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Working Environment


WORKING ENVIRONMENT

DRESS EXPECTATIONS

The university expects that employees' dress and grooming should be appropriate to the work situation. Guidelines for appropriate dress may vary by department in consideration of the type of work involved; however, employees are expected to maintain a neat, professional appearance that does not cause disruption or interference in the work environment. Questions concerning appropriate attire should be addressed with the employee's supervisor.

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DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE

Kent State prohibits the possession or use of illegal drugs on all university property and at other locations where employees are conducting university business. In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, employees engaged in work under a federal grant or contract may be subject to additional requirements to ensure a drug-free workplace. Violation of this policy could result in the suspension, termination or debarment of the individual or the institution from federal grants and/or contracts. ( Policy 3342-6-22.1)

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WEAPONS

The possession or storage of deadly weapons (as defined in the Ohio Revised Code) is prohibited in or on university owned, rented or sponsored property. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors and contractors. ( Policy 3342-5-12.13)

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SMOKING

Per state law, smoking is prohibited in all university buildings and vehicles, outdoor events with seating, residence halls and areas with a roof or other overhead coverings, including bus shelters, concession stands and tents. Smoking is permitted in outdoor areas at least 20 feet away from a building. Smoking tobacco will not be sold or distributed free of charge on any Kent State campus.  Smoking cessation support will be made available periodically to members of the university community. ( Policy 3342-5-12.8)

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LACTATION ROOMS

Kent State faculty and staff who are nursing mothers now have the option of using a lactation room. The resource for new mothers is part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act Of 2010 (the federal health care reform law).The legislation requires employers to provide nursing mothers with reasonable break time to express breast milk for the first year following the birth of a child. A room must also be provided and must be shielded from view, free from intrusion by co-workers and the public, and cannot be a bathroom.

There are several designated lactation rooms on the Kent Campus and one at each Regional Campus. Use of the lactation rooms is optional for nursing moms. View the list of lactation rooms at www.kent.edu/hr/lactation.

Employees wishing to use a room should call the phone number listed for that location prior to your first visit, to make arrangements and determine a schedule. While the federal legislation does not require employers to pay employees for the time spent nursing, Kent State employees are permitted to use break and lunch time for this purpose. Additional, reasonable breaks will be permitted as needed. 


OPERATING PROCEDURES

Every employee of Kent State University is required to adhere to the employee code of conduct as stated in Policy 33421-6-01. In addition, every department should have operating procedures and performance standards for employees based on university policies and procedures. These procedures should include the areas listed below. Employees should check with their supervisor for the operating procedures for their unit.

Work Schedules
Specific work schedules will be established based upon the needs of the department. Temporary adjustments in daily work schedules should be approved as far in advance as possible by the immediate supervisor.

Full-time employees are expected to work a 40-hour week as determined by their supervisor. Unclassified staff may require a longer time commitment beyond the normal 40-hour week with schedules that may fluctuate. Work schedule alterations are subject to the supervisor's approval. In order to be most effective in the performance of their jobs, employees are expected to be at their work station and ready to perform daily duties at the start of their work schedule.

Lunch Periods
Lunch periods are generally one hour in length, scheduled as determined by the supervisor. Kronos is set up to automatically deduct a 60-minute lunch break for full-time classified employees, but each department has the option to require employees to clock out and clock in during the lunch period. If a classified employee works through lunch, the time worked must be approved by the supervisor.

Rest Periods (Breaks)
Full-time classified employees are entitled to rest periods (breaks) of 15 minutes each in the first and second half of the workday. Part-time classified employees are entitled to one rest period in the workday.  Breaks should not be used to cover late arrival to work, early departure, or extended lunch periods, nor should they be regarded as cumulative if not taken. Rest periods should be scheduled by the supervisor to insure that business activities are not curtailed.( Policy 3342-6-22.001)

Absences and Calling Off
An employee is considered absent if they are not present for work as scheduled, regardless of cause. If an employee is ill or an unexpected absence is necessary, they should notify their supervisor no later than 10 minutes, when possible, prior to the start of the scheduled workday. It is the employee's responsibility to cancel any meetings that they have scheduled, or to notify the meeting scheduler. If the employee is unable to make these calls, they should ask their supervisor or a colleague to handle the task.

Reporting Time/Timekeeping
Classified staff are required to report all hours worked, as well as account for any absences, in Kronos. Time cards are approved by the supervisor each Tuesday for the previous week. Supervisors have the authority to edit the time cards if discrepancies exist.  Time entry can be accessed through the My HR tab in FlashLine or ( kronos.kent.edu).

Unclassified staff must report absences through Banner Leave Report. It is recommended that the employee save time as it is taken, but wait to submit for approval until the pay period is over. Pay periods are available for the employee and approver for one month following the end of a pay period. Time entry can be accessed through the My HR tab in FlashLine.

Overtime
From time to time, business conditions may require some additional hours of work beyond the normally scheduled 40-hour workweek. Classified employees will be compensated for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week at one and one-half times the employee's rate of pay. All overtime must be approved by the employee's supervisor and registered on the Kronos time card. This approval indicates that the time was worked at the supervisor's request and was necessary to the operation of the unit. Unclassified employees are not eligible for overtime pay.( Policy 3342-6-07.9)

Compensatory (Comp) Time
Classified employees may choose to take compensatory (comp) time in lieu of overtime pay. Comp time is granted at a rate of one and one-half hours of time for each hour of overtime worked. Supervisors must convert overtime to comp time in Kronos when approving the employee's time card. The maximum amount of accrued comp time permitted is 120 hours per employee. When an employee's comp time balance exceeds this amount, they will be paid the overtime rate for the hours that exceed 120. 

Employees may request payment of comp time by contacting Payroll.  Unclassified employees are not eligible for comp time.

Comp time must be taken at a time mutually convenient to both the supervisor and employee and should not disrupt or place undue hardship on departmental operations. Comp time may not be used during any scheduled work period to earn overtime, holiday pay, or additional comp time or in any other way that has the effect of overlapping compensation.( Policy 3342-6-07.9)

Holidays

University offices and departments will normally be closed and classes will not be scheduled on observed holidays as announced in the official university calendar. View a list of holidays that the university observes online at www.kent.edu/hr/records/holidays.cfm. When the university is closed in observance of a holiday, it is essential that certain necessary or essential services be maintained. Therefore, some employees may be required to work on a holiday due to the nature of their job. ( Policy 3342-6-09.3) Recently, Kent State has operated on a holiday schedule between the Christmas and New Year's paid holidays.

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CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

Employees have an ethical duty as public servants not to disclose confidential information gathered through business activities and to protect confidential relationships between the university and its stakeholders. Employees shall not use confidential information obtained in the course of their employment for the purpose of advancing any private interest or otherwise for personal gain.( Policy 3342-6-23)

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HARASSMENT POLICIES

The university encourages an atmosphere in which the diversity of its members is recognized and appreciated, free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Thus, all members of the university are expected to join in creating a positive atmosphere in which individuals can learn and work in an environment that is respectful and supportive of the dignity of all individuals.( Policy 3342-6-02, Policy 3342-6-03, Policy 3342-6-03.1,   Policy 3342-4-13.1)

Reference to these policies should be taken into consideration if an employee feels he or she has been discriminated against, harassed, or subjected to sexual assault. Answers to the following types of concerns and actions that should be taken are addressed in these policies. They include, but are not limited to:

  • It is the policy of the university to provide a mechanism for achieving equitable and expedient resolution to complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment based on protected categories: race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, military status, age, identity as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, recently separated veteran, or other protected veteran;
  • It is a violation of university policy, and federal and state laws for anyone to engage in unlawful discrimination/harassment;
  • Acts of unlawful discrimination/harassment should be reported immediately to the employee's unit or department head and/or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) at (330) 672-2038;
  • The university is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment in the university community by taking corrective action as a result of violations of this policy. Violations may lead to disciplinary action which can include separation from the university;
  • Retaliation against a person filing a complaint, or against others participating in an investigation, is strictly prohibited;
  • Complaints are to be made in good faith. If the EOAA Office determines that a complainant willfully and/or knowingly falsely accused a faculty, staff or student of harassment, appropriate sanctions may be recommended against the complainant.

You should also note that as a university employee, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, you are expected to report any sexual harassment or sexual assault of a student, employee or visitor to campus to the university's Title IX coordinator in the Office of EOAA. More information on reporting under Title IX can be found at www.kent.edu/aa/titleix.cfm.

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DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS

Kent State strives to assist those employees with qualified disabilities to obtain reasonable accommodations necessary to perform their job duties. The university strongly recommends that employees seeking to request an accommodation for their disability contact their supervisor and/or Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA). Supervisors are also strongly encouraged to contact the EOAA Office to discuss all requests for accommodation. It is expected that the employee, department supervisor and the EOAA representative will engage in an interactive discussion to assist in the documenting, review and obtainment of the reasonable accommodation(s). ( Policy 3342-6-03)

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WORKPLACE CLIMATE TRAINING

Maintaining the highest standards of professionalism, while creating a work environment where individuals can learn and grow, is essential in the university's quest to attract and retain the best faculty and staff. The Training and Development unit in HR has a series of online courses designed to enhance the university's workplace climate. While the university asks all supervisors, managers and executives to complete the courses, all faculty and staff are encouraged to take the courses as well. Topics include:

  • Workplace Ethics;

  • Preventing Harassment on Campus

  • Bullying in the Workplace;

  • Preventing Workplace Violence;and

  • Managing Conflict.

More topics will be added, and you can view the list of online courses available at www.kent.edu/hr/training. For more information, contact Bob Hall, Training and Development Manager at 330-672-0894 or rhall4@kent.edu.

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PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS

Performance evaluations are administered annually for classified and unclassified employees who are not appointed on a temporary basis.  HR is responsible for coordinating the university's performance evaluation process for classified and unclassified employees.

Classified Employees

The ORC requires any classified civil service employee, following original appointment or promotion to a vacant position, to complete a probationary period of 120 days before the appointment or promotion is final. During the probationary period, the employee's job performance must be evaluated in writing with a 60- and 90-day evaluation. After the probationary period has concluded, a performance evaluation is done on an annual basis.

Unclassified Employees
The performance evaluation process is a collaborative effort between employees and managers. While the policy provides valuable information, it is important to remember that it is not the policy that makes the evaluation successful; it is the actual performance conversation that a manager has with the employee that is most important.( Policy 3342-6-21.2)

Tenure-Track Faculty
All tenure-track faculty members are considered to hold probationary appointments for one year, subject to annual review. The total period of full-time tenure–track service at the university prior to continuous tenure will not exceed six years. Faculty members with probationary appointments in the tenure track will be reviewed annually until the academic year in which they are considered for tenure.

Non-tenure Track Faculty
A member of the bargaining unit who has received appointments for three consecutive academic years shall be subject to full performance review during the third year of appointment before a fourth annual appointment can be anticipated or authorized.

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RESPONSIBLE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

FOR ALL
COMPUTER HELP

Help Desk
support.kent.edu
(330) 672-HELP (4357)
Available 24/7

Access to technology is essential to the university’s mission of providing students, faculty and staff with educational services of the highest quality. Users and systems administrators are expected to respect the privacy of person-to-person communications in all forms, including telephone and e-mail. Kent State reserves the right to limit access to its networks and to remove or limit access on university-owned computers or networks when evidence of a reported violation of applicable university policies exists. ( Policy 3342-9-01, Policy 3342-9-01.1)

Data/Information Security
Kent State employees who have access to student and university information in any form must recognize the responsibilities entrusted to them in preserving the security and confidentiality of this information. Kent State is obligated to uphold student privacy rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)   , the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),   ORC Section 102, and all other federal and state laws and regulations governing the security and confidentiality of information used in our operations.

Therefore, every employee who is granted access to university computer systems is required to read and sign an Acknowledgement of Receipt for the Secured Use and Confidentiality of University Records and Data form. The agreement references Kent State policies regarding student records and university business. ( Policy 3342-5-08, Policy 3342-5-09)

Security and Privacy of E-mail
The university recognizes the private nature of e-mail communication, but may access such files in the course of normal network or system supervision or when evidence of reported violations of policies or laws exists. The university will make a good faith effort to notify an employee of a public records request (see Additional Information section for public request records) for access to a user's e-mail files. Users should engage in safe computing practices.  ( Policy 3342-9-01, Policy 3342-9-01.1)

FlashLine

WEB RESOURCE
FlashLine ( flashline.kent.edu) is a secure website which provides Kent State students, faculty and staff with Intranet and Internet services. Employees can check e-mail, pay stubs, leave balances and other information. Employees must have a FlashLine user ID before access is granted to the Banner system, including Employee Self Service and Outlook (e-mail). Employees are not permitted to provide their Banner password to any other person, nor are employees permitted to let another person log in under the employee's User ID. If an employee does not have or does not know their FlashLine user ID, needs help with e-mail, or experiences a computer problem, visit the support listings on the www.kent.edu/is website. Employees can also contact the Help Desk.

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TRANSPORTATION TOPICS

Parking Services

FOR MORE
INFORMATION

Parking Services
330 (672-4432)
123 Michael
Schwartz Center
parking@kent.edu

Parking Services provides a variety of services to employees. In addition to issuing parking permits, the department also ensures that parking lots and lights remain in good condition and provides motorist assistance to employees. This includes assistance with a flat tire (inflate only), empty gas tank or keys locked in a vehicle. Contact Motorist Assistance/Dispatch at 330-672-4444.

Parking Permits
All faculty and staff who work on the Kent campus are required to have a parking permit issued by the Parking Services office. Permits are available through payroll deduction. Parking permits are acquired in person when beginning employment and renewed annually via an e-mail notice. ( Policy 3342-4-08)

Visitor Parking
Visitors are required to obtain and display a valid permit or pay the required fees when parking on university property, unless otherwise posted or authorized in advance by parking services. Visitors should contact Parking Services during business hours for assistance or parking information.

PARTA/Campus Bus Service

FOR MORE
INFORMATION

PARTA
(330) 672-7433

The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) provides transit services on and around the Kent State campus and throughout Portage County. Since 2004, PARTA has partnered with Kent State to offer safe, convenient transportation for students, faculty and staff.

PARTA operates 11 fixed routes, including several on-campus routes, ADA complementary para-transit service and general public demand response service. Kent State employees ride campus routes, such as the Campus Loop, free with your Kent State ID.  Buses make stops approximately every 15 minutes. Maps of the campus bus routes are available in various locations across campus.

Other routes connect the Kent campus to destinations in Ravenna, Stow, Akron and Cleveland.  A complete list of services and schedules can be found on PARTA’s website at www.partaonline.org.

PARTA’s Kent Central Gateway (KCG) multimodal facility transit center, scheduled to open in 2013, will be located along the Kent State Esplanade, just one-quarter mile west of campus in downtown Kent. Designed to create an accessible downtown experience, KCG will include transit bus bays, bicycle and pedestrian amenities, and retail, restaurant, and office space along Erie Street, adjacent to the planned Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.  Progress updates can be found at www.kentcentralgateway.com.

University Vehicles
Kent State vehicles assigned to a department shall be used only for official university business. Only university employees may drive vehicles owned or leased by the university.  Employees must have a valid driver's license and are liable for all violations issued while the vehicle is assigned to them. The employee's department is responsible for any deductible amount, other uninsured expense or damage to the contents of the vehicle. ( Policy 3342-5.12.501)

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