via conference call this year. There will be no face-to-face benefit fairs. Here's the conference call schedule:
 
Plan Year 2021 Benefit Fair Conference Calls
Due to concerns about the novel coronavirus, COVID 19, PEIA will not be holding traditional benefit
fairs this year. Instead, we are offering four conference calls where you can speak with representatives from PEIA, the Health Plan, FBMC, Humana, and Securian. You may call in and ask any questions you
have or simply listen to the brief explanation of the changes we'll present at the beginning of each
call. If you have questions about open enrollment, please call in and join us for one of these Benefit
Fair Conference Calls:
Date Time Dial-in Number Conference ID
Thursday, April 9, 2020 4:00 p.m. 304-410-0513 26632
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 6:00 p.m. 304-410-0513 26632
Thursday, April 16, 2020 6:00 p.m. 304-410-0513 26632
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 4:00 p.m. 304-410-0513 26632
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March 31, 2020, Justin Cherry
Message to All Employees


Good morning,
 
Signed into law March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires public agencies, (federal/state governments, political subdivisions, schools) of any size and private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide job-protected leave for qualifying needs related to a public health emergency under the Family and Medical Leave Act and paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act to eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
On March 25, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued the required poster employers will need to provide to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. For your convenience, a copy of the FFCRA workplace notice is attached to this email. Additionally, a copy of the FFCRA notice has been posted on the WVSU Department of Human Resources webpage. 
 
Effective Date of the FFCRA
Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, go into effect April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
 
Stay Informed
The WVSU Department of Human Resources has published a webpage extensively about the FFCRA. Visit our Human Resources page to stay in the know or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Best,
 
Justin
 



 

Human Resources

Phone:                        304-766-3156
Fax:                             304-766-4156
Campus Address:    105 Cole Complex
Hours:                        Monday - Friday
                                     8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 

Human Resources
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