Policy Number: 33
Reimbursement and Time Off for Job-Related Training and Education
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
Employees may receive reimbursement or time off for job-related training and education. Such expenditures or privileges are at the discretion of the department head and should only be made to address current or anticipated university needs.
A. Employee Eligibility
To be eligible for tuition reimbursement, the employee must be a full-time regular employee who has completed the probationary period and who is in good standing. A regular appointment is defined as a period of at least four and one-half consecutive months with a definite job assignment that must be 50 percent time or more. Good standing means the employee’s most recent performance evaluation is satisfactory and no disciplinary actions greater than written warning have occurred since last evaluation.
The employee must sign a formal agreement, in which the employee agrees to remain in the employment of the university for at least one full month for each semester hour of tuition assistance reimbursed, beginning with the month after the month in which the employee completed the coursework and to repay the university for all expenses for which the employee was reimbursed if the employment terminates before the end of that period. An employee who fails to complete course work, and who was awarded time off to do so, may be required to reimburse the university for all costs associated with the training period, including any amounts of the employee’s salary not accounted for as paid vacation or compensatory leave.
The employee must receive a grade of C or better in any undergraduate course work, and a grade of B or better in any graduate course work to qualify for reimbursement of allowable expenses. When pass/fail grading is in effect, the employee must pass to retain eligibility.
An employee who fails to complete course work with acceptable grades after using privileges extended by the university may forfeit all such privileges in the future.
B. Requesting Reimbursement or Time Off
Prior to the start date of the course, employees requesting reimbursement or time off must complete the Job-Related Training and Education Employee Request Form and the Tuition Reimbursement Agreement and secure the written consent of their immediate supervisor and the individual with signature authority over the account to be charged. Faculty members must secure the approval of their department chair and dean prior to enrollment. A decision by the dean to deny the request may be appealed to the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs.
The department is responsible for compliance with this policy and must ensure the request form is accurately completed. The completed request form and reimbursement agreement are to be maintained by the department.
C. Allowable Fund Sources
Certain fund sources allow expenditures of this kind, and others do not. State, designated, revolving and auxiliary funds may be used to reimburse job-related training and educational costs. The department must verify the allowability of these expenditures from all federal and private contracts and grants (including gift and endowment funds and state and local agency contracts) with the Post Award Finance Office prior to the initiation of the request. It is the responsibility of the department to monitor compliance with the terms of this policy and to maintain records of employee education.
D. Taxable Income
Up to $5,250 per calendar year in reimbursement from the university for tuition and fees are considered non-taxable income. Educational reimbursement in excess of $5,250 will be processed similar to taxable salary in the manner described in the Reimbursement Guide. The employee’s department is responsible for tracking an employee’s total tuition reimbursement per calendar year.
E. Allowable Expenses and Privileges
1. Allowable Expenses: Allowable expenses for the training of employees include tuition and required educational fees. The cost of a course taken to prepare for a certifying examination (such as a CPA exam), and the cost of the certifying examination itself, are both considered to be allowable expenses. Reimbursement is limited to a rate not to exceed that charged by a state university in the Houston metropolitan area. Further detail can be found in the Reimbursement Guide. Tuition initially paid by a scholarship, grant or other third party is not reimbursable. Executive degree programs, such as an EMBA, will only be reimbursed at a level equivalent to the standard degree program, i.e., MBA.
2. Time Off: A department may provide time off (not to exceed the time required for one course per semester plus the allotted travel time). Employees are permitted to take one course per semester during work hours, providing they can arrange to satisfy their employment responsibilities without additional expense to the university. Travel time is authorized for each class session as follows: one-half hour per class day for course work taken on the university campus, and one hour per class day for course work taken elsewhere. This action requires the same approvals as a reimbursable expense and will use the same forms and record-keeping procedure.
F. Processing Reimbursement or Awarding of Privileges
Employees will pay all the fees, tuition, and other expenses associated with their course work with their own funds, retaining all original fee descriptions and receipts of allowable expenditures.
Employees awarded time off are to notify their departments of their grades and provide proof of successful completion of course work within 60 days after the last day of class.
Employees requesting reimbursement must submit within 60 days after the last day of class, the original of the grades and tuition statement to the department. Departments must follow the procedures outlined in the Reimbursement Guide to process reimbursement. The department is responsible for verifying successful course completion and allowable expenses. The department must retain copies of all records.
Employees who fail to notify their departments on completion of a course for which they have requested reimbursement may forfeit all educational privileges extended by the university.
|Expense Reimbursement Team||713-500-4958|
|Human Resources (Job Related Training and Request Form)||713-500-3130||http://hr.uth.tmc.edu/Training_Development/meet_staff.html|