Due to the modified fall academic term, Labor Day (Monday, September 7, 2020) will not be a University Holiday. Employees may use vacation time if they wish to take Labor Day off, with their supervisor's approval. In recognition of this change, Monday, November 30 will be a paid holiday for all staff.
This handbook provides University staff members with an overview of the University’s best practices. Our leadership believes in and is proud of the University’s environment of open communication. We have summarized the key issues that affect the daily operational needs and objectives of the University and its respective staff members. The information contained herein also is available by accessing the University’s website at www.pitt.edu and the University’s Office of Human Resources website at www.hr.pitt.edu.
The University of Pittsburgh is a microcosm of every culture, gender, race, and creed. We are proud of our heritage as well as our staff, faculty, students, and alumni, and we are committed to education, research, and community service. We are a community of learners who work together to attain a common goal. We hope you take pride in being associated with the University of Pittsburgh and that through our many employee programs, you will take advantage of the opportunities available to you. If you have any questions concerning the information provided in this handbook, please call your Human Resources contact or a representative of our Employee Relations Section staff at 412-624-4645.
About This Handbook
This handbook is intended for use by staff members of the University of Pittsburgh, except for those who are covered by separate policies and procedures in collective bargaining agreements. Many sections of this handbook summarize more detailed policies and benefits documents.
See the University Policy Manual, Procedure Manual, and Standard Practice Instructions (SPI) Manual for the official and current information: http://www.policy.pitt.edu
This handbook is designed as an informational document and does not constitute or reflect a contract. The information contained herein supersedes all previously published staff handbooks and is subject to change at the discretion of the University. University policies and procedures, which may be updated and approved subsequent to the publication of this document, will take precedence over the contents of this handbook. To ensure that you have the most current information, you may contact your supervisor, access current policies and procedures and this handbook on the Internet at www.pitt.edu, or call the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources at 412-624-4645.
The University values your opinions about your work environment. Please communicate them to your supervisor or another pertinent administrator.
The University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh was founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in a log cabin in 1787, 11 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It achieved university status in 1819. During its 1966 session, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania formally recognized the University of Pittsburgh as an integral part of the system of higher education in Pennsylvania and designated it a state-related university. The University amended its charter to reflect this designation and changed its official name to University of Pittsburgh—of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.
A state-related, nonsectarian institution, the University receives an annual appropriation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and income from endowment, tuition, gifts, grants, sponsored research, clinical activities, and private sources. The state-related universities—which also include Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, and Lincoln University—are legal instruments of the Commonwealth as specified by statute. Each also possesses a separate, nonprofit corporate charter and is governed by a separate Board of Trustees, fully accountable for the operation of the institution.
The Pittsburgh campus consists of more than 90 academic, research, and administrative buildings and residence halls. It is located on a 132-acre site three miles from the city’s business center and is adjacent to 450 acres of rolling parks. Nearby are concert halls, museums, theaters, research institutes, book stores, art galleries, restaurants, churches, and playgrounds. Other institutions of higher education located nearby include Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, and Duquesne University. Medical education, research, and patient care come together at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which includes UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Montefiore, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, the Eye & Ear Institute, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, UPMC St. Margaret, UPMC South Side, UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Passavant, UPMC Beaver Valley, and several other hospitals. UPMC works closely with the six schools of the health sciences at the University.
In addition to the Pittsburgh campus, the University has regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville, PA.
Board of Trustees
The University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees is responsible for advancing the purposes of the University; promoting and protecting its independence, academic freedom, and integrity; and enhancing and preserving its assets for the benefit of future generations of students and society at large. Trusteeship is a public trust, and the trustees bear responsibility for the financial and academic development of the University, for overseeing the management of its resources, and for ensuring that the University meets its obligations to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to society in general.
The Board of Trustees delegates general administrative, academic, and management authority to the chancellor and chief executive officer of the University. The board retains ultimate responsibility for all University affairs, however, and reserves its authority directly in at least three areas: selection of a chancellor and chief executive officer; approval of major institutional policies, particularly those related to the fiduciary responsibilities of the board; and definition of the mission and goals of the University.
The Board of Trustees is composed of 36 voting members consisting of the chancellor and chief executive officer; 17 term trustees elected by the board; six alumni trustees elected by the board, on nominations by the Pitt Alumni Association Board of Directors; and 12 commonwealth trustees, four each appointed by the governor, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the speaker of the House. There is, in addition, a class of 15 special trustees elected by the Board of Trustees. They may attend all meetings of the board and are entitled to exercise all rights, responsibilities, and privileges of trusteeship, except the right to vote at board meetings. The Board of Trustees includes the governor of Pennsylvania, the secretary of education, the chief executive of Allegheny County, and the mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, all four of whom are nonvoting, ex officio trustees.
The University of Pittsburgh is an institution of higher learning and research in which policy is shaped with the involvement of trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and students. An environment of collegiality permits individuals and groups to share information and express views in an open and responsive manner. Consultation and consensus building are important means for approaching decisions, especially in academic matters.
The chancellor is the chief academic and administrative officer of the University. He is responsible to the board as the interpreter of the public interest and as the representative of the administration, faculty, staff, and students. The chancellor’s deputies in guiding instruction and research are the executive vice chancellor, the provost, the senior vice chancellor for the health sciences, the presidents of the regional campuses, the deans of the various schools and faculties, the department chairs, and the directors of University centers and institutes. The chancellor, the provost, the senior vice chancellor for the health sciences, the deans, and the regional campus presidents are recruited and selected in accordance with procedures that involve representative members of the faculty and staff as well as student leaders.
Other principal administrative officers of the University include the executive vice chancellor, the vice chancellor for student affairs, the vice chancellor for institutional advancement, general counsel and secretary of the Board of Trustees.
The University Senate
The Senate of the University of Pittsburgh is an official University body for shared governance. Members include the chancellor, certain administrative officers, and faculty as well as students, staff, and members of the Senate Council and Senate Standing Committees.
The Staff Council is an official University organization for shared governance composed of elected representatives from classified University staff not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Staff Council maintains an important communication link between staff members and the administration and makes recommendations to the University administration on matters of general University concern, particularly staff-related issues. If you have a concern or wish to talk to a Staff Council representative, please call the Staff Council office at 412-624-4236. You can also access the Staff Council home page at http://staffcouncil.pitt.edu/.
There are a number of organizations and task forces dedicated to advising and/or advocating a specific issue, e.g., Equipoise/African American issues (412-624-4292) and Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns (PACWC) (412-624-9246).
The University affirms and actively promotes the rights of all individuals to equal opportunity in education and employment without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected class.
As a federal contractor, the University of Pittsburgh is committed to affirmative action in employment as a means of ensuring equality of opportunity. The Affirmative Action Office is responsible for the University's Affirmative Action Program and coordinates compliance with Pitt recruitment policies, and can provide resources and instruction upon request.
On February 28, 1992, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution reaffirming the University’s commitment to affirmative action. The resolution commits the University to the following goals:
- to achieve diversity in the racial/ethnic and sex composition of its workforce at all levels;
- to enhance opportunities for enrolling, retaining, and graduating students from underrepresented groups;
- to provide accessibility and accommodation to individuals with disabilities;
- to create a campus environment free of bigotry and harassment; and
- to engage minority- and women-owned businesses as vendors and suppliers.
The Office of Affirmative Action, part of the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, has responsibility for providing leadership, coordination, and oversight for the University’s affirmative action program. For additional information, refer to the Nondiscrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Policy 07-01-03, http://www.diversity.pitt.edu/affirmative-action, or contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 412-648-7860.
Anti-Harassment Policy Statement
No University employee, University student, or individual on University property may intentionally harass or abuse a person (physically, verbally or electronically) when the conduct is severe or pervasive and objectively and subjectively has the effect of: (1) unreasonably interfering with such person’s work or equal access to education, or (2) creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment. Consistent with the University Nondiscrimination Policy and Sexual Harassment Policy, harassment on the basis of a legally protected classification, such as racial harassment or sexual harassment, is prohibited. This policy statement will be applied with due respect for the University’s commitment to equality of opportunity, human dignity, diversity, and academic freedom, and, when constitutionally protected speech is implicated, only to the extent consistent with the First Amendment.
For more information, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 412-648-7860 or the Office of Human Resources at 412-624-4645 or refer to the Nondiscrimination Policy (07-01-03) and the Sexual Misconduct Policy (06-05-01).
University Non-Discrimination and Anti-Retaliation Statement
The University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability, or status as a veteran. The University also prohibits and will not engage in retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation.
For more information, including how to file a complaint, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 412-648-7860 or the Office of Human Resources at 412-624-4645 or refer to the Nondiscrimination Policy (07-01-03) and the Sexual Misconduct Policy (06-05-01). You can learn more about the Notice of Nondiscrimination on the Office of Diversity & Inclusion's website.
University Pay Transparency Policy Statement
The University of Pittsburgh will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.
However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.
Prohibition Against Sexual Misconduct
Members of the community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. Sexual misconduct that affects the educational or employment environment is a form of sexual discrimination. Such conduct violates the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, and generally also violates federal, state or local laws. The University of Pittsburgh is committed to the maintenance of a community free from sexual misconduct. When sexual misconduct occurs, the University will act to end the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects on both individuals and the University community, in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Policy 06-05-01.
The employment relationship created between the University and you is voluntarily entered into and is at the will of both the University and you. An employment relationship, therefore, may be terminated at any time and for any reason or no reason by either the University or by you, consistent with the law. This handbook is an informational document and does not create or reflect a contract between the University and you.
Employment status describes the types of staff employment at the University. Each staff position is described by one of the following:
- Exempt or nonexempt employment status
- Full-time or part-time employment status
- Less than 12-month appointment
- Nine-month and 10-month full-time status
- Regular or temporary employment status
It is very important that you know your employment status since it affects eligibility for certain benefit plans and other programs. If you are unsure of your status, you should check with your departmental administrator or contact the Office of Human Resources. Employment status can also be affected by hire date, provisional period of employment, transfer or reassignment, separation from employment, termination date, and rehire date, if applicable.
Exempt or Nonexempt Employment Status
You are classified as either exempt or nonexempt based on guidelines established by federal law. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for classifying positions using these guidelines.
Exempt—Exempt employment status includes most of those working as executives, administrators, managers, professional staff, technical staff, sales representatives, officers, directors, and others whose duties and responsibilities allow them to be classified as being exempt from overtime pay provisions as provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and any applicable state laws. If you are an exempt staff member, you are excluded from the compensatory and overtime pay provisions of the FLSA and may be required to work beyond your normal work week without compensatory time off or additional payment.
Nonexempt—According to the FLSA, if you are a nonexempt staff member, you must be paid in the next appropriate payroll cycle at the rate of one-and-one-half times your regular hourly rate for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a given work week. All overtime work for nonexempt staff members must be approved in advance by your supervisor. Compensatory time, as opposed to pay, is only acceptable for those hours between 37.5 and 40.
Full-Time or Part-Time Employment Status
Full-time or part-time employment status is determined by the total number of hours you are assigned to work during the work week.
Full-time—Full-time staff members are scheduled to work 37.5 hours per work week, including time granted for holidays, recess days, vacation days, personal days, sick time, and earned compensatory time taken.
Part-time—Part-time staff members are scheduled to work less than 37.5 hours per work week, except when assigned by the department to work additional hours.
Less Than 12-Month Appointment
Except as otherwise stated herein, all personnel policies and procedures issued by the University are applicable to less than 12-month staff appointments. In an effort to provide greater utilization of staff members consistent with the operational requirements of the individual units of the University, staff appointments of eight, nine, and 10 months are available as an alternative to regular 12-month employment. Heads of responsibility centers will designate those positions of less than 12 months at the time a recruitment request is processed. Staff members appointed to these positions will be regular full-time or regular part-time, consistent with the length of their appointment and percent of effort. Any appointment of less than eight months would result in temporary full-time or temporary part-time status and would require a review by the Recruiting and Client Services Department of the Office of Human Resources.
Nine-Month and 10-Month Full-Time Status
Nine-month and 10-month full-time regular staff positions include a two- or three-month period of non-employment at any time during July 1 through June 30. These positions include modified benefits eligibility and conditions of employment. Except as otherwise stated, all University policies and procedures apply to nine-month and 10-month full-time staff status. For further information, see Nine-Month and Ten-Month Full-Time Staff Status Policy 07-03-04.
Regular Employment Status
Regular staff positions are those positions that are essential for the effective long-term operation of the department. Regular part-time and regular full-time staff members are required to work a predetermined schedule of hours and days. After you satisfactorily complete the provisional period of employment associated with an initial appointment to a regular position, you are entitled to the privileges and benefits associated with regular status employment. After completing twice the length of the provisional period of employment, you are eligible to apply for a transfer to another University position in another department. However, promotions or transfers within the same department may occur at any time.
Temporary Employment Status
Temporary staff positions are those positions that are limited in duration and/or sporadic in nature. These positions are generally for a specific project; for temporary replacement of an absent regular staff member, including illness, leave of absence or vacancy; and for short-term needs during seasonal and/or peak workloads.
Temporary staff employees are not eligible for vacation days, personal days, sick days or other leaves; are not eligible for holiday pay if required to work on a University designated holiday; are not eligible to use the Formal Complaint Procedure; and are not covered by benefit insurances, other benefit programs and services, and the University’s Retirement Program.
Temporary staff are covered by Social Security and other statutory programs. Temporary staff are eligible to make an unmatched, tax-deferred contribution to TIAA and/or The Vanguard Group up to the extent permitted by the IRS regulations.
Temporary positions may be either full- or part-time. The following outlines the two categories of temporary employees at the University of Pittsburgh:
Oakland Campus Temporary Assignments
Alternative Temporary Staffing (ALL•TEMPS) is a service provided by the Office of Human Resources exclusively for use by University departments and schools at the Oakland campus. ALL•TEMPS provides temporary, non-faculty staff—professional, clerical and custodial—to fill short-term or sporadic staffing needs.
ALL•TEMPS employees are not guaranteed regular employment status; however, they may apply for any regular positions available at the University of Pittsburgh.
For more information please call ALL•TEMPS at 412-624-7000.
Regional Campus Temporary Assignments
Regional Campus temporary employees are recruited and administered through each respective Regional Office of Human Resources. Regional Campus temporary assignments are determined by the nature of the assignment and expected duration. Positions that have a predetermined full-time or part-time schedule and are continuous in nature are generally short-term assignments, i.e., no longer than six months. Departments may submit legitimate requests for an assignment that they anticipate to be longer than six months as long as the appropriate justification is provided.
Regional Campus temporary staff are not guaranteed regular employment status; however, they may apply for any regular positions available at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Alternative Temporary Staffing Division (ALL•TEMPS) is a service provided by the Office of Human Resources exclusively for use by University departments and schools. The purpose of ALL•TEMPS is to provide personnel, both professional and clerical, to fill the short-term needs of departments and schools. ALL•TEMPS also provides backup when regular staff members are on vacation or leave, and extra assistance during peak workload periods or for special projects. All temporary assignments must be coordinated through the Office of Human Resources. For more information please call ALL•TEMPS at 412-624-7000.
For regular full-time and regular part-time staff members, the official University hire date corresponds to the first working day at the University in a regular staff position. This date, used to calculate your length of service at the University, determines your eligibility for participation in certain benefit programs. If you transfer or are promoted, you retain your initial hire date, but must serve a new provisional period for each subsequent position held. A new hire date will be assigned when you have a change in status from student to staff, temporary staff to regular staff, and UPMC staff to University of Pittsburgh staff status. The University follows the guidelines established by the Office of Veterans’ Re-employment Rights concerning returning service veterans and the retention of the initial official University hire date.
Provisional Period of Employment
When you are hired, transfer to a different position, or are promoted, you are subject to a provisional period of employment. The Office of Human Resources may consider a waiver of the provisional period in instances of transfer within the same department, where the functions of the positions are similar in scope. If you have been involuntarily reassigned, you may be subject to a new provisional period. For both regular full-time and regular part-time staff members, the provisional period normally lasts three calendar months for secretarial, clerical, or technical positions, and six calendar months for professional positions.
The provisional period gives you time to learn and adjust to your new position and allows the departmental administrator time to evaluate your suitability for the position. This is accomplished by conducting a performance appraisal at the midpoint of the provisional period. If additional time is necessary to make an assessment of performance, the supervisor may request an extension of the provisional period. This request must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources prior to the conclusion of the provisional period. If the departmental administrator determines that you are not suited for the position, you may be dismissed at any time during the provisional period, subject to a review of all relevant circumstances by the Office of Human Resources. If you are dismissed during your initial provisional period, including any extension of it, you will not be eligible to use the Informal or Formal Complaint Procedure. The University does not permit the waiver of the initial provisional period for any reason.
New and transferred or promoted staff members accrue vacation leave, sick time, and personal holidays during the provisional period. However, any time off must be approved by the departmental administrator.
The University will attempt to satisfy the personal and professional interests of staff members who request job transfers, consistent with the University’s needs. For the University to be successful in achieving its mission, it needs a reasonably stable workforce. You cannot seek another University position in another department until you complete a period of employment in a new position that is twice the length of the provisional period for this position.
The Office of Human Resources will consider an exception to the “twice the provisional period” requirement if the provisional employee submits a written request to Human Resources showing a case of extenuating circumstances, which has been agreed upon and signed by the current department management.
Furthermore, if you voluntarily resign from the University of Pittsburgh prior to the “twice the provisional period” requirement, you will not be offered another position at the University until after the date that you would have been eligible to transfer had you remained in your prior position.
If you are transferring to another position, it is your responsibility to give written notice of your acceptance of the job offer to your current departmental administrator. Clerical, secretarial, and technical staff members should give written notice at least 10 working days prior to the last day of work in the current department, and professional staff members should give at least 20 working days’ notice. It is the responsibility of the departmental administrator to send your departmental personnel file, including your updated summarized Staff Time Record form, to your new department. Upon transferring to a different position at the University, you are subject to a new provisional period. However, you remain eligible to use the education benefits and the complaint procedure during this period, and all accumulated benefits continue to accrue without interruption.
Before an offer of employment for a transfer can be made, it is necessary to have a reference from a supervisor—preferably your immediate supervisor - in your current University department who is reasonably familiar with your work performance.
There may be occasions when an administrative assessment must be made of the overall strengths and contributions of individuals in a given department. In cases where you may better serve the organizational objectives or requirements in another capacity, you may be reassigned, voluntarily or involuntarily, to new or different duties within the department or the University. Because a reassignment may affect classification and compensation policies, such transfers must have the prior written approval of the Office of Human Resources. You will be expected to meet the standards for the new or different position, and may be subject to a provisional period associated with the reassignment.
Reemployment After Separation From the University
This Policy shall apply to the following, and only the following, former University of Pittsburgh regular (full, and part-time) staff employees (hereinafter “Covered Employees”): (1) those who have been separated involuntarily from the University due to position elimination; and (2) those who have been separated involuntarily from the University due to inability to return to work while on approved disability leave. Covered Employees will be eligible to return to University employment without loss of credit for prior years of active service solely for purposes of the following: vacation accrual rate; Defined Contribution Retirement Plan vesting; disability benefits eligibility; and FMLA eligibility. Covered Employees shall be eligible to retain this service credit for a period up to and not to exceed 365 calendar days (including weekends and holidays) after: (1) the effective date of their employment termination from the University (in cases of position elimination); or (2) the date upon which they have been medically released to return to work (in cases of separation due to inability to return to work while on approved disability leave).
- Employees that meet the definition of Covered Employees above shall also be eligible to retain service time from employment prior to the break in service for the 85 point calculation used to determine Retiree Benefit Eligibility.
- Former employees who do not meet the definition of Covered Employees shall not be eligible for any credit for prior years of service should they become reemployed by the University.
- Sick Days, eligibility for Pre-September 1994 Tuition Reimbursement, and Pre-July 2004 Retiree Medical Benefits will not be carried forward regardless of whether an employee is an eligible Covered Employee as described above.
- Any benefits not expressly addressed in this Policy shall be in accordance with those provided to newly hired employees.
- Process: A request to reinstate vacation accruals, Defined Contribution Retirement Plan vesting, disability, and FMLA eligibility must be processed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Benefits Department in writing within 30 days of new regular employment at the University. The benefits of this Reemployment Policy will only be recognized with a written Authorization from the University’s Benefits Department.
If you are planning to voluntarily separate from the University, submit a written notice to your immediate supervisor. Clerical, secretarial, and technical staff members should give written notice at least 10 working days prior to the last active working day, and professional staff should give at least 20 working days’ notice. Include in the written notice: (1) reason for separation, (2) date of last active working day, and (3) amount of any accrued vacation and/or compensatory time. Complete a Separation Report with the departmental administrator. This report facilitates the return of University property, aids in the compilation of management information, and assists in the proper response to unemployment compensation claims and other post-employment inquiries. Failure to comply with these procedures may result in the loss of certain benefits and eligibility for re-employment.
You are considered to be discharged or involuntarily separated if your position is eliminated because of any of the following:
- Lack of funding
- Departmental reorganization
- Changes in the department’s objectives or requirements
- Disciplinary reasons or misconduct
- Unsatisfactory performance
- Any other reason permitted by law
If a department or school believes that an involuntary separation is necessary, the departmental administrator must immediately contact the Office of Human Resources prior to formally notifying the staff member. After receiving notification of a discharge or layoff, the staff member may contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss employment alternatives. Depending on skills, experience, the requirements of the University, and the reasons for the involuntary separation, the Office of Human Resources may provide reasonable assistance in helping the staff member find another job within the University. All staff members involuntarily separated may apply for Unemployment Compensation by contacting the Pennsylvania Office of Employment Security.
The official termination date is your last active working day. The last active working day and the last day for which you are paid may not necessarily be the same. This situation occurs when you terminate on the last working day of the month, but the month ends on a weekend. Unused vacation days and/or unpaid compensatory time are not used to extend employment dates. When the two dates are not the same, the last active working day is the date used for calculating the cancellation date of benefits.
You will be paid for unused earned vacation days and unpaid compensatory time, but will not be paid for unused personal holidays. If you terminate before a holiday, you do not get paid for that holiday. In the event of termination, you may be eligible to receive payment for unused sick days if certain age and service criteria are fulfilled (see Payment of Accrued but Unused Sick Time). In addition, deductions may be taken from your final paycheck to clear any debts owed the University. Payment for any unused accrued vacation time or eligible unused sick days will be payable in a separate check processed in the subsequent pay period following the termination.
Nonexempt Staff—All regular full-time and regular part-time classified nonexempt staff must record hours worked, vacation, sick, personal time, compensatory time taken, and holiday and recess time. At the end of each workweek, the supervisor and nonexempt staff member must review the weekly time card to certify that the time recorded is accurate.
Exempt Staff—All regular full-time and regular part-time classified exempt staff must record actual hours worked or established weekly schedule (in hours), vacation, sick, personal time and holiday and recess time. At the end of each workweek, the supervisor and exempt staff member must review the weekly time card to certify that the time recorded is accurate. Please see the Time Records/Attendance/Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy 07-04-01 for more information.
Compensatory Time and Overtime (Nonexempt Staff)
Prior to working any hours beyond the established schedule for any department, nonexempt staff members must have prior approval of the departmental administrator. Vacation days, personal days, recess time, and paid holidays count for the purpose of calculating overtime and compensatory time. However, the use of each day designated as one of the following—sick, bereavement, jury duty, or compensatory—during a given workweek does not count toward overtime or compensatory time.
Compensatory Time—Compensatory time is defined as time off awarded for the hours worked beyond the normal workweek. If you work beyond the established workweek, you may either be paid a straight hourly rate for those additional hours between 37.5 and 40 or be given compensatory time off, at the discretion of the departmental administrator. If you are entitled to compensatory time off, you must take it by the end of the pay period following the pay period in which it was earned or you will be paid at your regular hourly rate.
Overtime—Nonexempt staff receive overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at the rate of one-and-one-half times the regular hourly rate. Hours worked beyond the standard workweek must be approved in advance by the departmental administrator. Please see the Time Records/Attendance/Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy 07-04-01 for more information.
Reducing Pay for Hours Not Worked (Docking)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, record keeping, and child labor standards for employees who are covered by the act. Pursuant to the FLSA, nonexempt employees are entitled to a mandated minimum wage, as well as overtime pay of not less than one-and-one-half times their regular hourly rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in their workweek.
If you are nonexempt, your pay may be reduced (docked) for such reasons as absences in excess of accrued leave or sick time, tardiness, early departure, disciplinary suspension, or absences without sufficient notification or justification.
If you are exempt, your pay may be reduced (docked) for:
- Absences from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability.
- Absences of one or more full days occasioned by sickness or disability (including work-related accidents) if the deduction is made in accordance with applicable University policy and/or practice regarding sick days, disability leave, or workers’ compensation. Deductions may be made for full-day absences for which an employee receives such disability coverage. Deductions may also be made for full-day absences if an employee has not yet qualified as being eligible for otherwise applicable sickness or disability coverage, and if the employee has exhausted the leave allowed under such coverage.
- Offsets of military pay received by an employee for a particular week for absences occasioned by military leave.
- Penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance.
- Unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for infractions of workplace conduct rules and imposed pursuant to a written policy applicable to all employees.
- Absences during the initial or terminal week of employment.
- Absences that constitute unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Improper Docking Complaints—The University is committed to proper pay practices and policies. If an employee’s pay is found by the University to have been incorrectly docked, the University will reimburse the employee for any improper deductions and will make a good faith effort to ensure that any future deductions are in accordance with the law. Employees who believe that their pay has been improperly docked may follow the staff complaint procedure as defined in the University Staff Handbook or may utilize the University’s AlertLine.
Under the University’s Staff Classification System, positions are classified according to the qualifications and level of responsibility assigned to the position. Each job classification has an established salary range. For more information, please contact the Compensation Department of the Office of Human Resources.
Performance Appraisal Program
You are to participate with your immediate supervisor in the performance appraisal process at least once a year. You are asked to complete a self-appraisal, which will be discussed in a private meeting. Your supervisor then is to prepare a written appraisal of your performance. The discussion includes reviewing previous feedback about job performance as well as planning for professional development. Professional development may include participating in professional organizations, attending professional conventions, and reading professional literature clearly related to professional development. In addition, your job can often serve as a source for professional development when new assignments and increased responsibilities widen or enhance your current skills. It is appropriate to discuss work-related subjects that interest you during the appraisal meeting. See Performance Appraisal Program Policy 07-05-01.
Promotion and Transfer
If you transfer or are promoted, your salary must be increased to the minimum salary of the range for the classification of the new position. Because of length of service, you may already be above the minimum salary for the new position. In that case, the department, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, may decide that your experience and background are sufficient to warrant a salary above the minimum. If you transfer or are reassigned to a position with a lower classification, your salary will be subject to review and may be reduced.
Compensation—Withholdings and Deductions
Paychecks are distributed to offices on the last working day of each month and cannot be issued prior to the normal pay date. Paychecks are subject to the deductions authorized by the individual or required by law. Presently, the University is required by law to deduct federal income tax, Social Security tax, Pennsylvania state personal income tax, City of Pittsburgh earned income tax, City of Pittsburgh school tax, local earned income tax for municipalities where University facilities are located, City of Philadelphia wage tax, and emergency and municipal tax (EMS). If you live outside the City of Pittsburgh, you must file a Pittsburgh local tax exemption certificate (Form WTEX) or other municipality tax exemption certificate. The filing of this form with the Payroll Department will suppress the withholding of the City of Pittsburgh earned income tax from non-city residents. In such cases, the payment of local tax is your responsibility.
Direct Deposit Program
You may elect to have your paycheck deposited on the scheduled payday by the University directly to your account in an approved banking institution. The banking institution in which the account is maintained must be a member of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). Deposits can be made in only one banking institution and in only one account in the banking institution. Partial deposits will not be permitted; that is, the total net pay must be deposited. To participate, you must complete the proper authorization agreement, which is available in the Payroll Department. You will receive a Statement of Deposit in lieu of a paycheck. The pay stub, listing withholdings and deductions, will be attached to the Statement of Deposit. For more information, contact the Payroll Department, 207P Craig Hall, or call 412-624-8070.
Accrual of Sick Time
Regular classified staff members accrue sick time for each pay period worked, irrespective of length of service. The maximum amount of sick time that a regular full or part-time staff member may accrue at any given time is limited to 900 hours (120 days).
Sick time is accrued during the provisional period. Temporary staff members do not accrue or receive sick time regardless of the length of the assignment.
Accrual of Sick Time
Sick time is accrued at the end of the pay period and available to be taken at the start of the following pay period.
New staff members who begin employment on the first day of the pay period will receive the full accrual for the pay period. New staff members who begin employment on any day other than the first day of the pay period will receive a prorated accrual based on the number of days worked between the official start date and the last day of the pay period. For example, if a newly hired full-time staff member begins employment with the University on the 15th day of the month, they would receive a prorated portion (equal to half) of the sick time accrual for the month.
When a staff member terminates from the University, sick time accruals will be prorated for the pay period in which the staff member terminates in accordance with their official date of termination. See Payment of Unused Sick Time section below for eligibility requirements to be paid for accrued sick time.
Regular classified full-time staff members who are assigned to a monthly payroll accrue 7.5 hours (1 day) of sick time per pay period. Regular classified full-time staff members who are assigned to a biweekly payroll accrue 3.462 hours (½ day) of sick time per pay period. In both cases, the maximum annual accrual is 90 hours (12 days) of sick time per year.
Regular classified part-time staff members accrue sick time according to their designated percentage of effort. Sick time accrual rates and annual accrual maximums are based on the following percentage of effort ranges:
|Part-Time Percentage of Effort Ranges*|
|80% to 99%||60% to 79%||40% to 59%||20% to 39%||0% to 19%|
|Hours per Month||Max Hrs per Year||Hours per Month||Max Hrs per Year||Hours per Month||Max Hrs per Year||Hours per Month||Max Hrs per Year||Hours per Month||Max Hrs per Year|
*Sick time accruals and maximums are based on a University standard work week of 37.5 hrs (7.5 hours per day). If you are on a University-approved 40-hour work week, contact the Office of Human Resources, Compensation Department for more information regarding specific sick time accruals and maximums.
Usage of Sick Time
Sick time may be used only for health reasons, family care obligations, and other conditions that have a bearing on physical and mental welfare. Sick time may be taken for purposes of a family care obligation only for an obligation caused by a physical or mental health condition of a family member, or if care for a dependent family member is necessitated by the closure or delayed start of a care facility or school because of severe weather conditions. Family members are defined as those for whom leave may be taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which include a spouse, parent, or child (child means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is either under age 18, or age 18 or older and “incapable of self-care” as defined pursuant to FMLA regulations).
Supervisors or departmental administrators may request a physician’s certification or other official verification of the reasons for taking sick time, particularly in cases of chronic, patterned, or long-term absence. In addition, staff members may be disciplined if more sick time is taken than entitled to or in cases of excessive unscheduled absences or other egregious use of sick time. Sick time will be accrued in hours and should be documented as taken in hours; however all staff are encouraged to take sick time in no less than half day increments (example: 3.75 hrs). In all instances, pay should be adjusted when more sick days are taken than have been accrued.
If sick time usage extends beyond three consecutive work days, staff members may be required to apply for leave under FMLA, and, in cases where the absence is due to the staff member’s own health condition, provide a fitness for duty certification to their supervisor or departmental administrator upon return to work. The University may, when appropriate, designate the leave as FMLA leave. See the Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act for Staff Policy 07-07-02.
A sick leave totaling no more than 120 working days may be granted for health-related reasons. Your position is guaranteed for no more than 60 working days, absent other legal considerations. When you request a sick leave, you must submit to your department and the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources a physician’s statement or similar verification of physical condition or circumstances. This statement should include the nature of the condition or problem that prevents you from performing your duties and an anticipated date of return. The University may, when appropriate, designate the leave as FMLA leave. See the Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act for Staff Policy 07-07-02.
While you are on sick leave, you are paid for the days you have accrued as sick time, and may also elect to be paid for accrued vacation and for compensatory time accrued in the current or preceding pay period. You do not accrue paid vacation or sick time while on sick leave, after your last day at work. At least five days prior to the date when you are scheduled to return to work, you must provide a physician’s statement or similar verification of your suitability to perform your normal duties, including any restrictions. This statement is provided to your departmental administrator.
If your position is not held open by the department beyond 60 working days, the Recruiting and Client Services Department of the Office of Human Resources will attempt to place you in a similar position upon the expiration of the leave. However, such placement cannot be guaranteed. In all cases, the University has no liability for either salary or benefits until you are re-employed.
Payment of Accrued but Unused Sick Time
Staff members may receive payment for unused sick time only if certain age and service criteria are fulfilled. If a staff member has reached 60 years of age or above and has a minimum 10 years of service or is at least 55 years of age and has a minimum of 25 years of service at the time of separation from service, he/she will receive a payment based upon the amount of unused sick time accrued. The payment will be equal to (a) accumulated unused sick time multiplied by one-half of the final base pay daily rate, or (b) $2,500, whichever is less. Payment for unused accrued sick time will be payable in a separate check processed in the subsequent pay period following the termination. For more information, please call the Office of Human Resources, Compensation Department at 412-624-7000.
All leaves of absence must be documented by the department administrator on the Employee Record form for the first available payroll cycle corresponding to your absence from active work, regardless of whether the leave is paid or unpaid.
Regular Full-Time Employees—Regular full-time staff members are eligible for a paid leave of five working days in the event of a miscarriage or stillborn birth, or the death of a spouse, registered domestic partner (see Domestic Partner Benefits Policy 07-06-08), child, stepchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, or parent of registered domestic partner. Bereavement leave associated with funeral services must be taken within seven calendar days of the death. Any remaining part of bereavement leave necessary to settle family issues associated with the death may be taken at a later time. You are eligible for one day of paid leave to attend the funeral of an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, or sister or brother of a registered domestic partner.
Regular Part-Time Employees—Regular part-time staff members will receive pay for bereavement leave prorated to the staff member’s percent of effort worked. These days must be taken within seven calendar days of the death as defined above.
Regular full-time staff members are granted 10 paid holidays each year:
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King Day
Day after Thanksgiving
Day before Christmas
Regular part-time staff members will be paid only for those holidays that fall on regularly scheduled working days. If you are required to work on holidays, separate compensatory arrangements will be made. Temporary staff members are not paid for University holidays, regardless of the length of the assignment.
Regular classified staff members are granted personal time for use within the University’s fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). Personal time must be scheduled in advance with the staff member’s supervisor, according to departmental scheduling practices. Personal time will not carry over to the next fiscal year and will not be paid out at time of termination.
Personal time will be available in hours and should be documented as taken in hours; however, all staff are encouraged to take personal time in no less than half day increments (example: 3.75 hrs). Personal time is available for use, if approved in advance, during the provisional period. Temporary staff members do not accrue or receive personal time regardless of the length of the assignment.
Regular classified full-time staff members are granted 15 hours of personal time (2 days, 7.5 hours each) at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1).
New full-time staff members that begin employment July through December will receive 15 hours (2 days) of personal time for the fiscal year. If employment begins between January through April, 7.5 hours (1 day) of personal time will be granted for the fiscal year. If employment begins in May through June, no personal time will be granted until the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Regular classified part-time staff members are granted 7.5 hours (1 day) of personal time at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1). New part-time staff members that begin employment July through December will receive 7.5 hours of personal time (1 day) for the fiscal year. If employment begins between January through April, 3.75 hours (½ day) of personal time will be granted for the fiscal year. If employment begins in May through June, no personal time will be granted until the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Changes to Percentage of Effort within the Fiscal Year
Staff members who transfer from a full-time staff position to a part-time staff position anytime within the fiscal year will have their available personal time balance reduced to 7.5 hours (1 day). If you have less than 7.5 hours available (1 day), the balance will not change.
Staff members who transfer from a part-time position to a full-time position anytime within the fiscal year will have their available personal time balance increased by 7.5 hours (1 day) and will not exceed 15 hours (2 days) maximum.
During the period between the end of the fall term and the beginning of the spring term, the University announces a recess when some University offices may be closed. The specific recess days are announced in the Official University Academic Calendar.
Jury Duty and Court Witness
When you are called to serve jury duty or subpoenaed as a court witness, you must notify your departmental administrator immediately and provide a copy of the notice or subpoena. Your University pay will not be reduced by the amount of jury duty or court witness pay that you receive.
Accrual of Vacation Time
Regular classified staff members accrue vacation time according to both years of service with the University and full-time or part-time staff assignment category.
Vacation time is accrued during the provisional period. Temporary staff members do not accrue or receive vacation time regardless of the length of the assignment.
Accrual of Vacation Time
Vacation time accruals are determined by the staff member’s official hire date or adjusted service date recognized by the Office of Human Resources at the time of hire.
Vacation time is accrued at the end of the pay period and available to be taken at the start of the following pay period.
New staff members who begin employment on the first day of the pay period will receive the full accrual for the pay period. New staff members who begin employment on any day other than the first day of the pay period will receive a prorated accrual based on the number of days worked between the official start date and the last day of the pay period. For example, if a newly hired full-time staff member begins employment with the University on the 15th day of the month, they would receive a prorated portion (equal to half) of the vacation accrual for the month.
When a staff member terminates from the University, vacation accruals will be prorated for the pay period in which the staff member terminates in accordance with their official date of termination. Payment for any unused accrued vacation time will be payable in a separate check processed in the subsequent pay period following the termination.
Vacation Time Guidelines
Vacation cannot be taken before it is accrued and must be requested and approved in advance by the staff member’s supervisor in accordance with established departmental scheduling guidelines. Vacation time will be accrued in hours thus should be taken in hours; however, all staff are encouraged to take vacation time in no less than half-day increments (example: 3.75 hrs).
Once a staff member reaches the maximum accumulation of vacation hours, they will not accrue additional vacation hours until hours are taken and the vacation balance falls below the maximum allowed. No retroactive credit will be granted for vacation time not accumulated as a result of reaching the vacation maximum.
Transfers from Non-Staff Positions
Employees who have transferred into a staff position from a non-staff position may be eligible to transfer previous years of service to count towards staff vacation accrual eligibility. Please reference the Staff Reemployment Policy or contact the Office of Human Resources Compensation Department at 412-624-8150 for more information regarding non-staff job types that are eligible to count towards classified staff years of service.
Regular full-time staff vacation accruals are determined by the staff member’s years of service with the University:
|Full-Time Vacation Accruals (37.5 hours per week)|
|Accruals Per Month||Max Accruals Per Year|
|Years of Service||Monthly Accrual in HOURS||Biweekly Accrual in HOURS (26 pays/year)||Max in HOURS||Max in DAYS|
|0-5 years||6.25 hrs||2.885 hrs||75.0 hrs||10 days|
|6-10 years||9.375 hrs||4.327 hrs||112.5 hrs||15 days|
|11-20 years||12.5 hrs||5.769 hrs||150.0 hrs||20 days|
|21 or more years||15.625 hrs||7.212 hours||187.5 hrs||25 days|
|Full-Time Vacation Accruals (40 hours per week)|
|Accruals Per Month||Max Accruals Per Year|
|Years of Service||Monthly Accrual in HOURS||Biweekly Accrual in HOURS (26 pays/year)||Max in HOURS||Max in DAYS|
|0-5 years||6.667 hrs||3.077 hrs||80.0 hrs||10 days|
|6-10 years||10 hrs||4.615 hrs||120 hrs||15 days|
|11-20 years||13.333 hrs||6.154 hrs||160 hrs||20 days|
|21 or more years||16.667 hrs||7.692 hours||200 hrs||25 days|
Regular part-time vacation time accrual rates are based on the following percentage of effort ranges. Vacation time accruals are determined by years of service with the University and designated percentage of effort:
|Part-Time Vacation Accruals - Percentage of Effort Ranges|
|Years of Service||80% to 99%||60 to 79%||40 to 59%||20% to 39%||0% to 19%|
|Hrs per Month||Max Hrs per year||Hrs per Month||Max Hrs per year||Hrs per Month||Max Hrs per Year||Hrs per Month||Max Hrs per Year||Hrs per Month||Max Hrs per Year|
|6 to 10 years||8.438||101.25||6.563||78.75||4.688||56.25||2.813||33.75||0.938||11.25|
|11 to 20 years||11.250||135.0||8.750||105.0||6.250||75.0||3.750||45.0||1.250||15.0|
|21 or more years||14.063||168.75||10.938||131.25||7.813||93.75||4.688||56.25||1.563||18.75|
Changes in Percentage of Effort
If a staff member’s percentage of effort changes and their accrued vacation balance exceeds the maximum of the new range, the difference between the accrued vacation balance and the maximum of the new range will be paid in the subsequent pay period following the change.
Vacation Time for Staff Classified at the Pay Grade 12 Level
Staff members who hold positions classified in Pay Grade 12 will accrue vacation time at the rate of 150 hours (or 20 days) per year. Once a staff member with a position classified in Pay Grade 12 completes 20 years of service with the University, the vacation accrual rate will increase to 187.5 hours (or 25 days) per year.
Leave of Absence
You may request general leaves of absence without pay. If granted, these leaves may not exceed 120 working days. You may not use accrued paid vacation days to extend the length of the leave beyond 120 days. However, accrued vacation days may be used during the leave to receive pay. Any such arrangements must be approved by the departmental administrator.
To initiate a request for an unpaid leave, you must first discuss the reasons for requesting a leave with your departmental administrator. The departmental administrator will discuss the circumstances with the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources. If it is determined that a leave is warranted, you will be notified by your departmental administrator. The University may, when appropriate, designate a leave as a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
While on leave, you do not accrue vacation or sick time. Should you fail to return from a leave at the agreed-upon time, you are considered to have voluntarily resigned and lose all employment rights. Insurance benefits are not suspended while you are on a leave of absence. However, the cost of any benefits will be borne by you in the same manner as prior to the leave. Any arrangements for continuance of benefits must be made prior to the leave by contacting the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.
The University grants military leave and re-employment rights to eligible staff, pursuant to applicable federal and state law.
For more information, contact the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Basic Leave Entitlement
In accordance with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the University of Pittsburgh provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible staff members for the following reasons:
- For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth;
- To care for the staff member’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
- To care for the staff member’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
- For a serious health condition that makes the staff member unable to perform the staff member’s job
Military Family Leave Entitlements
Eligible staff members whose spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty or called to covered active duty status may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible staff members to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. A covered service member is: (1) a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness*; or (2) a veteran who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable at any time during the five-year period prior to the first date the eligible staff member takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran, and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.*
* The FMLA definitions of “serious injury or illness” for current service members and veterans are distinct from the FMLA definition of “serious health condition”.
Benefits and Protections
During FMLA leave, the University must maintain the staff member’s health coverage under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the staff member had continued to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, staff members must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of a staff member’s leave.
Staff members are eligible if they have worked for the University for at least one year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.
Definition of Serious Health Condition
A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the staff member from performing the functions of the staff member’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.
Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.
Use of Leave
A staff member does not need to use this leave entitlement in one block. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Staff members must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the University’s operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.
Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave
The University requires the use of accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. Staff members must use up to 60 sick days, and may elect to use vacation days once sick days are exhausted or 60 have been used.
Staff Member Responsibilities
Staff members must provide 30 days’ advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days’ notice is not possible, the staff member must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with a school or department’s normal call-off procedures.
Staff members must provide sufficient information to the University’s FMLA Third Party Administrator for the University to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and concerning the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the staff member is unable to perform job functions, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. Staff members also must inform their supervisor if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. Staff members also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.
The University must inform staff members requesting leave whether they are eligible under FMLA. If they are, the notice must specify any additional information required as well as the staff members’ rights and responsibilities. If they are not eligible, the University must provide a reason for the ineligibility.
The University must inform staff members if leave will be designated as FMLA-protected and the amount of leave counted against the staff member’s leave entitlement. If the University determines that the leave is not FMLA-protected, the employer must notify the staff member. The University complies with these responsibilities through its third party administrator.
Unlawful Acts by Employers
FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to:
- Interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA;
- Discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.
Any employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.
FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement that provides greater family or medical leave rights.
FMLA section 109 (29 U.S.C. § 2619) requires FMLA covered employers to post the text of this notice. Regulations 29 C.F.R. § 825.300(a) may require additional disclosures.
For more detailed information, contact the Employee Relations Department of Human Resources and see the Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act for Staff Policy and Procedure 07-07-02.
Paid Parental Leave
The University supports the importance of providing assistance to its staff members who become new parents through the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. As part of this commitment, the University provides Paid Parental Leave to eligible staff members.
Full-time regular and part-time regular staff employees receive up to four weeks (20 days) of Paid Parental Leave. Eligible part-time staff members will receive a pro-rated amount of leave. Part-time eligible staff members working 50 percent effort or greater are eligible for a proration of the 20 days based on their percent of effort at the start of the leave. For example, if a staff member is 60 percent effort, they will be eligible for 12 days of Paid Parental Leave. If a staff member works a non-standard schedule, such as 9.375 hours/day, parental leave days should be converted to hours. Twenty days is equal to 150 hours of parental leave.
If both parents work at the University, they will each be eligible for this paid benefit separately. Paid Parental Leave runs concurrently, not consecutively, with benefits provided pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the University’s Short-term Disability (STD) program. This policy applies to births (date of delivery), adoptions, and foster care placements that occur on July 1, 2017 or after.
Full-time regular and part-time regular staff members are eligible for the Paid Parental Leave benefit described in this policy if: (1) they have worked in a benefits-eligible position for the past six months; and (2) are at least 50 percent effort. Time worked as a student employee, temporary staff member, or in other non-benefit eligible positions, does not count toward this six-month employment requirement. Other classifications such as Faculty, Research Associates, and Postdoctoral Associates, may be eligible for paid leaves under other policies, but are not eligible for the paid leave as described here. Staff members who are represented by a labor union are eligible for Parental Leave and other benefits in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in their collective bargaining agreement.
To be eligible for this benefit, the staff member must plan on returning to work upon ending the leave. The staff member must also be the parent of the child. For purposes of this policy, a parent is defined as the following: (1) a biological, adoptive or foster parent, (2) a stepparent, or (3) a legal guardian.
Use of Leave
For maternity leaves, the Paid Parental Leave must be used at the start of the medical portion of the leave, once the baby is born. If the leave is for paternity leave, adoption, or foster care, it may be used during the 12 months immediately following the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the child. This leave is paid at 100 percent of the staff member’s base salary. Paid Parental Leave cannot be used on an intermittent basis. Staff members must use the entire leave entitlement in consecutive work weeks.
Holiday and recess days that occur during a parental leave will not extend the Paid Parental Leave. For example, if the parental leave runs from March 1 through March 28 (20 working days), and the Spring Holiday falls on March 10, the staff member will enter Parental Leave on their timecard, not a holiday. The Paid Parental Leave will not be extended due to the holiday.
Staff members will not earn sick, vacation or personal time while on a Paid Parental Leave.
If the scheduled Paid Parental Leave crosses over two fiscal years, and the staff member had a personal time balance remaining as of June 30, that time will be lost July 1. The new personal time balance would be available upon the staff member’s return to work.
At the conclusion of Paid Parental Leave, the staff member may be eligible for additional time off under FMLA/STD or other policies. If the eligible staff member remains out beyond the four weeks of Paid Parental Leave under FMLA/STD policies, they must exhaust their sick time following the Paid Parental Leave. They also have the option of using vacation and/or personal time, though this is not required. If eligible, STD payments will start once the sick time is exhausted. Paid Parental Leave, FMLA, and STD all run concurrently.
Like FMLA and STD, Paid Parental Leave provides job protection. Paid Parental Leave may be terminated by the University if the staff member informs the University during the leave that they do not intend to return to work at the conclusion of the leave. Parental leave will not be paid out upon termination of employment.
Multiple births, such as having twins, does not increase the length of the Paid Parental Leave.
Applicable taxes and health and welfare benefits such as medical, dental, vision, flexible spending, life insurance, and contributions to the retirement savings plan will continue to be deducted from the Paid Parental Leave pay as if it were regular salary.
Staff Member Responsibilities
The staff member must go through the normal FMLA/STD claims process with MetLife to file for maternity/paternity leave. The staff member must let their department know prior to the leave that it is related to a Paid Parental Leave. The staff member must submit timecards appropriately for the first 20 days of the leave to reflect Parental Leave. If the staff member elects to use paid time off such as sick, vacation or personal time after the Paid Parental Leave is exhausted under FMLA/STD, their timecards should be submitted to reflect the use of other time off.
The department must verify that the staff member qualifies for a Paid Parental Leave. The Paid Parental Leave must be documented on the paid leave section of the Employee Record. The department must complete the Leave Addendum and attach it to the Employee Record. The Leave Addendum requires the department to obtain the dates in which the staff member expects to be out and how their time off should be used to cover the remainder of the leave after the Paid Parental Leave is exhausted.
Human Resources Responsibilities
The Benefits Department within the Office of Human Resources provides final approval/denial of the Paid Parental Leave benefit based on the eligibility criteria above. The Benefits Department processes the Paid Parental Leave based on the information submitted by the department on the Employee Record and on the Leave Addendum. The Benefits Department may ask the employee for documentation to verify the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.
Career-Related Development Workshops/Seminars - Release time for career-related development programs may not exceed eight hours per term. Additional time for attendance at such programs—which would have to be otherwise accounted for (e.g., personal days, compensatory time, etc.)—may be granted at the discretion of the department. Supervisors will ordinarily grant release time for regular full-time and regular part-time staff members at all levels to attend pertinent noncredit career and/or personal development courses and workshops administered through the Office of Human Resources. Your supervisor must sign the Faculty and Staff Development Program Registration form to authorize you to attend the sponsored workshops/seminars. Temporary full-time and temporary part-time staff members are not eligible for release time.
There may be rare occasions when it is necessary for a regular classified staff member to be absent from work due to emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. In these cases, it may not be appropriate to deduct hours from the staff member’s vacation, personal or sick time accrual balances. These absences should be designated as Approved Absences on the staff time record and must have the approval of the staff member’s immediate supervisor. Approved Absences with supervisory approval may be used for absences that are weather related, work facility emergencies or workweek adjustments (such as approved early closures) and must be pre-approved by the department and Responsibility Center leader. Approved Absences do not count as hours worked for purposes of calculating compensatory and overtime (non-exempt staff only). Questions regarding the use of Approved Absences should be directed to your direct supervisor or the Office of Human Resources, Compensation Department at 412-624-7000.
University Service and Development—Staff Council
All regular full-time and regular part-time staff members are encouraged to attend Staff Council Spring and Fall Assembly Meetings or other special Staff Council events. Although release time ordinarily is granted for these meetings or events, it should be noted that release time is granted at the discretion of the staff employee’s supervisor. It is essential that the work areas remain operational during any Staff Council event.
Staff Council elected and/or appointed members, including officers and chairs, will be granted two hours per month to attend regularly scheduled Staff Council meetings.
- Staff Council officers and chairs will be granted an additional two hours per month to attend the Steering Committee meeting each month as well as any additional period of time required to fulfill the objectives of their elected/appointed position(s), with prior notification and mutual consent of their respective supervisors.
- Individual Staff Council elected and/or appointed members will be granted additional release time with written notification to and permission from the appropriate supervisor to attend related University committee meetings as they occur, provided total release time for Staff Council or Staff Council-related activities does not exceed six hours per month.
- Temporary full-time and temporary part-time staff members are not eligible for release time.
Note: In September of each year, the Office of Human Resources will notify immediate supervisors of the responsibilities of newly elected and/or appointed Staff Council members. A copy of these guidelines will be included for reference by the respective department management.
Faculty and Staff Development Program
You are encouraged to attend workshops listed in the Faculty and Staff Development Program. Departments are also encouraged to arrange for staff members who work together to participate in instruction together. A variety of workshops is offered by the Office of Human Resources to you and/or your department.
Brochures describing workshops and registration information are mailed to all staff.
Further information on workshops may be accessed at www.hr.pitt.edu/current-employees/learning-development or by calling 412-624-8046.
The University offers a comprehensive program of benefits and services to help meet your needs throughout the various stages of your life. This overview is intended to be only a summary of the benefits available to you. Full details of each benefit are available in booklets and other documents issued by the University or its insurance carriers. For further information on the benefits outlined in this section, you may visit the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources, 200 Craig Hall, call 412-624-8160, or access the Human Resources website at www.hr.pitt.edu/benefits.
Medical, dental, and vision coverage are available to both you and your eligible family members. Accrued sick days in addition to University-paid short-term and long-term disability coverage provide income protection when it is needed. The University of Pittsburgh also provides financial protection for your family in the event of your death with University-paid basic life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. Additional protection may be purchased through the offering of optional life insurance and AD&D coverage as well as spouse and dependent life insurance coverage. Four different flexible spending accounts allow you to reduce your taxable income. You may place monies into a pretax account for health care, dependent day care, parking, and mass transportation.
Planning for retirement is very important. The Retirement Programs provide you the opportunity to choose between two plans, the Contributory Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan or the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan.
Finally, Long-Term Care is an option available to you and members of your family. This type of financial protection covers the cost of receiving care at home or in a facility when someone needs assistance with his or her activities of daily living due to an accident, illness, or advancing age.
Orientation and enrollment sessions are conducted by the Office of Human Resources for all new hires. In addition, workshops are offered periodically by the Benefits Department for specific benefits. You may also arrange for a personal appointment to discuss benefit entitlement, eligibility, and other related matters.
Each plan year you will have an opportunity to enroll in or change your selection of benefit options. However, federal regulations impose restrictions on enrollment and limitations on making subsequent changes. These opportunities and restrictions are explained in the materials available from the Benefits Office. Your rights and obligations, and those of the University, are governed by the terms of each benefit plan and, in some cases, by contracts with insurance companies. The plans are based on current federal and state laws and are regulated by those laws. Any changes that occur within the laws or regulations may have an impact that would require modification of the plans. Benefits may be modified from time to time by the University at its discretion or as required by applicable law, and the University reserves the right to terminate or modify the benefits as may be necessary or appropriate.
Family Status Changes
Many of the University’s benefits are governed by Internal Revenue Code. As a result, there are rules that govern when you may change a benefit election throughout the year. Generally, you must have a family status change or life event. Examples include marriage or divorce, birth of a child, and a significant change in spouse coverage. You must notify the Benefits Department within 60 days of the life event; otherwise, the only opportunity you will have to make a change in coverage is during the annual open enrollment period.
Several medical plan options are available to you. The University currently offers a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan design as well as several Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. For each plan, the level of benefits will vary upon the network of providers you choose to use. You may also waive medical coverage by certifying that you have comparable medical coverage through another source.
The University offers coverage through a Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) or two options under a fee-for-service indemnity plan.
Vision coverage includes annual benefits for lenses, frames, and an eye examination.
Group Term Life Insurance
University paid group term life insurance is equal to one times your annual salary rounded to the next higher thousand, capped at the plan maximum of $50,000, but not less than $10,000.
Subject to certain proof of insurability requirements, you may purchase optional life insurance in amounts up to six times your annualized salary, rounded to the next higher $1,000, up to the plan maximum. You pay the full cost of optional life insurance according to an age-graded rate schedule.
Group Term Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
University paid group term AD&D insurance is also equal to one times your annual salary rounded to the next higher thousand, capped at the plan maximum of $50,000, but not less than $10,000.
Optional AD&D insurance may be purchased in amounts up to six times your annualized salary, rounded to the next higher $1,000, up to the plan maximum. You are responsible for the full cost of optional AD&D insurance. The premium is a fixed rate for each $1,000 of coverage. It is not age graded.
Optional Dependent Group Term Life Insurance
You may elect to purchase group term life insurance to cover your eligible dependents. These dependents include your spouse and unmarried children under age 19, and unmarried children between the ages of 19 and 25 if they are enrolled as full-time students. You are responsible for the full premium cost that covers your spouse and/or any number of eligible dependent children.
Flexible Spending Accounts
The University offers several different flexible spending accounts to help meet your needs. Flexible spending accounts offered by the University are designed to reimburse you for specified expenses. You designate an amount of salary reduction contribution for the plan year on a pretax basis. This has the effect of reducing your taxable income.
It is critical to be aware of the regulations for flexible spending accounts and plan your participation accordingly.
Health Care Spending Accounts
Participants may be reimbursed for a wide variety of health-related expenses not covered by medical, dental, or vision insurance. In general, these expenses include any item allowable as a medical deduction on your federal income tax return. Deductibles, co-payments, and amounts in excess of plan allowances or maximums may also be claimed. The same expenses cannot be claimed as a medical deduction on your federal income tax return. Health care expenses may be reimbursed to you through submission of a paper claim to a third-party administrator or through the use of a debit card known commonly as the “Benny Card.”
Dependent Care Spending Accounts
You may be reimbursed for allowable day care expenses incurred for the care of eligible dependents to enable you to work outside the home. Generally, reimbursable dependent care expenses include charges for day care centers and some aspects of nursery schools or charges for individuals (other than your dependents or spouse) who provide care for your dependent(s) in or outside your home.
Parking Reimbursement Account
You may submit eligible expenses incurred for work-related parking. This includes parking in a non-University lot that is located near your workplace. The cost of University leases taken on a pretax basis does not qualify.
Mass Transportation Account
Expenses for qualified vanpools not operated by the University and other mass transit expenses for the purpose of commuting to and from work are eligible for reimbursement from this account.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Financial protection against the cost of receiving care at home or in a facility when someone needs assistance with his or her activities of daily living due to an accident, illness, or advancing age is provided with long-term care insurance. Regular and part-time staff with at least 50 percent effort are eligible for coverage. New hires may enroll as guaranteed issue. After 60 days, completion of a medical questionnaire is required. There are four plan options that offer different coverages and rates to meet your needs.
Short-Term Disability Benefit Program
The Short-Term Disability Benefit Program is available to active regular full-time and regular part-time classified staff members who work at least 50 percent effort. This plan works in conjunction with sick time accrual, medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Long-Term Disability Insurance. At no cost to you, this program lessens the financial burden you may incur from an extended non-work-related injury or illness. It specifically addresses absences from work because of your own disabled condition. Disabled means that you are unable to perform all the material duties of your job, not doing any work for payment, and under the regular and continuing care of a physician. Short-term disability insurance provides an income replacement of 60 percent of your weekly salary up to a maximum of $1,500 per week.
You are eligible for short-term disability benefits after you have completed six months of employment with the University, and you must be actively at work on the effective date of coverage. Once you have become eligible for coverage, you must satisfy a period of continuous disability before you are eligible to receive short-term disability benefit payments. This “elimination period” begins on the day you become disabled and lasts 30 calendar days. The amount of working days in this period will vary from 20 to 23, depending on the length of the month.
Short-term disability benefit payments begin after the “elimination period” and continue for the duration of your disability up to a maximum of 26 weeks (including the “elimination period”). If you are unable to return to work at the end of the short-term disability coverage period, you may be eligible for long-term disability coverage upon recommendation of your physician and approval of the insurance carrier. If your claim is approved, you would receive continued coverage throughout your disability.
You are required to use your accrued sick days up to a maximum of 12 weeks under the University’s policy for FMLA leave. This will require you to use up to a maximum of 60 sick days (if they are available) to cover the FMLA and short-term disability periods. If you are not eligible for an FMLA leave, you must still use your accrued sick days. You are not required to use accrued vacation days or personal holidays during your disability. However, if you wish, you may use these days in lieu of short-term disability benefit coverage. Short-term disability benefits are not paid for days during the period of disability used as sick days, vacation days or personal holidays.
Additional information concerning short-term disability benefits may be obtained from the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.
As a condition for continuation of short-term disability benefits, you must apply for Social Security Disability Income during the fourth month of your disability. You will be contacted directly by the insurance carrier for short-term and long-term disability to assist you with this process.
Long-Term Disability Benefit Program
The Long-Term Disability Benefit Program provides partial income replacement, continuation of Contributory Tax-Deferred Annuity Program contributions, and continuation of certain University benefits in the event eligible staff become “disabled.” At no cost to you, coverage becomes effective the first of the month following a waiting period of eligible employment. An earlier effective date may be established if you were covered by a comparable plan by a preceding employer who meets the requirements of the Certificate of Previous Coverage. Long-term disability may not necessarily mean a total and permanent disability. During the period of disability, the insured must be under the regular care of a legally qualified physician.
If a claim is approved, long-term disability benefits begin on the first of the month following six months of total disability in an eight-month period. Long-term disability benefits will be reduced by disability benefits received from Social Security, workers’ compensation, and any other disability benefits payable under any plan for which contributions or payroll deductions are made by the University. Benefits continue to be paid consistent with a benefits duration schedule that is monitored on an ongoing basis to be in compliance with age discrimination regulations. If you exhaust your available disability benefits under the schedule at an age commensurate with the criteria for official University of Pittsburgh retirement status, you are entitled to the same benefits, programs, and services as are ordinarily provided when you are granted official retirement status.
Additional information concerning long-term disability benefits may be obtained from the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.
The Retirement Program
The University of Pittsburgh Retirement Program, established under the Internal Revenue Code, provides an opportunity for you to elect from two pension plan options: a Contributory Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (TIAA/Vanguard) and a Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan. You may participate if you are employed as a regular full-time or regular part-time eligible staff member and are not covered by a separate collective bargaining agreement. After the initial enrollment election, a participant may terminate participation in the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan and elect to be a participant in the Defined Contribution Program if he or she is eligible. This is referred to as a “Once In Career Change.”
Once the change in election has been made, the participant is not permitted to switch back to the retirement plan initially elected.
A participant may not change from the Defined Contribution Program to the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan.
Contributory Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan
Booklets and other documents issued by TIAA and The Vanguard Group explain in detail the investment, annuity, or benefits provisions of the Contributory Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan. To speak with a counselor regarding specific investment or distribution options you may reach either vendor as follows:
The Vanguard Group
Information pertaining to your participation in these plans is available from the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.
Upon leaving the University, regardless of your age, you have options concerning retirement income, even if you have not attained the official retirement status age of 62 years.
Throughout your working years, options for participation in the University of Pittsburgh Retirement Program are intended to provide funds so that you will be able to select a retirement date compatible with your personal desires and circumstances. The structure of the program also gives you flexibility in determining when and how you will be able to access the funds. Retirement income is subject to Internal Revenue Service regulations applicable to various income options and the age at which the option begins.
Contributory Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan
When you separate from employment, regardless of your age and irrespective of official University retirement status, you may allow your accounts to stand in full or in part until a future time and continue to make deposits to the accounts, or access all or part of the accounts through a variety of cash and/or annuity options. If your participation is fully vested, the funds, including all contributions made by the University, remain in your account and are available to you. If your participation is subject to delayed vesting and you separate from employment prior to the vesting of the University’s contributions, only your portion of the funds remain in your account(s) with the carrier(s).
For detailed information and the necessary forms, contact TIAA at 1-800-842-2776 or The Vanguard Group at 1-800-523-1188.
Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan
Benefits may be available the month following the last day of work if you fulfill the age, service, and vesting requirements and did not enroll in one of the contributory tax-deferred plans. Under this plan, separation from employment at 65 years of age is considered to be normal retirement. Early retirement, at a reduced benefit, is permitted on or after age 55, with at least 10 years of service.
Contact the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources for booklets and other materials concerning the University of Pittsburgh’s Noncontributory Defined Benefit Plan.
The University provides education benefits for credit courses to enable you to take advantage of resources available for learning and improving skills. Eligibility for the benefit does not guarantee admission to or retention in any academic program. The education benefit is applied to tuition only, and remains on your account irrespective of the grade received. All other charges and fees are your responsibility.
If your employment status is regular full-time, you are eligible for benefits beginning with the first term after successfully concluding an initial provisional period of employment with the University. However, benefits will be payable immediately when you complete the provisional period if the actual date falls within the first month of a term.
If certain dependency criteria are met, dependent children are eligible for education benefits to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Benefits for dependent children to attend another institution that were in effect prior to September 1, 1994, may be available if you fulfill service and salary criteria.
After you have been on the payroll for 12 consecutive months, your spouse or your same-sex registered domestic partner is eligible for education benefits. See the Employee/Spouse/Dependent Scholarships for Staff Policy 07-11-01.
If your employment status is regular part-time, you are eligible for education benefits for yourself only, according to the same criteria that exist for regular full-time status. However, the benefit available is prorated according to the percent of effort of your employment status.
Education Benefits for Staff on Approved Long-Term Disability, Retired Staff, Deceased Staff
Depending upon length of service, status, and enrollment immediately prior to official University of Pittsburgh retirement status, long-term disability claim, or death, you, your children, your spouse, or your registered domestic partner may receive the education benefits that were applicable when you were actively employed. See the Effect of Separation on Eligibility for Staff Scholarship Benefits Policy 07-11-02.
Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program
The University is a participant in the Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program. Prior to their freshman year, dependent children of regular full-time staff with at least one year of full-time service are eligible to apply for participation in the Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program. Member schools of the Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program may send dependent children, if the child is awarded a Tuition Exchange Scholarship, to any other school participating in the program at a significant tuition reduction or no tuition charge at all.
An application and further information concerning Tuition Exchange Scholarships can be accessed at https://oafa.pitt.edu/financialaid/academic-scholarships/tuition-exchange-program. See the Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program Policy 09-03-01.
The Falk School is a laboratory school operated by the School of Education and consists of classes for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Children are admitted through the regular procedures of Falk School. An education benefit covering one-quarter tuition for Falk School is available to children of regular full-time faculty and staff of the University of Pittsburgh who have been on the payroll for 12 consecutive months. See the Falk School: Tuition and Fees Policy 09-05-16.
Although you may resign from the University at any time, official retirement from the University with the ability to participate in selected benefits, programs and services is granted only if certain criterion is met. Faculty and Staff hired on or after July 1, 2004 must meet an age and full time service requirement equal to 85 with a minimum age of 62 to qualify for retiree medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and education benefits. Faculty and Staff hired prior to July 1, 2004 must be a minimum of 62 years old to qualify for retiree benefits. For more information on retiree benefit eligibility, details of the Defined Dollar Benefit Program, and details on each of the retiree benefits offered to both pre-65 and post-65 retirees, please reference the retiree website at www.hr.pitt.edu/retirees.
Employee Inquiry and Complaint Procedures
Supervisors and employees should mutually strive to develop and maintain good working relationships. The University encourages open and honest dialogue about work standards and performance. If such discussion does not prevent or solve a problem, additional actions may be taken, and more formal procedures are available. The University prohibits retaliation against any employee for use of, or participation in, such procedures.
If you have questions concerning policies and procedures affecting or likely to affect your work, there are resources available for clarification. Therefore, you are encouraged to seek answers to your work-related questions and concerns. There are three methods available for addressing employee relations problems:
- General Inquiry
- Informal Complaint Procedure
- Formal Complaint Procedure
If you believe that you have been inappropriately treated or you desire clarification of University policies and procedures and are unable or prefer not to talk to your departmental administrator about the questions, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or the Staff Council for assistance.
Informal Complaint Procedure
If a problem remains unresolved after using the general inquiry process, you may elect to initiate a request for redress through the informal complaint procedure. You should attempt to first discuss the problem with your immediate supervisor. The supervisor’s responsibility is to meet in a timely and professional manner with you to discuss the applicable University policies. Supervisors should consider reasonable solutions that would remedy the situation consistent with University policy.
If you believe that you are not able to direct the particular work-related concern to an immediate supervisor, you should discuss the matter with another appropriate departmental administrator. You may also contact the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or the Staff Council for additional assistance in resolving your complaint(s).
Formal Complaint Procedure
The term “formal complaint” refers to a written complaint concerning the interpretation or application of a specific term or provision of University or department policy, or concerning a disciplinary act alleging that the application of such procedure or criteria was clearly erroneous, arbitrary, or capricious. Formal complaints involving discretionary decisions will be processed solely with respect to whether or not prescribed procedures were followed and/or whether or not prescribed criteria, if any, were observed.
Formal procedures, when necessary, are available to staff members for the efficient handling and equitable hearing of complaints. The following complaint procedure covers only those regular University staff members in classified positions who have successfully completed the initial provisional period of employment. If a staff member is serving the initial provisional period or any extension of it, the University’s formal complaint procedure may not be invoked. The staff member is eligible, however, to use the informal complaint procedure unless and until the staff member is dismissed. The complaint procedure outlined below is the only authorized procedure to be invoked for resolving formal employee complaints.
Scope of the Formal Complaint Procedure
The formal complaint procedure is intended to resolve disputes concerning application of policies and procedures governing personnel practices at the University of Pittsburgh, including the University policy on docking of pay. Certain matters, such as restrictions or limitations placed upon the University by its insurance carriers or its retirement program providers or issues regarding performance appraisal, job classification, or compensation of staff members—other than improper docking claims—are not subject to the formal complaint procedure. The complainant may not be accompanied by an attorney at meetings in connection with a formal complaint. However, the complainant may be accompanied by any other individual of the complainant’s choosing at any level of the formal complaint procedure. If you have questions or concerns about the formal complaint procedure, you should contact the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or the Staff Council.
Processing a Formal Complaint
You may file a formal complaint only after a general inquiry and/or an informal complaint fails to resolve the problem. The formal complaint procedure involves three steps:
- Level I—Presentation of the formal complaint to the immediate supervisor
- Level II—Appeal to the dean, director, department chair, or other appropriate second-level supervisor
- Level III—Formal Complaint Review Committee
The formal complaint must be in writing on the Formal Statement of Complaint form and must be signed and dated by you. This form is available from the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources. The Formal Statement of Complaint must:
- Explain the nature of the complaint and the specific circumstances at issue,
- Identify the rights, procedures, or policies violated, and
- State the specific and complete remedy sought by you.
Once the complaint is written and submitted, no aspect of it can be expanded or modified.
Level I—Immediate Supervisor
The complainant must submit the written formal complaint statement to the complainant’s immediate supervisor, send one copy to the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources, and keep a copy. This must be done within 10 business days after the complainant became aware or should reasonably have become aware of the circumstances causing the complaint.
The supervisor must schedule and hold a meeting with the complainant within 10 business days after receipt of the formal complaint. The supervisor must respond to the complaint in writing within 10 business days after this Level I meeting. The supervisor must send a copy of the Level I response to the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources.
In cases where the complainant believes that the involvement of the immediate supervisor would be inappropriate, the complainant may initiate the formal complaint at Level II. In the event that the Level II supervisor is involved in the complaint, the complainant may submit a written formal complaint at Level III within 10 business days following the event that caused the complaint. The complainant must specify why it is being submitted at Level II or Level III. A copy of the written formal complaint must be sent to the immediate supervisor and to the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources.
Level II—Dean, Director, Department Chair, or Other Appropriate Second-Level Supervisor
If the complainant is not satisfied with the Level I response, it may be appealed to Level II. The appeal to Level II must be filed within 10 business days after the receipt of the immediate supervisor’s written Level I response.
To effectuate an appeal to Level II, the complainant must submit:
- A copy of the formal complaint,
- A copy of the written Level I response, and
- The written reason for disagreeing with the Level I response.
The complainant must submit these documents to the complainant’s dean, director, department chair, or other appropriate second-level supervisor. In addition, the complainant must submit a copy of the third item above to the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources.
The dean, director, department chair, or other appropriate second-level supervisor must schedule and meet with the complainant within 10 business days after receipt of the appeal. A written response to the appeal must be made within 10 business days following the Level II meeting. A copy of the Level II response must be given to the complainant, and a copy must be sent to the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources.
Level III—Formal Complaint Review Committee
If the complainant disagrees with the Level II response, the complainant may appeal to the Formal Complaint Review Committee (the “Review Committee”) by submitting to the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources (“Employee Relations”) a copy of the Level II response and a written reason explaining the disagreement with the Level II response. The complainant should retain copies of all relevant documents. The appeal to Level III must be filed within 10 business days from receipt of the Level II response.
The Review Committee shall be composed of: (1) an attorney from the University Office of General Counsel; (2) a representative from Employee Relations who has not been directly involved in advising the operating unit involved in the situation at hand, who will preside at and is responsible for conducting the Review Hearing; and (3) a representative from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Within 20 business days of receipt of the appeal to Level III, the Review Committee shall hold the review hearing for presentation of the formal complaint by the complainant. The complainant may be accompanied by another individual of the complainant’s choice (other than a member of a University collective bargaining unit or the complainant’s immediate supervisor) to assist the complainant. Attendance by University staff members at a review hearing during normal working hours shall not result in any loss of time or pay.
Such other University faculty and staff members as are directly involved in the subject matter of the formal complaint, including the complainant’s immediate supervisor, shall also be invited to attend the review hearing. In addition, the grievance chair or an officer of the Staff Council will be permitted to attend the review hearing so long as appropriate supervisory approval has been granted.
If the complainant or supervisor(s) involved desire to present the testimony of additional witnesses, they shall provide a witness list, stating the name and purpose of the proposed testimony of each witness, to Employee Relations at least five business days prior to the review hearing. The Review Committee shall decide whether to call some or all of the witnesses from the list(s) so provided.
Level III Response
The Review Committee will provide a written Level III response to the complainant within 10 business days after the review hearing. If any one member of the Review Committee does not agree with the proposed Level III response, the member(s) may present their concerns to the appropriate senior administrator of the University, or his/her designee, for review and possible remand for reconsideration by the Review Committee. The appropriate senior administrator or designee shall either affirm the proposed response or remand the matter for reconsideration within 10 business days after receiving the proposed Level III response. If the matter is remanded for reconsideration, the Review Committee shall reconvene to reconsider the formal complaint, and a final Level III response shall be issued within 10 business days of the remand.
The time limits for each level of the complaint procedure may be extended by mutual consent of the parties. Any request for an extension of time must be in writing and agreed to by the parties. Should the University fail to render a decision within the specified time limits as established, the complainant may appeal to the next level. Should the complainant fail to appeal a decision at any level to the next level within the specified time limits as established, the complainant will forfeit the right to further appeal.
In the event of a group complaint, each person in the group must sign the formal complaint and the group must select one member of the group to act as spokesperson. The spokesperson will initiate the complaint on behalf of the group. Any resolution of the complaint is binding on all members of the group.
Each complaint is considered on its own merits. No previous complaint resolution is a precedent for future cases.
If an employee violates a University policy or rule or is not meeting performance requirements, has been insubordinate, or has engaged in conduct adversely affecting the workplace and/or other employees or students, a supervisor may take disciplinary action. When taking such action, a supervisor should consider the nature and seriousness of the infraction, all relevant facts and information, and any mitigating circumstances. In addition, it is recommended that a supervisor discuss the proposed corrective action with the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources to ensure appropriate applicability, documentation, and procedure. Generally, there are four levels of discipline that may be applied, at the discretion of a supervisor. Not all performance or conduct problems lend themselves to progressive discipline. There are times when immediate and serious disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal, is warranted. Although the level of discipline should be commensurate with the nature and severity of the problem, any of the disciplinary actions below, other than dismissal, may be taken at the discretion of a supervisor.
An oral or written warning may be given in cases in which a problem occurs meriting corrective action. This is considered a departmental matter, with records remaining in the department. This action, therefore, is not subject to the Formal Complaint Procedure.
A written reprimand is a formal statement that becomes part of an employee’s permanent personnel file. Examples of problems that may result in a written reprimand include but are not limited to disruptions in the workplace, failure to follow proper work procedure or business practice, chronic tardiness or absenteeism, continued problems not remedied by warning, or where problems could lead to suspension or dismissal if repeated.
Suspension (with or without pay) may be imposed when an employee has failed to perform to acceptable standards following a warning or other departmental disciplinary action, or for other serious infractions as determined by departmental supervision. Suspension may also be imposed when there is a need to remove the employee from the workplace while an investigation is conducted or to protect the health, safety, or welfare of others. It is strongly recommended that supervisors consult with the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources prior to imposing a suspension.
Guidelines—Written Disciplinary Actions
Written disciplinary action is a formal statement that becomes part of an employee’s permanent personnel file. This action may be taken when a supervisor determines that an employee has not responded to a verbal warning or when the severity of a particular offense or incident warrants written disciplinary action. It is recommended that the statement describe the specific circumstances that prompted the disciplinary letter, the plan of action to correct and resolve the situation, the time period in which the employee must implement the necessary steps for corrective action, and the consequences for failure to resolve the problem. In some instances, remediation may not be an appropriate or desired course of action. When the disciplinary action is suspension or dismissal, it is recommended that the reasons for the suspension or dismissal be provided in a letter of suspension or termination to the employee, normally to be reviewed by the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources prior to notification of suspension or dismissal.
Dismissal may be imposed when the problem is sufficiently severe, after other courses of action have been attempted, or if there is no reasonable expectation of future improvement. However, it should be noted that dismissal may occur for reasons not related to disciplinary action as Pennsylvania is an employment-at-will state. Prior to dismissing a staff employee, a supervisor must consult with the Employee Relations Department of the Office of Human Resources.
The following examples illustrate situations that could result in immediate suspension or termination of employment; however, there are other circumstances not listed here that may result in immediate suspension and/or termination of employment.
- Possessing or consuming intoxicants while on the job or violation of the University’s Drug and/or Alcohol Policies
- Possessing unlawful drugs or being under the influence of intoxicants or unlawful drugs while at work
- Theft, wrongful conversion, or unauthorized use of funds or property of the University or its faculty, staff, students, or vendors
- Falsification of documents or records, including employment documents
- Insubordination, including refusal to carry out work-related instructions or tasks
- Disruptive or harassing conduct such as the use of or threat of violence, horseplay, practical jokes, physical abuse, or unlawful discrimination
- Any conduct reasonably deemed by supervision to be detrimental to the University’s interests.
- Destruction, alteration, abuse, or waste of the University’s or others’ property
- Intentionally or repeatedly creating unsafe work incidents or practices
- Possession of weapons or explosives, or violation of criminal laws on University premises
- Violence or the threat of violence, including, without limitation, scuffling or throwing objects
- Leaving work before the end of the designated work hours without permission
- Threatening or intimidating students, supervisors, other staff, or faculty
- Using abusive, demeaning, profane, or threatening language to anyone
- Offering, accepting, or seeking personal favors, money, or other valuable consideration in exchange for a job, a better working assignment, or any advantage in working conditions, or in connection with an outside contractor or vendor
- Off-duty misconduct that renders the staff member unavailable for work
- Any grossly negligent or willful acts that result in personal injury, property damage, or loss to the University
Access to Employee Personnel Files
Staff salaries, personnel data, and all aspects of University affairs that have not been released as public information are confidential. If you are an active staff member and wish to review your personnel file, you should refer to the Access to Employee Personnel Files Policy 07-06-05. If you believe that there is an error in the record, a statement to that effect may be added as a part of the permanent file. You may also request that your department process the appropriate forms to initiate corrections. You should make arrangements through your departmental administrator if you wish to review your departmental personnel file.
All University staff members must fully comply with all laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including those regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol on University property. The following are specific provisions:
- No one may provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21 or to anyone visibly intoxicated.
- No one may permit the possession or consumption of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 or by anyone visibly intoxicated.
- No one under the age of 21 may occupy licensed premises where alcohol is served, unless under supervision.
- No one under the age of 18 may dispense alcoholic beverages.
At any University function, the host is the most senior official present from the school, department, or other segment of the University sponsoring the function. The host is responsible for ensuring that Pennsylvania law relating to alcoholic beverages is strictly observed and is responsible for compliance with these guidelines. If you are over the age of 21, you may consume alcoholic beverages (in compliance with Pennsylvania law) at official University functions on campus. However, consumption of alcohol, intoxication, or the misuse of alcohol while on the job is prohibited.
Violation of the above is a serious infraction and will result in corrective action.
AlertLine is a toll-free telephone line, 1-866-858-4456, which University of Pittsburgh employees can use to report certain irregular or troublesome workplace issues so that these issues can be investigated and resolved.
AlertLine is available to all full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and research associates at the Oakland and regional campuses and other off-campus work locations. Callers can remain anonymous. The line answers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be accessed from any telephone in North America, including pay telephones.
Issues that can be reported on the AlertLine include:
- Financial improprieties, including fraud, theft, falsification of records, and improper use of University assets.
- Human resource matters, including perceived harassment, discrimination, misconduct, and other workplace issues.
- Research compliance concerns, including conflict of interest, improper charging of grants, violation of human subject research regulations, and violation of other research compliance rules.
- Other legal/regulatory matters, such as those pertaining to environmental health and safety.
Issues that are best reported in other ways
Many specific workplace issues can be best handled by bringing them to the attention of the workplace manager or supervisor. Problems concerning employee benefits are most readily resolved through the benefits staff in the Office of Human Resources. AlertLine is not intended to replace existing compliance hotlines or established grievance procedures. Note that calling the AlertLine does not constitute providing legal notice to the University of Pittsburgh. If you believe the concern is life threatening, call your University police or security department.
You are expected to report to work regularly and on time. In those instances when you cannot avoid being late for work or are unable to work as scheduled, you must notify your departmental administrator within the first hour of the workday, barring extenuating circumstances that make such notification impossible or extremely difficult. Poor attendance and/or excessive tardiness may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. See the Time Records/Attendance/Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy 07-04-01.
Computer Access and Use
University-owned computing equipment, networks, services, and resources, including electronic mail (collectively referred to as the “system”) are provided for the purpose of conducting University-related activities and may be used only by:
- Faculty, staff, and students for recognized instructional, research, or administrative purposes within the University.
- Organizations whose use of such services is for a University-sponsored or recognized public service. For purposes of administering this policy, such classification will apply only if the organization has been designated as federally tax-exempt under the Federal Internal Revenue Code and the use of such services is approved by Computing Services and Systems Development.
- Faculty and staff under professional consulting arrangements provided: (1) an application for services is approved by Computing Services and Systems Development and an external account is established, and (2) a formal contractual arrangement is entered into with Computing Services and Systems Development.
Use of computer services for any commercial purpose, partisan political purpose, or any unlawful purpose or use that infringes on the rights of others, including privacy, ownership, and equitable access to computing resources, is prohibited. Computer software and other intellectual property protected by copyright may not be copied from, into, or by University computing facilities, except as permitted by law, or by contract with the copyright owner. Departments that purchase software protected by a copyright are responsible for the protection of that copyright.
Electronic communication facilities such as email facilities or World Wide Web servers may be used only for University-related activities. Fraudulent, harassing, or obscene messages may not be sent or stored. The University retains the ability to access all data on the system for all lawful purposes, including managing the system, protecting the security of the system, investigating incidents involving the use of the system, and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws and University policies.
Willfully exceeding the limits of authorization, damaging, modifying, altering, destroying, copying, disclosing, or taking possession of a computer, computer system, computer network, or any other University computing facility or gaining unauthorized access to any software, program, documentation, data, or property contained in any computer, computer system, or computer network will result in disciplinary action. The unauthorized downloading or transferring of copyrighted materials, including movies, video games, software, and music, is not permitted and may subject the user to University disciplinary action and civil and criminal penalties.
For additional information about University computing policies, refer to the Computer Access and Use Policy 10-02-05.
Please visit the Information Technology website, www.technology.pitt.edu, for information about University computing services and policies, including the Computing Ethics and Guidelines document.
Conflict of Interest
The University must be able to have trust and confidence in you, and you must at all times act in good faith with due regard for the best interests of the University. A potential or actual conflict of interest arises if and when a financial or other personal interest unduly influences your commitments and obligations to the University. Not all conflicting interests are prohibited. You must, however, at least disclose to the University administration actual or proposed transactions with the University to which you (or an immediate family member) are a party or with an organization in which you (or an immediate family member) have a financial interest. Your disclosure obligations and procedures are spelled out in Policies 07-05-02 and 07-05-03.
Withdrawal from Decisions
Staff shall not exercise University decision-making authority or exert influence concerning any organization or transaction in which they have a personal interest.
Misuse of Information
No staff member shall, for personal gain or for the gain of others, use any information not available to the public that was obtained as a result of service to the University. No staff member shall personally exploit any business opportunity in which the staff member knows or reasonably should know the University is or would be interested, unless the University first consents thereto in writing.
Gifts and Favors
No staff member shall solicit or accept for personal use, or for the use of others, any gift, favor, loan, gratuity, reward, promise of future employment, or any other thing of monetary value that might influence or appear to influence the judgment or conduct of the staff member vis-à-vis University business. Staff members may accept occasional unsolicited courtesy gifts or favors (such as business lunches, tickets to baseball games, or Christmas baskets) so long as the gifts or favors have a market value under $200, are customary in the industry, and will not influence or appear to influence the judgment or conduct of the staff member vis-à-vis University business. The supervisor may exempt a staff member from the restrictions in this paragraph as to a specified gift or favor. The exemption shall be in writing with a statement of the basis therefore. Individual administrative units within the University may impose further restrictions on gifts or favors for staff members within the unit.
Reporting Suspected Violations
An allegation of violation of the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy and the basis for the allegation shall be communicated, confidentially and preferably (but not necessarily) in writing, to an administrator in the supervisory line of the alleged violator or, if that would be problematic, to the Internal Audit Department, the Office of General Counsel, or the Conflict of Interest Office. Measures shall be taken to ensure that no adverse action is taken, either directly or indirectly, against a complainant who makes allegations in good faith.
Additional Disclosure Requirements for Certain Employees
University administrators and staff who are classified as Administrator IV or V or above, and others who have been specifically designated by their supervisors, are subject to the more specific provisions of the Conflict of Interest Policy for Designated University of Pittsburgh Administrators and Staff (Policy 07-05-02). University faculty, researchers, and administrative employees who can materially influence research are also subject to the more specific provisions of the Conflict of Interest Policy for Research (Policy 11-01-03).
Confidentiality of Medical Information
Medical information about individual staff members is to be treated confidentially. The University will take reasonable precautions to protect such information from inappropriate disclosure. Any staff member who has legitimate access has a responsibility to respect and maintain the confidentiality of that medical information.
Copyrights and Photocopying
University copyright policies provide for copyright ownership in works authored by staff members and for allocation of royalty income (Copyrights Policy 11-02-02) and outline federal legal restrictions on reproducing copyrighted material (Copying Copyrighted Material Policy 10-04-01).
Defense and Indemnification of Staff
The University will furnish each current and former staff member of the University (except as may be prohibited by law) with legal defense and payment of judgments, fines, penalties, settlements, and any other expenses actually and reasonably incurred in connection with an actual or threatened action suit or other legal proceeding (civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative) brought against such staff member by reason of being or having been a staff member of the University, or by reason of serving or having served the University as a member of or representative to a committee, board, or other entity outside the University, so long as the staff member’s actions or omissions were within the scope of his or her University duties or authority, were in good faith and in a manner reasonably believed to be lawful and in the University’s best interest, and the acts or omissions did not constitute willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.
For the complete policy and procedure, which include important conditions, limitations, and requirements not set out in the above summary, see the Faculty and Staff Indemnification Policy and Procedure 07-06-06, or contact the Office of General Counsel at 412-624-5674.
Disabilities Resources and Services
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment practices. The ADA also requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, so long as it does not impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Requesting an Accommodation
Employees or applicants who believe that they have a disability necessitating an accommodation should contact their supervisor, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (412-648-7860) or the Office of Disability Resources and Services (412-648-7890). It is the responsibility of the employee with a disability to self-identify and inform the University that an accommodation is requested. Documentation of the disability will be required (see www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/drs/students/guidelines). Requests for reasonable accommodations will be determined by management on a case-by-case basis involving a cooperative effort among the employee, the supervisor, and Disability Resources, with due consideration of the documentation that has been submitted.
A reasonable accommodation can be a change or adjustment to a job or work environment that affords an employee with a disability the opportunity to perform the essential functions of the job. If a reasonable accommodation is required, an employer must provide an effective reasonable accommodation, but not necessarily the particular accommodation preferred or requested by the employee.
Essential job functions are those duties that an employee must be able to perform in the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
Services to Faculty and Staff with Disabilities
Donations and Solicitations
The United Way campaign and Pitt Internal Campaign (PIC) are University-sanctioned solicitation drives. Contributions to Pitt’s Internal Campaign enhance the dimension and quality of University programs and support the academic excellence of the institution. Payroll deductions may be used to make contributions to these campaigns. However, participation decisions are strictly personal, and lack of participation shall not be held against you.
In addition each April the University joins more than 400 other Pittsburgh companies, universities, and agencies to collect canned goods and household items for distribution to needy local residents through the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. This drive is called Pitt’s Partnership for Food.
In an effort to ensure a productive and harmonious work environment, persons not employed by the University may not solicit donations or distribute literature in the workplace at any time, for any purpose. You may have interests in events and organizations outside the workplace. However, you may not solicit donations or distribute literature concerning these activities during working time. In addition, the posting of written solicitations on University bulletin boards is restricted. If you have a message that you think might be of interest to the workplace, you may submit it to the Office of Human Resources for approval.
Drug-Free Workplace/Drug-Free Schools Policy
The University of Pittsburgh is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance on University property or as part of any University activity. If your salary is paid from federally funded grants or contracts, you must notify the University through your supervisor of any criminal drug statute conviction or a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action including but not limited to a warning, written reprimand, suspension (with or without pay), dismissal, and/or mandatory participation in and successful completion of a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved by an appropriate health or law enforcement agency. Faculty, staff, and students of the University must also comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the possession and consumption of alcohol. Review the notice.
Contact the Office of Human Resources for a copy of the complete Drug-Free Workplace/Drug-Free Schools Policy and see Policy 06-02-01.
The University relies upon the accuracy of information contained in the employment application as well as the accuracy of other data presented throughout the hiring process and employment. Any misrepresentations, falsifications, or material omissions in any of this information or data may result in the University’s exclusion of the individual from further consideration for employment or, if the person has been hired, termination of employment.
Employment—Proof of U.S. Citizenship and/or Right to Work
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires that American employers hire only American citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. In compliance with this Act and University policy, the University requires that all new staff members submit to the Office of Human Resources appropriate documents attesting to identity and employment eligibility and complete Form I-9 prior to or within the first three days of work. This form and copies of the documents provided by the staff member will be processed by the Office of Human Resources and then filed in the staff member’s file. See the Employment Eligibility Verification Policy 07-01-04.
Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)
The University strives to employ the most qualified individuals available for all positions. The University does not consider family relationship a disqualifying factor for employment, but special consideration will not be given to relatives of current employees. Efforts by employees to exert any influence to help relatives secure positions at the University are considered improper. Employment depends exclusively on the applicant’s qualifications and suitability for the position.
The employment of relatives in the same area of the University may cause conflicts and problems, real or perceived. A relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage or whose relationship with the staff member is similar to that of persons who are related by blood or marriage. Although the University has no absolute prohibition against hiring relatives of existing staff members, an administrator is not permitted to employ his or her own relatives, and a relative may not be the only signing authority on the relative’s Payroll Employee Record form. If a situation occurs where a departmental administrator would be required to supervise a relative, one or the other must obtain a transfer from that area or resign their position within 60 working days.
The University reserves the right to monitor situations in which relatives work in the same area. In case of actual or potential problems, the University may take prompt action, including reassignment or, if necessary, termination of employment for one or both of the individuals involved. In the event that more than one member of a family is employed by the University, family members may not intercede on behalf of relatives in any matters concerning employment, including salary, working conditions, or job performance. See the Conflict of Interest for Designated Administrators and Staff Policy 07-05-02.
Environmental Health and Safety
The University is committed to the health and safety of all staff members and to protecting and enhancing the environment. The University administration and staff share responsibility in achieving a safe and healthful work environment
Safety and health programs are described in the University’s Health and Safety Manuals and on the Environmental Health and Safety website. These programs are designed as a supplement to the rules, regulations, standards, and codes applicable to the diverse operations of the University. Each work area should provide access to www.ehs.pitt.edu or have copies of safety procedures available for your review and reference. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety maintains active programs in hazardous waste management, biosafety, fire safety, laser safety, and chemical hygiene.
You should review the University safety, health, and environment-related resources to determine needs for required instruction, personal protective equipment, and hazard communications.
Questions or inquiries should be directed to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 412-624-9505 or answered by accessing the website at www.ehs.pitt.edu.
You are encouraged to discuss health and safety programs with your supervisor and to read and understand the available University guidance documents. The dangers to staff members and others that could result from disregard of prudent practices or the recommendations of the University’s programs may be grounds for disciplinary action.
The University will not employ an individual who is in default of any type of financial obligation to the University without a written agreement to fulfill the financial obligation within a specified period of time. You are subject to dismissal if you are in default of a financial obligation to the University unless satisfactory repayment arrangements are made and fulfilled.
Hours of Work
Normal University business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You receive one unpaid hour for lunch. For pay purposes, the pay week begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and ends at midnight the following Saturday. Departmental administrators may vary these schedules to accommodate business needs. In all cases, the standard work week is 37.5 hours per week.
Legal Services for University Business
The University’s Legal Services Policy spells out the circumstances under which you should or must consult the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of University Counsel attorneys in connection with University business.
For further information and specific details, see the Legal Services Policy 01-05-01.
University News within the Department of News Services handles contacts and relations with local, regional, national, international, and University print and electronic media on behalf of the University administration and all schools, departments, and centers not covered by the health sciences or sports information bureaus. The news unit works with faculty, staff, and administrators in planning and implementing programs to inform various external and internal audiences of news about, and events taking place at, the University of Pittsburgh. The department produces Pitt Magazine, Pitt Med magazine, University Times, Pittwire, and @Pitt. All requests for News Services should be directed to 412-624-4361.
Organization Development Consulting Services
The Organization Development department of the Office of Human Resources serves as a partner with our University community clients to help them create and realize their strategic plans, achieve greater levels of effectiveness, develop effective support systems, and help their staff attain higher levels of performance and demonstrate consistent positive change in the workplace. We do this by providing comprehensive consulting along with high-quality products, services, and results-based solutions. Departments and schools may request assistance with any of these organizational issues.
The Organization Development consulting team works with the University schools and departments to achieve greater efficiencies in work processes and increase effectiveness and productivity among faculty and/or staff. Products and services offered include strategic planning sessions to develop or clarify vision, mission, values, and goals; organization analysis; work redesign; organization restructure; process improvements; performance management; competency identification and modeling; executive coaching; and organization interventions such as customer service, leadership development, team building, and group dynamics. Organization Development also administers the Faculty and Staff Development Program and the Human Resources Development Track for Supervisors.
The University does not prohibit you from performing non-University work outside your regular working hours. However, if the outside work results in a conflict of interest or otherwise interferes with the performance of duties on campus, you may be asked to choose between jobs. In addition, if you are performing non-University work, you may be required to provide information about such work sufficient to permit your departmental administrator to assess any possible conflict of interest. Further, the University prohibits you from performing non-University work while on the job and from using University equipment, including telephones or supplies, for non-University business. The use of the University campus mail system is limited to University business.
Patents and Rights to Inventions, Creations, and Other Intellectual Property
All rights in and to any and all inventions, creations, ideas, techniques, methods, developments, and improvements (“inventions”) that you (either alone or in conjunction with others) conceive, make, reduce to practice, or obtain during employment with the University are the property of the University of Pittsburgh.
In consideration of your employment, you are required to make full and prompt disclosure to the University of all inventions and, at the University’s request and expense, you will at any time or times execute and deliver to the University such foreign and domestic patent applications, assignments, copyrights, and other papers and take such other action (including, without limitation, testifying in any legal proceeding) as the University considers necessary to vest, perfect, defend, or maintain its rights in and to such inventions. The University claims ownership and control of the worldwide patent rights that result from the activity of its faculty, staff, and students.
The University Technology Transfer Committee considers disclosures of inventions by you and determines whether to proceed to obtain a patent. The inventor may receive a portion of the net financial returns from the sale, licensing, or other transfer of patent rights. The current University Policy on Patents and Technology Transfer determines the rights of the inventor and contains a procedure for submitting an invention for the consideration of the University Technology Transfer Committee. See the Patent Rights and Technology Transfer Policy 11-02-01.
Copyrightable works that have been produced by University staff members who have been specifically directed to produce those works in the course of their employment or who produce those works under the supervision and control of the University are “works made for hire.” The copyright interests in those works automatically vest in the University.
Software, other than educational courseware that has been created or developed at least in part on the University’s computer systems, will be proprietary to the University. Other copyrightable materials that have been created using University resources will also be owned by the University. The creator of these works may share in royalties arising out of the license or sale of the works. Such royalty sharing does not apply to works made for hire. See the Copyrights Policy 11-02-02.
Personal Phone Calls and Mail
Personal phone calls should be kept to a minimum. Calls must not interfere with your work, and this privilege should not be abused. The University’s address cannot be used for personal mail, and personal mail cannot be processed through the University’s postage meters.
Personal Use of University Resources and Services
Use of University resources for personal non-University purposes is not permitted. University services and resources include, but are not limited to, photocopiers, local and long-distance telephone and facsimile service, mail service, staff support, supplies, and equipment. See the Personal Use of University Resources Policy 05-08-01.
The University recognizes your right to seek and serve in elected or appointed public office at the municipal, county, state, or federal level as long as such service does not constitute a conflict of interest or interfere with the proper performance of your responsibilities at the University. If seeking or serving in public office interferes with University duties, you must request or may be required to take a leave of absence without pay. Such leaves will be made in accordance with the guidelines found in the Leave of Absence section of this Handbook except that such leaves of absence may not exceed 24 months. If you are unsuccessful in your bid for election, or complete your term of office, you may be reinstated as a member of the University staff in accordance with the terms of the leave.
The University is committed to maintaining a safe working environment when using sources of ionizing radiation. The University administration, staff, and students share the responsibility in achieving a safe environment. All uses of radioisotopes, particle accelerators, X-ray-producing machinery, and other sources of ionizing radiation fall under the jurisdiction of the University Radiation Safety Committee and its operating arm, the University Radiation Safety Office.
The committee has the administrative responsibility for safe usage, obtaining licenses, authorization of individuals to use sources, purchase approvals, and disposal of radiation sources. Detailed information is available in the manual Regulations Regarding the Safe Use of Sources of Ionizing Radiation. Work with radioactive materials must be carried out under the control of an “Authorized User” approved by the Radiation Safety Committee. All other sources of ionizing radiation must be registered with the Radiation Safety Office and must have a designated person responsible for their safe use. Researchers, laboratory personnel, and other users of ionizing radiation sources must receive general instruction provided by the Radiation Safety Office. Specific instruction must be provided by the authorized user or other responsible individuals.
Experimenters have the primary responsibility to maintain a safe working environment and to comply with the regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Additional rules are imposed by licensing agreements with these agencies and by the University Radiation Safety Committee. Administrators must plan for and provide approved facilities, then enforce regulations and rules.
The Radiation Safety Office implements Radiation Safety Committee policies and procedures. It is staffed with professional health physicists, qualified technicians, and support personnel. Radiation Safety Office personnel are available for information about safe uses of radiation sources, procurement, waste disposal, transfer of sources, exposure measurements, record keeping, environmental assessments, licensing, and regulations. The office maintains a Web page at www.radsafe.pitt.edu, which contains key manuals, news, application forms, etc. The Radiation Safety Office is located at 3500 Fifth Ave, Suite 400, telephone 412-624-2728, or email email@example.com.
The University has implemented a campus-wide recycling program and asks all staff members to fully participate. Doing so not only helps to preserve the environment, but also produces revenue for the University. Materials are collected in desk-side or hallway containers and include white and colored paper, cardboard, plastic and glass beverage bottles, and aluminum beverage cans. For further information on services provided by Facilities Management, call 412-624-9500 or www.fm.pitt.edu.
It is the usual policy of the University to check employment history and references of job candidates, both internal and external. Background checks in appropriate cases may include criminal history, motor vehicle history, credit history, and other records. For some occupations, the University is required by law to ask prior employers for certain information. In the event of a proposed internal transfer of a current staff member or rehire of a former staff member, before an offer of employment can be made it is necessary to document that a reference was obtained from a supervisor in the candidate’s most recent University department–preferably the candidate’s immediate supervisor–who is reasonably familiar with the candidate’s work performance.
All members of the University community who participate in research projects must adhere to the highest standards of integrity in research. In addition to traditional University standards, federal regulations now impose strict policies and procedures on the University for dealing with possible research misconduct. A valuable guide to research ethics is the University’s Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research. Allegations of possible violations of research ethics are investigated and, if wrongdoing is found, sanctioned under the procedures described in the University’s Research Integrity Policy 11-01-01. This policy can also be obtained from the University’s research integrity officer (412-624-3007), who is also available to answer questions about the interpretation or application of research standards.
Smoking is prohibited in all University-owned and leased facilities and in all University vehicles. See the Smoking Policy 04-05-03.
The Office of Human Resources sponsors an annual recognition ceremony in honor of staff who have completed certain levels of years of service at the University. Honored staff receive a certificate and a University-related gift. Recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for Staff also are recognized annually.
You are expected to adhere to University policies as well as city, state, and federal laws. Furthermore, you are expected to demonstrate respect and sensitivity toward colleagues, students, and the general public; report to work on time; maintain University and departmental confidentiality; and dress in an appropriate manner in the workplace, as determined by the departmental administrator.
Technology Help Desk
The Technology Help Desk, operated by Computing Services and Systems Development, serves as a single point of contact for all information technology services at the University. The Technology Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer all information technology-related questions.
For more information, please call 412-624-HELP  or visit www.technology.pitt.edu.
Travel and Business Expenses
The University will reimburse you for approved and authorized expenses incurred while on University business and/or related travel when the expense is:
- Actual and reasonable;
- Necessary in the performance of University business;
- Supported by a valid proof of expense such as a cash or other original receipt, unless otherwise provided in the Travel and Business Expense Policy; and
- In compliance with all the conditions established in the Travel and Business Expense Policy.
You may not use University funds to entertain fellow employees at lunches, holiday parties, or similar activities that are not directly related to University business or otherwise sanctioned by the appropriate University official. All airline, hotel, and car rental reservations must be made through the University Certified travel agency, Anthony Travel, via the Concur online tool or by contacting the onsite agents at 844-583-5963 or 412-246-9024.
For more details, see the University Travel, Business Entertainment, Honoraria, and Miscellaneous Reimbursable Expenses Policy 05-07-01, contact PantherExpress Customer Service at 412-624-3578, or visit https://pext.pitt.edu/.
A018 University-wide Closure and Class Cancellation (Formerly 07-04-02 Extreme Weather Conditions)
This Interim Policy provides the standard for both University-wide class cancellation and closure of the University and establishes the roles and responsibilities in the rare instance in which the entire University is closed. The objective is to establish standard operating procedures that are clear in direction during the cancellation of all classes and/or events or activities at the University. Only the chancellor has the authority to officially close the Pittsburgh campus of the University. The presidents of the regional campuses are authorized to officially close their respective campuses. Cancellation of classes does not mean that the University is closed. In the event that you are unable to report to work at the appointed time, you should contact your supervisor within the first hour of the workday.
For further guidelines, see the AO18 University-wide Closure and Class Cancellation (Formerly 07-04-02 Extreme Weather Conditions). Notifications also will be posted on the University’s website, www.pitt.edu.
Official promotional publications for the University of Pittsburgh must be reviewed and approved by the Office of University Communications. All institutional identity stationery items–letterhead, envelopes, and business cards–must be provided by this department. All display and broadcast advertising should be cleared through the Office of University Communications. This office provides assistance in purchasing print space and airtime and in writing, editing, and designing promotional publications and advertisements. All printing paid for by the University must be coordinated through University Communications. For more information, call 412-624-4147. See the Licensing and Use of University Name, Logos, Trademarks, and Service Marks Policy 08-01-01.
University Name, Titles, Seal, and Logos
University name, titles, seal, and logos, including letterhead stationery, may be used only for official business authorized by the University. When conducting University business over the telephone, you should identify yourself as a University staff member. See the Licensing and Use of University Name, Logos, Trademarks, and Service Marks Policy 08-01-01.
Violent, Threatening and/or Intimidating Behavior
The University of Pittsburgh is committed to maintaining a safe workplace for all faculty, students, staff and visitors; physical violence and/or threatening behavior will not be tolerated. Violent, threatening, intimidating or other wrongful hostile behavior that occurs on property that is owned or controlled by the University, or that is otherwise connected to University employment, programs or interests (e.g., behavior during work-related business trips or that results in adverse media coverage) is strictly prohibited. Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, oral or written threats and/or intimidation, physical acts against persons or property, stalking and possession of weapons. Such behavior may result in criminal arrest and prosecution and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Purported joking or bantering intent will not excuse behaviors that could reasonably be perceived as prohibited.
Anyone witnessing any such behavior or the planning or preparation for such behavior should immediately notify the University Police Department at 412-624-2121; if a University staff member is involved please also notify the Office of Human Resources at 412-624-8138. The University is committed to promptly and thoroughly investigating reasonable complaints of violent, threatening and/or intimidating behavior. In addition, any individual who obtains a temporary or permanent Protection From Abuse Order or Restraining Order listing any University location as a protected area should provide a copy of the Order to the University Police Department.
Please note that the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a University benefit that is available to all Faculty and Staff members as a confidential resource to assist them with issues such as managing stress, family problems, issues in a relationship, resolving conflicts and a variety of other concerns.
Visitors to Labs and Shops (Including Minors)
As an extension of its educational responsibilities, the University of Pittsburgh allows and encourages community representatives, members of the public, and students to visit University facilities. However, because of safety and liability issues, visitations by such groups and individuals to laboratories and shops must be under the direct supervision of an authorized faculty or staff member, or part of a formally organized open house, guided tour, or supervised educational program.
Children are not authorized to visit laboratories and shops, except as a participant in a formally sponsored tour or educational program with permission of an informed parent or guardian, or with parental permission and as the guest and under the supervision of a University student or faculty or staff member. At no time should children be permitted to use or be exposed to unreasonable hazardous chemicals or materials or dangerous procedures during their visit.
Children of University students, faculty, and staff members are not authorized to be in laboratories or shops on either an attended or unattended child care basis. For the purpose of these guidelines, “children” refers to minors under 18 years of age who are not students or employees of the University.
The organization unit chair/director, shop supervisor, or laboratory principal investigator bears primary responsibility for ensuring that University students, faculty, and staff members under their direction are aware of and adhere to these guidelines.
Weapons and Dangerous Substances
The use, possession, or manufacture on any University property of firearms, explosives, weapons, or other dangerous articles or substances that may be injurious to persons or property is strictly prohibited without University authorization. Any violation will result in disciplinary action up to and including filing criminal charges and/or termination of employment.
The Department of University Marketing Communications’ Web Team maintains the University’s institutional webpages and offers custom Web solutions to all official academic and administrative units of the University community. The Department of University Marketing Communications’ Web Team ensures that the websites of official academic and administrative units reach their full potential, are produced economically, and reflect the excellence of each school, program, or department. For more information call 412-624-0409.
The "Whistleblower Law" of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibits an employer from discharging, threatening, or otherwise discriminating or retaliating against an employee regarding the employee's terms and conditions of employment because the employee makes or is about to make a good faith report, orally or in writing, to the employer or appropriate governmental authority about an instance of "wrongdoing" or "waste."
An employee alleging a violation of this Act must show by a preponderance of the evidence that, prior to the alleged reprisal, the employee or person acting on behalf of the employee had reported or was about to report in good faith, orally or in writing, an instance of wrongdoing or waste to the employer or an appropriate authority. There is no violation if the action by the employer occurred for separate and legitimate reasons. The terms "wrongdoing" and "waste" are defined in the Act as follows:
Wrongdoing—A violation that is not of a merely technical or minimal nature of a federal or state statute or regulation, of a political subdivision ordinance or regulation, or of a code of conduct or ethics designed to protect the interest of the public or the employer
Waste—An employer's conduct or omissions that result in substantial abuse, misuse, destruction, or loss of funds or resources belonging to or derived from commonwealth or political subdivision sources
Federal law also prohibits reprisals against an employee of an employer receiving Federal contracts, subcontracts or grants for disclosing to a "person" or "body" what the employee reasonably believes is evidence of: gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant; gross waste of Federal funds; abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract or grant; a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or a violation of law, rule or regulation related to a Federal contract or grant. (US Code Title 41, Chapter 47 available at http://uscode.house.gov/browse/&edition=prelim).
"Person" or "body" is defined as: a Member of Congress or a representative of a committee of Congress; an Inspector General; The Government Accountability Office; a Federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency; an authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency; a court or grand jury; or a management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor or grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct.
Workers’ compensation is a legal remedy that covers medical expenses and wage loss for employees who have been injured in the course and scope of their employment. You must report any work-related injury or illness to your supervisor immediately and call 1-800-633-1197 to report your injury directly to the University’s third-party claims administrator. All employee work injuries/illnesses should be reported within 24 hours from the time a claim/incident occurs. If you are medically unable to report your claim, your supervisor should call the 1-800 number to report on your behalf. If you sustain on-the-job injuries or illnesses, you are required to seek treatment by a University-approved medical provider for the first 90 days of treatment.
For a list of the approved medical providers and other important information, please see our website at www.cfo.pitt.edu/wc.
Campus safety is provided through the University of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management. The department consists of the University of Pittsburgh Police, Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Management, and Integrated Security. The Pitt Police is a service-oriented law enforcement agency of the University of Pittsburgh that provides police and guard services. By statute, the University police have jurisdiction over all lands and buildings owned, controlled, leased, or managed by the University (or within 500 yards of such property). In addition to enforcing the criminal and traffic codes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pitt Police are also empowered to enforce city ordinances and University rules and regulations, such as the prohibition against carrying any weapons on campus. All criminal and suspicious activities should be reported to the University police through their communications center by calling 412-624-2121, by visiting the Jerome Cochran Public Safety Building at 3412 Forbes Avenue, or through on-line submission at www.police.pitt.edu. Please be sure to carefully review safety information and crime statistics at www.safety.pitt.edu. If you have any questions about safety at Pitt, please call 412-624-4288.
Child Development Center
The University Child Development Center, located at 635 Clyde Street, serves faculty, staff, and students of the University by providing quality early childhood education/childcare for children ranging in age from 6 weeks through 5 years. The program is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program offers full time (5 days per week) and part time (2 or 3 days per week) options for care. A nutritionally balanced meal program is provided. The program is staffed with professionals who design and implement plans based on their knowledge of early childhood education and development, the strengths each child has exhibited, and his or her individual learning style. Children interact with the professionals and each other in mutually respectful environments where all areas of children’s “work” are represented. The Center is licensed by the Department of Human Services, NAEYC Accredited, and has a STAR 4A rating from the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS program. Additional information is available by calling 412-383-2100.
Credit References and Employment Verification
The University of Pittsburgh uses an automated service called The Work Number to securely provide employment and income verification to verifiers such as lenders, property managers and other employers that you authorize to have that information. The Work Number can provide the following information, which is updated on a biweekly basis:
- Most recent hire date
- Separation Date
- Total Time with the University
- Current or Former Job Title
- Rate of Pay
- Gross Earnings for current year and up to two years past – including Base Pay, Overtime, and Other Compensation
Verifiers will not see Rate of Pay or Earnings information without explicit employee authorization. More detailed information may be provided by your department upon your request. See the Employment Verification section of the Payroll website for instructions.
The Greater Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union is entirely independent of the University, and is a nonprofit corporation chartered, supervised, and insured by the federal government. Some of the services to members include the convenience of payroll deduction, remote deposits, regular savings accounts, Christmas and vacation club accounts, both unsecured and secured loans, home equity loans, auto loans, and Visa credit and debit cards. Credit life and disability insurance coverage is also available at a low cost to members.
For more detailed information, contact the Greater Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union, 4415 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; telephone 412-621-6800; www.greaterpittsburghfcu.org. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Panther Central, located in the Litchfield Towers lobby, issues the University ID card called the Panther Card. Staff members at the regional campuses can obtain ID cards by contacting their campus personnel office. The Panther Card permits you to use many University resources, including libraries, parking and transportation, access to recreational facilities and events, food service, vending machines, accounts at the University Book Center, copiers, campus buses and shuttles, the Port Authority buses, and Panther Funds.
New University hires will be required to present a form of photo identification when visiting Panther Central to get the Panther Card. There is a $20 nonrefundable replacement fee for a lost, stolen, or damaged card. ID cards are the property of the University and are not transferable. When you separate from the University, your ID card must immediately be returned to your departmental administrator.
For additional information, call 412-648-1100 or see University Identification Cards Policy 07-10-01.
The University competes in the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference and fields 19 varsity intercollegiate teams in men's and women's sports. The men's program includes football, baseball, basketball, cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, swimming and diving, and wrestling. The women's program includes basketball, cross country, gymnastics, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, swimming and diving, soccer, softball, lacrosse, and volleyball.
Football season tickets may be purchased, through the Panthers Ticket Office, by full-time staff members at a 20% discount. If eligible, you may also purchase men's basketball season tickets at a 20% discount. Admission to women's basketball home games is free with a valid Pitt employee ID. For additional ticket information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at 412-648-7488.
Life Solutions is a free, confidential service available to you, your household members, and adult children up to age 26. Experienced Life Solutions counselors are available to consult with you about personal or work-related concerns, including stress, marital and family issues, depression, substance abuse, and relationship issues. Counseling is available in-person at locations convenient to home or work for faculty and staff at all campuses. Telephonic and video counseling options are also available.
Life Solutions provides work-life services including:
- Referrals to community resources, including child and elder care
- Referrals to home services such as plumbers, landscapers, and electricians
- Free, confidential 30 minute legal and financial consultations
Life Solutions is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies. For all campuses, the toll-free number is 1-866-647-3432.
Parking, Transportation, and Services—Pittsburgh
The University actively encourages the use of alternative commuting modes, including carpools (two or more people), vanpools, public transit, walking, and bicycling. Registered University carpools and vanpools at the Pittsburgh campus receive courtesy parking twice per term and access to the CommuteInfo emergency ride home program, among other incentives. The University’s regional ridesharing partner, CommuteInfo, offers a convenient, computerized matching service free of charge to commuting employees and students. Log on to www.commuteinfo.org to complete a commuter profile for a carpool or a vanpool, or call CommuteInfo at, 888-819-6110. You may also visit our website at www.pts.pitt.edu/commuting. For additional information, call 412-624-4034 Extension 5 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bicycle registration is free and is a benefit to you because it: (1) serves as a deterrent to theft; (2) can help in the identification of lost or stolen bicycles; and (3) enables the University to better serve cyclists by helping us to plan for improved bicycle amenities at Pitt. Bicycle parking maps, regulations, and safety tips are available at www.pts.pitt.edu. Lockers are also available to rent for those wishing covered bicycle parking. Visit www.pts.pitt.edu/commuting/bicycling for details.
You are entitled to ride all of the University of Pittsburgh’s buses and shuttles at no charge by presenting your valid University of Pittsburgh ID to the driver. Most shuttles routes have at least a 30-minute loop; however, changes in routes and schedules may be adjusted for weather conditions and University holidays. Please follow us on Twitter - @pittshuttles for service updates and note that the University Shuttle System operates on a limited schedule during the Summer Term. Detailed routing maps and schedules are available at the William Pitt Union, the Parking Services Office at 127 N. Bellefield Ave., and Forbes Pavilion. Schedules can also be found in all buses and at www.pts.pitt.edu.
Port Authority of Allegheny County
You may ride all Port Authority buses, and trolleys, and inclines within Allegheny County fare-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. All you have to do is tap your valid Pitt ID as you enter the bus. Family members and guests must pay the full fare. For schedule information, see www.portauthority.org/paac or phone Port Authority at 412-442-2000. Information on Port Authority routes can be found at the William Pitt Union, the Parking Services Office, Forbes Pavilion, and at www.pts.pitt.edu. For further information, email email@example.com.
SafeRider is available after 7 p.m., seven days a week—operating until 3 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday night and until 5 a.m. Thursday through Saturday night. The shuttle will transport riders from one campus building to another, from local residences to campus buildings, and from campus buildings to local residences not located on a shuttle route. To request a ride, use the new RideSystems GPS app or call 412-648-2255.
For more information and policy, go to the Panther Central website, www.pc.pitt.edu.
You may apply for a parking permit at the Parking Services Office, 127 N. Bellefield Ave., or put your name on the wait list using the website at www.pts.pitt.edu/parking. Parking Services maintains several parking choices, including monthly permits, daily rates, hourly rates, validation stickers, motorcycle parking, and special evening shift permits. Contact the Parking Services Office for information on current parking options and parking discounts for carpooling. For further information, call 412-624-4034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Parking Services Office also offers a Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) to open car doors and jump-start vehicles with dead batteries at no charge. Call 412-624-4034 for motorist assistance, or after regular business hours, call University police at 412-624-2121 and a parking enforcement assistant will be dispatched to your vehicle.
Motor Pool/Car Rental
Vehicle rentals must be booked through the PantherExpress Travel Management Program using the Concur online booking tool or the University’s Travel Management Company, Anthony Travel.
Disability Resources and Services
The Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS) coordinates rides for individuals with disabilities on the Pittsburgh campus on a specialized van equipped with a wheelchair lift and standard passenger seating. This van operates five days a week when classes are in session. Individuals needing rides should contact DRS 24 hours in advance of the ride time needed. Ride availability may be constrained by the existing permanent schedules of student passengers. To schedule a ride or for information regarding weekend service or service at the regional campuses, call 412-648-7890.
The athletic and recreational facilities of the Fitzgerald Field House, Cost Sports Center, Trees Hall, and Bellefield Hall have been designed to accommodate staff during designated hours. The Athletic Facilities Scheduling Office posts available times for swimming, squash, racquetball, tennis, exercise rooms, indoor track, and other sports areas. A current University ID card is necessary for admission. Lockers are available in Trees Hall on a day-to-day basis without charge; however, for these transient lockers, users must provide their own locks. Visit Use of University Athletic Facilities Policy 04-01-04.
Pittsburgh Employees Activities Association (PEAA)
PEAA offers special rates for various activities, such as Heinz Hall performances and Consol Energy Center events, as well as travel and discount purchasing opportunities. A wide range of goods and services is available at a discount through independent suppliers. An information rack containing literature about PEAA activities and other discount opportunities is maintained in the reception area of the Office of Human Resources.
Pitt Volunteer Pool
Pitt in Service to the Community
The University of Pittsburgh has a culture of service imbedded not only in its mission statement, but also through opportunities that demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism and serving our most vulnerable neighbors. Annually, Pitt logs over 400,000 hours of direct service, contributes charitable donations, and provides funding support that results in a multi-million dollar impact on the region. Staff can get involved in service to the community in a number of ways. Visit https://volunteer.pitt.edu to find information on partner organization profiles and search for opportunities. Signature opportunities for service available to staff and faculty include:
- The United Way Day of Caring
- Pitt Make a Difference Day
- MLK Day of Service
- People for Pets
- Central Blood Bank Blood Drives
- Pitt Partnership for Food
- Christmas Day at Pitt
- Be A Good Neighbor Day
- Produce to People
- Staff Council Food Drives
- Volunteerism through Pitt’s Community Engagement Centers
For questions or more information on any of these initiatives, please contact:
Engage Your Legislators
Pitt Advocates is a volunteer network of alumni, faculty, staff, students, and parents who share a commitment to higher education and the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt Advocates have the opportunity to attend educational events, engage their legislators on important topics related to higher education, network with public officials and likeminded individuals, and receive legislative updates. Join the growing group of people who are championing the University of Pittsburgh by visiting with.pitt.edu or texting H2P to 52-886! Membership is free and open to anyone who supports Pitt and the cause of higher education. For questions, please contact email@example.com.
Staff Blood Drives
In cooperation with the Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh, the University sponsors Staff Quarterly Blood Drives throughout the year. Supervisors are encouraged (but not required) to give release time, and all medically eligible staff are invited to participate in this life-saving activity.
For information on becoming a Pitt staff blood donor, call 412-624-7708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ticket Office, located on the main floor of the William Pitt Union, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year, and is closed from May through July. The Ticket Office sells tickets to on- and off-campus events, in addition to discounted AMC movie theatre tickets. For more information, call 412-648-7814.
Through the University’s participation in the United Way of Southwestern PA’s annual fundraising campaign, you have an opportunity to support the local community and the many health and human service agencies that rely on United Way funding. When you donate, you may allocate your contribution to one or more of the many United Way supported agencies and initiatives.
The Faculty/Staff Wellness Program is coordinated by the School of Education and offers you health and fitness services, including exercise testing for cardiovascular fitness, body composition analyses, blood lipid profiles, nutritional evaluations, and psychophysiological stress profiles. After completion of the cardiovascular screening, participants can enter supervised exercise programs.
For additional information about the program and other services provided, call 412-648-8251 or visit the Wellness Program Office, located in A149B Trees Hall.