Automatic payroll deductions for the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for eligible employees and federal income tax are required for all employees. Medicare tax deductions also are required for all employees hired after March 31, 1986. Temporary and part-time employees who are not eligible for TRS membership must have their 457 Alternative contributions deducted. The SCUCISD does not participate in the Federal Social Security Retirement Program. Instead, as required by Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA), the district has adopted a private retirement plan authorized under Internal Revenue Code, Section, 457.
Other payroll deductions employees may elect to include are deductions for the employee’s share of premiums for health, dental, life, and vision insurance; and annuities. Employees also may request payroll deduction for payment of membership dues to professional organizations. Salary deductions are automatically made for unauthorized or unpaid leave.
The district compensates overtime for nonexempt employees in accordance with federal wage and hour laws. All employees are classified as exempt or nonexempt for purposes of overtime compensation. Professional and administrative employees are ineligible for overtime compensation. Only nonexempt employees (hourly employees and paraprofessional employees) are entitled to overtime compensation. Nonexempt employees are not authorized to work beyond their normal work schedule without advance approval from their supervisor and Central Office Administration. Nonexempt employees must flex their extra time on a daily basis or at least within the next work day.
Overtime is legally defined as all hours worked in excess of 40 hours weekly and is not measured by the day or by the employee’s regular work schedule. Employees who must work beyond their normal schedule but less than 40 hours per week will be compensated in straight-time pay or equivalent time off in the same workweek. Employees must work more than 40 total hours in a week to earn overtime compensation. For the purpose of calculating overtime, a workweek begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and ends at midnight Saturday.
Supervisors of nonexempt employees shall ensure an agreement or understanding with the employees regarding the form of compensation for overtime prior to the performance of the work occasioning the overtime duty. These agreements or understandings need not be in writing, but the supervisor shall maintain some record of them, such as calendar notation, a memo to the file, or some similar indication that the employee was notified of the type of compensation to expect.
Travel expense reimbursement
Before any travel expenses are incurred by an employee, the employee’s supervisor must give approval. For approved travel, employees will be reimbursed for mileage and other travel expenditures according to the current rate schedule established by the district and the Internal Revenue Service. Employees must submit receipts to be reimbursed for expenses other than mileage.
Employees may not pursue college-related coursework or teacher certification coursework during scheduled duty hours without taking personal/discretionary leave.
Health, dental, and life insurance
Group health insurance coverage is available to all employees. The district’s contribution to employee insurance premiums is determined annually by the board of trustees. Detailed descriptions of insurance coverage, prices, and eligibility requirements are provided to all employees in a separate booklet.
The insurance plan year is from September 1 through August 31. New employees must complete enrollment forms within the first 30 days of employment. Current employees wishing to make changes to their insurance should contact the benefits office.
Supplemental insurance benefits
At their own expense, employees may enroll in supplemental insurance programs. Premiums for these programs can be paid by payroll deduction. Employees should contact the benefits office for more information.
Cafeteria plan benefits (Section 125)
Employees may be eligible to participate in the Cafeteria Plan (Section 125) and, under IRS regulations, must either accept or reject this benefit. This plan enables eligible employees to pay certain insurance premiums on a pretax basis (i.e., accidental death and dismemberment, cancer and specified disease, dental, and additional term life insurance). A third-party administrator handles employee claims made on these accounts.
New employees must accept or reject this benefit during their first month of employment. All employees must accept or reject this benefit on an annual basis and during the specified time period.
Workers’ compensation insurance
The district, in accordance with state law, provides workers’ compensation benefits to employees who suffer a work-related illness or are injured on the job. Benefits help pay for medical treatment and make up for part of the income lost while recovering. Specific benefits are prescribed by law depending on the circumstances of each case. All work-related accidents or injuries should be reported immediately to the supervisor. Employees who are unable to work due to a work-related injury will be notified of their rights and responsibilities under the Texas Labor Code.
Unemployment compensation insurance
Employees who have been laid off or terminated through no fault of their own may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act. Employees are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits during regularly scheduled breaks in the school year or the summer months if they have employment contracts or reasonable assurance of returning to service. Employees with questions about unemployment benefits should contact the Human Resources Department.
All personnel employed on a regular basis for at least one-half of the normal work schedule are members of the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS) after any initial waiting period. Substitutes not receiving TRS service retirement benefits who work at least 90 days a year are also eligible for TRS membership and to purchase a year of creditable service. TRS provides members with an annual statement of their account showing all deposits and the total account balance for the year ending August 31, as well as an estimate of their retirement benefits.
Employees who plan to retire under TRS should notify the personnel office as soon as possible. Additional inquiries should be addressed to: Teacher Retirement System of Texas, 1000 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78701-2698, or call 800-223-8778 or 512-542-6400. TRS information is also available on the Web (www.trs.state.tx.us
Children of nonresident District employees may attend SCUCISD schools tuition free. The student’s enrollment shall continue only so long as the parent is employed with the District and the student maintains acceptable standards of behavior in accordance with Student Code of Conduct.