HR News

Annual Notice Regarding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

To the Saint Joseph’s College Community:

Sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful under both state and federal law and is not tolerated at Saint Joseph’s College.  Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

a)      submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

b)     submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

c)      such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment may consist of physical conduct, such as unwelcome or offensive touching; verbal conduct, such as vulgar remarks, or suggestive comments or jokes; nonverbal conduct, such as whistling or leering; or visual displays, such as sexually oriented calendars or posters in the workplace.  Men, as well as women, may be the victims of sexual harassment.

If you believe that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, it is important that you first report your allegations to your supervisor or to a sexual harassment officer of the College.  Sexual harassment officer is Sue Kelly, Title IX Coordinator.  You will be requested, but not required, to put your complaints in writing.  Your complaint will be investigated promptly and as confidentially as possible.  You will be notified of the results of the investigation.  In no case will the person you allege to have harassed you be responsible for conducting the investigation.

A charge may also be filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC).  The charge should state the facts and circumstances underlying the allegation of sexual harassment, and it must be filed within six months of when the harassment occurred.

Once a charge is filed, the MHRC will provide an opportunity for the employer to address the charges.  The Commission will also attempt to get the parties to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of the matter.  If no agreement can be reached, then MHRC will itself investigate.  If MHRC determines that reasonable grounds exist that sexual harassment has occurred, they will attempt conciliation to resolve the problem.  If unsuccessful, they may then file a lawsuit in court seeking relief on behalf of the employee.  If the MHRC concludes after investigation that no reasonable grounds exist to believe that sexual harassment occurred, it will dismiss the charge.  The employee may still file a lawsuit.

It is unlawful for anyone to be punished or penalized for 1) exercising his or her right to be free from sexual harassment; 2) filing a charge in good faith with the MHRC; or 3) testifying in good faith in any matter before the MHRC.  The MHRC can be contacted by telephone at (207)624-6050, or by mail at Station 51, State House, Augusta, Maine 04333.

Should you have any questions or need further information about sexual harassment, please contact Sue Kelly at skelly@sjcme.edu or (207)893-7752.  You can also find more information on our Human Resources Training or Title IX web pages. Thank you.

March 2014

New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options

TO:                 Saint Joseph’s College Employees

DATE:            September 30, 2013

FROM:            Heidi Jacques, Assistant Director Human Resources

In 2014, the health care reform law creates a new type of online marketplace for purchasing health insurance coverage. This marketplace is referred to as a Health Insurance Marketplace, or an Exchange. You are not required to purchase insurance coverage through the Marketplace. Saint Joseph’s College is continuing to offer health coverage as explained below.

Saint Joseph’s College is providing this notice to help you understand your health insurance coverage options that will be available to you starting in 2014. This notice does not require action.  Beginning October 1, 2013, you will be able to find and compare health insurance plans through the Marketplace and your coverage may start as early as Jan. 1, 2014.

If you purchase coverage through a Marketplace, you may be eligible for a federal subsidy that lowers your monthly premiums or reduces your cost sharing. However, to receive these federal savings, you cannot be eligible for health plan coverage through a company plan that is affordable and provides “minimum value.” The coverage through Saint Joseph’s College meets the minimum value standard.

 The availability of coverage through the Marketplace does not affect your eligibility for coverage through the Saint Joseph’s College health plan. This link http://keoka.sjcme.edu/intranet/hr/ will provide information about the Saint Joseph’s College health plan as it exists today. Information on the Saint Joseph’s College health plan coverage for 2014 will be provided in connection with the plan’s upcoming open enrollment period. Please contact me at (207)893-7756 or hjacques@sjcme.edu for additional information on our health plan’s coverage.

More information on the health care reform law and the Marketplace is available at www.healthcare.gov.

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Mandatory Health Assessment Completion of 2014 Wellness Points

This is a reminder that to be able to earn wellness incentive program points for 2014, you will need to have completed your health assessment in 2014.

New Guidelines for 2013 Individual Retirement Contributions

As you may already know, the guidance for income levels and individual contributions to retirement plans such as the one we have at Saint Joseph's College are indexed and increased periodically.

Effective for the tax year beginning January 1, 2013, individuals may contribute up to $17,500 in pretax contributions per year to their qualified 403(b) retirement account. Individuals 50 years of age and above may contribute an additional $5,500 in pre-tax funds for a total of $23,000 per year.

Many financial planners suggest that contributing to your retirement account at work is a good way to save for retirement because your contributions go in before taxes and grow tax-free. You may want to check with your financial planner to see if you should take advantage of this opportunity.

Heidi Jacques in the Human Resources Office has the Salary Reduction Agreements that must be completed in order to take advantage of this retirement savings opportunity. If you want to start contributing or change your contributions please stop by the office and Heidi or any one of us will be glad to assist you. You may also find the Salary Reduction form on our website under Forms.

Benefit Features

Retirement Planning and Investing

Human Resources in partnership with our retirement vendors would like to provide you with retirement planning and investing information during these volatile times.

We recommend you peruse the websites of both our pension vendors for valuable information and investing options.

TIAA-CREF        VALIC

If you would like to have a discussion about your retirement portfolio, please contact TIAA-CREF at (888)842-7782 or Stephen Barnes of VALIC at (207)892-6064. Their representatives will be happy to help you.