Author Archives: Jason Cable

A Reminder: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an Official Middlebury Holiday!

Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day has been recognized as an official Middlebury holiday, beginning in 2019. This means that all US-based operations will be closed (except for essential services) on MLK Day, in the same manner as operations are closed for the Thanksgiving and Year-End Holiday Breaks, and that benefits-eligible staff employees will be paid “holiday time” for the day.

Please refer to this article for more information on Holiday Pay.

-Human Resources

Annual Performance Summary (APS) Workshops

The annual performance evaluation process for staff members takes place between January 1 and March 31 of each year.  The APS form for 2019 remains the same as in previous years.

Below, please find a link to the form, helpful tools and guides to support the APS process, and an on-line audio training presentation that will help you prepare whether you are a supervisor or individual contributor.

http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/evals

For those who have attended the training sessions offered in past years, you may find the recorded presentation to be a convenient refresher.  In addition to the on-line tools, we are offering two APS workshops for new employees and supervisors undergoing the APS process for the first time:

Wednesday, January 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Mitchell Green Lounge)

Tuesday, February 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Mitchell Green Lounge)

For those who have already attended a live or recorded workshop, additional question & answer sessions are available to provide support for supervisors, managers and staff as you prepare your performance documentation:

Thursday, February 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Marble Works)

Thursday, March 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Marble Works)

Monday, March 11 from 11:00 a.m. to noon (Marble Works)

Please email lcaroten@middlebury.edu or call x2012 to register.

 

-Laura Carotenuto

2018 YEAR END FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS REMINDER

If you have an unused balance in your 2018 flexible spending account(s), please be aware that you have until December 31, 2018 to incur qualifying expenses to use those funds. You have until March 31, 2019 to complete claims submissions and meet substantiation obligations.  Comprehensive guidance is available at this link.

All participants with balances greater than $5 should have received a letter via mail in November from Business Plans Inc. Please continue to monitor your progress on your web portal.  If you have yet to set up your access to the member portal at www.mycafeteriaplan.com, please do so today!  Just follow the instructions at this link.

Remember, any unused funds in the Healthcare FSA up to $500 will automatically rollover into the new plan year. Any unused funds in the Healthcare FSA account over $500 will be forfeited. Any funds remaining in the Dependent Daycare FSA are forfeited.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact myCafeteriaPlan at 1-800-865-6543 or Human Resources at (802) 443-3372.

Workplace Etiquette – Holiday Tipping and Solicitation

The holiday season has arrived and, along with the wreaths and menorahs, the perennial workplace etiquette issues around tipping and solicitation of donations for office parties and/or gifts have appeared.  While no doubt tipping, gifts and parties are prompted by goodwill and the desire to share the joy and bounty of the season, such practices can (and sometimes do) inadvertently have the opposite effect.  In fact, each year the Administration, Middlebury Staff Council and the Human Resources Department receive feedback from members of our community who feel uncomfortable about such holiday practices.

The Administration, MSC and the Human Resources Department discourage tipping employees and urge caution in soliciting for parties or gifts because of the inherent inequity in tipping, and the potential for perceived pressure to contribute to office parties or gifts.

Instead of cash tipping, employees who would like to recognize specific staff are encouraged to do so with a verbal thank-you and/or a note or card.  If there is a strong desire to do more, consider a non-monetary treat that can be shared among co-workers; for example sending bagels and coffee, or sweets, to a December staff meeting can be a great way to express your appreciation.  (Consider contacting the supervisor or manager to discuss what might work well in the specific workgroup.)

Employees (especially managers) are encouraged to be sensitive when organizing holiday gatherings and/or soliciting donations for gifts.  Please keep in mind that not everyone celebrates the same holidays (or any holidays), that not everyone is equally in a position to make a donation (either of money or goods) and that some people are simply not interested in doing so. While the myriad of year-end holidays can provide a wonderful opportunity for workgroups to come together socially – and such gatherings can be completely appropriate in the workplace – please do be sensitive to the varying beliefs, interests and resources of ALL of your colleagues as you make plans.  With a little care celebrations and get-togethers can be fun and comfortable for all employees who choose to participate.

Best wishes for a happy – and stress-free – holiday season!

-Cheryl Mullins

Resources to Quit Smoking

With the new year right around the corner there is no better time to take action toward improving our health.  One of the best ways to stay healthy is to refrain from using tobacco products. The use of tobacco products is one of three behaviors that contributes to fifty percent of all deaths in Vermont.  Quitting is hard and some support can go a long way in helping us be successful. Through the VT Department of Health and 802 Quits there are lots of resources to help us move toward a tobacco free lifestyle.  Check out these free resources and move one step closer toward having the level of health you want and deserve.  If you’re interested in participating in a free tobacco cessation group on campus, please contact Rebecca Schubert, GMHEC Employee Well-being Coordinator at rebecca.schubert@gmhec.org.

-Rebecca Schubert, MS RDN NBC-HWC
GMHEC Employee Well-being Program Coordinator