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THE IRS HAS RELEASED A NEW W-4 FORM FOR 2020

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a new version of the Form W-4 (Employee Withholding Certificate) for calendar year 2020.

Starting 1/1/20, all new employees and any current employee who wishes to change their withholdings will be required to use the new W-4 form and submit the form to Payroll.

Existing employees who do not wish to change their withholdings do not have to take any action.

Visit the Payroll homepage for additional information including the New W-4 Form for 2020 FAQs.

Please note that the Ramapo Payroll Office is not able to provide individual guidance on completion of the new W-4 or any related tax implications. If you require assistance in either of these areas, it is recommended that you contact a personal tax advisor.

NEW JERSEY EARNED SICK LEAVE LAW

The Sick Leave Benefit:

Under the Sick Leave Law, Eligible Employees earn sick leave at the rate of one-hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of earned sick leave per benefit year. The benefit year commences on January 1 and ends December 31. For example, an Eligible Employee who works five hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday earns one-hour (1) of earned sick leave after working two weeks, or 30-hours.

Eligible employees commenced accruing earned sick leave on October 29, 2018, or on their first day of employment, whichever is later (“Accrual Start Date”). Eligible employees are eligible to use earned sick leave accrued under the Sick Leave Law on February 26, 2019, 120 days after their Accrual Start Date and may carry-over up to 40 hours of leave per benefit year.

Eligible Employees:

The Sick Leave Law extends earned sick leave benefits to employees who were not previously entitled to this benefit — in particular, Adjuncts, hourly, temporary employees, and student workers are now eligible. The Sick Leave Law does not apply to College employees who already receive paid sick leave.

Uses of Sick Leave:

Eligible employees may use earned sick leave to take time off when: an employee/family member needs diagnosis, care or treatment or recovery from an illness, or preventive medical care; an employee/family member has been a victim of domestic violence and needs time for treatment, counseling, or to prepare for a court proceeding; an employee needs to attend to a school-related conference or meeting, or; the College closes due to a public health emergency. Please note, sick leave accrued under the Sick Leave Law may not be used for bereavement.

Notify your Supervisor that you will be taking sick time for one of the eligible reasons listed above.

To take sick time, enter your sick hours using the Paid Sick Leave Code on your timesheet once you sign on to submit your weekly hours.

You may view your available sick leave balance at any time in Web Self-Service by clicking Leave Balances under the Employee tab in Web Self-Service.

Additional Information:

Please review the NJ Earned Sick Leave FAQS and the Notice of Employee Rights from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYERS

Click here for more information.

FISCAL YEAR 2020 – OVERNIGHT TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

For budget year FY2020, a hold is being placed on overnight travel. This includes travel to seminars, conferences, workshops and events with the benefit of professional development, industry best practices, and trends. To ensure all travel meets the below criteria, the required travel pre-approval remains mandatory. Employee failure to secure pre-approval will result in non-reimbursement for travel costs.

Effective July 1, in order to be approved for overnight travel, the request must meet the following criteria:

  • Attendance required by a regulatory body for College compliance (i.e. Accreditations, NCAA)- employee must provide proof of regulatory requirement and how attending the event/conference will meet that requirement.
  • Professional licensing, certifications, and other contractual professional requirements– employee must provide proof of educational requirement and how the conference meets that requirement. This requirement must be necessary for the employee’s current position.
  • Recruitment– Trips for the purpose of student recruitment (including Athletic recruitment). The trip must be approved by the Director of Admissions and respective VP as a valid College recruitment trip.
  • Athletics- The employee is required and essential for team travel (i.e. Coach and assistant coach).
  • Fully funded grant travel (internal or external)– Partially grant funded trips where the College is to pay the balance will not be approved, unless it meets one of the other categories mentioned within this policy.
  • Chaperone– Employee is identified as the chaperone on a student trip
  • Faculty Presenters– If presenting at a conference in a scholarly capacity and travel expenses are included as part of the presentation
  • Faculty Scholarly Achievements – Defined as scholarly growth and achievements, research, artistic activities and academic accomplishments. At the discretion of the Provost based on the overall benefit to the College and its students.

To compensate and stay abreast of industry best practices and continue professional development, employees are encouraged to attend online webinars and seminars as well as local events/conferences. In addition, the College’s resources within the Learning and Development Office of Human Resources and the Instructional Design Center should be used to enhance campus-wide development.

RAMAPO COLLEGE HIRING FREEZE GUIDELINES

Effective July 1, 2019, and until further notice, all vacant non-faculty positions are subject to a hiring freeze at the College.  Positions that have already been approved and are currently being searched are not affected by this action.

Hiring Freeze

The hiring freeze applies to all non-faculty positions, including temporary and part-time positions.  Provisional positions fully funded by a granting agency are excluded from the hiring freeze, but are subject to standard Position Review Committee process.  Student workers and work study students are not subject to this action.

Exceptions under the Hiring Freeze

If a position is determined by the division to be critical to the operations of the College, a Hiring Freeze Exception Reqest Form must be completed and submitted to Human Resources (HR).  The Form will be reviewed by HR for accuracy and then submitted to the Hiring Freeze Committee, which consists of the College President or his designee, Vice President /Legal Counsel and the Director of Internal Audit.  This Hiring Freeze Committee will review all requests, supporting documentation, and approve or deny the request.  The determination will be shared with the division’s Vice President and Human Resources.

Human Resources will take no action without the completion and documentation of this process.

 

CHANGE IN THE NUMBER OF WORKING DAYS AND PAY PERIODS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2020 (FY20)

The number of working days for 12-month employees is 262 for Fiscal Year 2020. The number of working days for 10-month employees for Fiscal Year 2020 is 217. Therefore, 12-month employees will have 26.2 pay periods and 10-month employees will have 21.7 pay periods in FY20. The first pay period in Fiscal Year 2020 will be the pay dated July 12, 2019 (RB14). 

The divisor (working days) may change your hourly rate.  However, your Annual Salary remains unchanged.

MINORS ON CAMPUS

Preventing child abuse and promoting the safety and welfare of students and minors on our campus is the responsibility of every member of the community. As an institution, we review our existing policies and procedures periodically to ensure that effective controls are in place at Ramapo College. This includes having reporting mechanisms in place should any person have reason to believe that a child participating in any of our programs, or visiting our campus, may be a victim of child abuse or other related inappropriate conduct.

Any employee or person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or acts of abuse should immediately report this information to the State Central Registry (SCR) at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873).  If the child is in immediate danger call 911 or Ramapo Public Safety at extension 6666, and then the Registry. A concerned caller does not need proof to report an allegation of child abuse and can make the report anonymously.  Useful information from the NJ Department of Children and Families is provided at this link:
http://www.state.nj.us/dcf/news/publications/HotlinesHelplines2012.pdf

If you have any questions about your duty to report child abuse, please contact the Department of Public Safety at (201) 684-6666.

For more information please visit the Department of Children and Families web site at:
http://www.state.nj.us/dcf/reporting/how/index.html

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTATIVE CARE

Routine checkups and screenings can help you avoid serious health problems, allowing you and your doctor to work as a team to manage your overall health, and help you reach your personal health and wellness goals.

What is Preventive Care?

Preventive care focuses on maintaining your health, and establishing your baseline health status. This may include immunizations, vaccines, physical evaluations, lab work, x-rays and medically appropriate health screenings. During your preventive visit, your doctor will determine what tests or screenings are appropriate for you based on many factors such as your age, gender, overall health status, personal health history and your current symptoms or chronic health concerns.

Click the link to access the Preventive Health Guidelines for both Children and Adults. Preventive_Health_Guidelines

DEFENSIVE DRIVING/SAFETY TRAINING – CLASSROOM COURSE

The recently adopted Motor Vehicle Policy requires individuals that drive College vehicles/golf carts complete a defensive driving course every three years.  This is in addition to the requirement of obtaining an annual driver’s abstract for each employee who drives College vehicles/golf carts.  The Department of Human Resources and Environmental Health/Safety Department are offering on-campus defensive driving courses and will launch an online version shortly.  Either the online or classroom training is required – you do not need to complete both courses.    The Human Resources Department must have run and received a satisfactory driver’s abstract before an employee can be eligible for defensive driving training.  Please contact Human Resources with any questions at x7506 or email driving@ramapo.edu.

ON-CAMPUS TRAINING (A 6-hour classroom session)

New Jersey residents attending the on-campus course have the option to pay a $10 fee to receive a 2 point reduction from their motor vehicle record and/or request an insurance discount (this fee cannot be expensed to the College).  Individuals should contact the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles (609-292-7500) prior to the training if you have questions about points on your license, as well as your insurance company to verify eligibility for an insurance discount.   Please note that prior supervisor approval is required as this training program is a 6-hour course.

Course Dates/Times:

TBD

Register at:  link

ONLINE TRAINING 

Online Defensive Driver training is also available.  Arrangements must be made through the Department of Human Resources at ext. 7498.

Supervisory approval is required for participation in either training program.

 

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS FOR TAX-DEFERRED RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLANS FOR 2020

Effective January 1, 2020 the annual contribution limit for both 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities and 457(b) deferred compensation plans (pretax and Roth contributions) is  $19,500.  In addition, employees who are age 50 and over may contribute an additional $6,500 annually per plan.  For those eligible employees who are within 3 years of retirement age as stated in the plan there may be the potential take advantage of the enhanced catch-up provision.

Employees under age 50 before December 31, 2020 may defer up to $39,000 in 2020 between the plans.  Employees age 50 or older before December 31, 2020 may defer up to $52,000 in 2020 between the plans.

If you wish to increase your current contribution level for year 2020 or you would like to review your current withholding percentage please contact Johnie Burton (ext. 7230) to schedule an appointment.  We highly recommend that you review your pay stubs on an ongoing basis to track your year- to- date deferrals which may vary with any salary fluctuations. We also recommend that you meet with your plan representative on an annual basis to review your account status.  A schedule of meeting dates is available on the Benefits webpage at the following link under “Save the Date” tab:  link

LIFE INSURANCE WAIVER

Members of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) may waive their non-contributory group life insurance over $50,000 to avoid federal and state tax liability.  Any member who waives the non-contributory life insurance must waive the total amount of coverage in excess of $50,000. Waiver forms are available at:

http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/epbam/exhibits/pdf/rm0674.pdf

The Division of Pensions and Benefits must receive waivers on or before December 31 to be effective January 1 of the next calendar year.  A copy of the waiver should also be sent to the Benefits Office.