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Federal and Commonwealth Policies

Virginia Sickness and Disability Program

This program applies to full-time faculty who elected the Virginia Retirement System and enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP). The VSDP provides short-term and long-term disability coverage when a faculty member incurs an extended illness or injury. The program also provides eight to ten days of regular sick leave and four to five days of family and personal leave per calendar year, based on length of service.

           Short-term disability benefits begin after a seven-calendar-day waiting period. On the eighth calendar day, after medical certification by the VSDP administrator, short-term disability benefits provide an income replacement of 100, 80 or 60 percent of income for a maximum of 125 workdays. The exact number of days of each income replacement percentage depends on the faculty member's length of state service. (Employees hired on or after July 1, 2009 have a one-year waiting period before short-term disability benefits are available and a different schedule of short-term disability benefits.) Disability income replacement will be 60 percent for fewer than five years of service. On the fifth year, income replacement is 100, 80 or 60 percent.

           Long-term disability benefits begin after a 180-calendar day waiting period, which begins on the day following the commencement of the disability. Long-term disability benefits provide an income replacement of 60 percent.

           The use of leave under the VSDP must be reported on a pay-period basis in Banner Web Time Entry (WTE) by the established payroll deadlines. Please refer to the VSDP Reporting Procedures and the Quick Reference for Employee Self Service - Leave Reports on Payroll's web page.

           When a faculty member becomes ill or injured, and expects to be unable to work for more than seven calendar days, , the Department of Human Resources and the VSDP administrator must be contacted at 1-800-652-5602 to certify the absence with the treating physician and to notify the university what level of benefit to provide.

           Detailed information concerning the VSDP is provided in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program Guidebook, which is distributed by the Department of Human Resources to each participant in the VSDP. Please contact the benefits manager at ext. 4760 for additional information.


Family and Medical Leave Act Policy

University Policy, #6050

The policy can be found at the following link:


Payroll Deductions

Income Tax Withholding

Salaries, wages or any other compensation for personal services paid to employees are subject to federal income tax at the time the income is earned.

           Federal income tax is withheld from employee pay according to the information the employee provides on the W-4 form. Virginia taxes are withheld from employee pay according to the information provided on the VA-4 form. Both forms must be submitted to the University Payroll Office.

           Employees should submit new W-4 and VA-4 forms if their marital status or withholding allowances change during the year.

           All income is subject to withholding for federal and state taxes with the exception of certain special classes as indicated in the Internal Revenue Service Employer's Tax Guide and Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide. Additionally, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 imposed a penalty for underpayment of tax liability beginning in calendar year 1987. Employees must pay (either through withholding or estimated tax payments) 90% of their current year tax liability to avoid penalties.


Social Security and Medicare Taxes

The combined employee rate for Social Security and Medicare tax is 7.65%. The Social Security portion is 6.20% on earnings up to the applicable taxable maximum amount. The Medicare portion is 1.45% on all earnings. Additionally, employees with earned income of more than $200,000 pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes.


Virginia Retirement System



Virginia Retirement System Group Term Life Insurance

Full-time salaried faculty are automatically enrolled in the group life insurance program, a mandatory benefit. Premiums are paid by the university. The amount of life insurance (natural death benefits) is equal to the amount of annual salary rounded up to the next higher thousand, and then doubled. An amount equal to four times salary is payable in the event of accidental death. Coverage is also provided for accidental dismemberment.

           Part-time salaried faculty in positions approved for minimum of 0.5 FTE “time and effort” are eligible to participate in the Virginia Retirement System Group Life Insurance Program. (The initial appointment period of faculty to be eligible for retirement benefits must be one year.)

           If group life insurance coverage exceeds $50,000 for natural death, the premiums paid by the university will be considered as income for federal, state and FICA tax purposes.

           Additional information is available from the university Department of Human Resources or from the Virginia Retirement System http://www.varetire.org/.


Optional Benefits Through Payroll Deduction

The university offers a comprehensive optional benefits program for full-time faculty. Information on any of these programs is available by contacting the university Benefits Manager in the Department of Human Resources.


Health Insurance Benefits

Full-time faculty are eligible for health insurance benefits. Health insurance is provided under the Commonwealth of Virginia Group Health Care Plans. The state's program includes medical, behavioral health, dental, vision and hearing, and prescription drug coverage. New faculty enrollment or transfer of existing coverage must be arranged through the university Department of Human Resources. New faculty applications for enrollment must be completed and received by Human Resources within 30 days of the hire date.

           Changes in coverage may be made during the annual open enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualified mid-year event. The state contributes a monthly amount toward the cost of this benefit for employees in full-time status. Part-time salaried faculty may participate in the State Health Benefits Program but do not receive a state contribution to their premium costs. Detailed information is available in Member Handbooks and from the Department of Human Resources.


Pre-Tax Health Care Premium Program



Flexible Spending Accounts



Tax Sheltered Annuities



Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP)



Employer Cash Match Contributions



Optional Life Insurance



ODU Short-Term Disability



Long-Term Disability



Personal Accident Insurance



Long-Term Care Insurance



Changing Beneficiaries

The enrollment forms that faculty complete for Virginia Retirement System retirement, supplemental retirement, and group and optional life insurance coverage typically require the designation of a beneficiary. It is important to keep beneficiary information current in case living situations change due to divorce, death, or marriage.


Workers' Compensation



Child Support Withholding Disclosure

All new employees are required by Virginia law to disclose whether they are subject to an income withholding order for child support. If an employee is subject to an income withholding order, the university is required to withhold wages according to the terms of the order. The university is authorized to charge a service fee of $5.00 per remittance of child support payments. All new employees must complete the Child Support Disclosure Form. Falsification or material misrepresentation in the completion of the form may subject the employee to immediate termination. For more information, contact the Payroll Office.


Liens and Garnishments

Tax liens and garnishments must be honored in accordance with the State garnishment law and the federal Wage Garnishment Act. A garnishment or lien is the result of a legal procedure through which part of salary is required to be withheld for the payment of a debt. In accordance with current law, a fee is charged for the costs associated with the collection and disbursement of garnishments, tax liens and child support orders. The fee applies to full-time and part-time faculty and staff. For information on the fee structure, contact the Payroll Office.


Unemployment Compensation

Full-time faculty terminated involuntarily may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Questions concerning unemployment compensation may be directed to the university employee relations manager or the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).


Personal Property Insurance

The university provides no insurance on personal effects of its employees unless the personal property is specifically included in the employment agreement. Any faculty member who wishes such coverage should investigate the addition of a "scheduled personal property endorsement" to his or her homeowner's policy for specific coverage on property kept at the university. In some cases a special "personal articles" floater policy may be preferred in place of an endorsement.


Liability Insurance

The Commonwealth of Virginia is currently protected under a self-insurance program to provide liability coverage to all agencies as set forth in Section 2.1-191.11 of the Code of Virginia.


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