3. Benefit Programs
301 Employee Benefits
Employees of the WRLC are eligible for a variety of benefits. Some, such as Social Security, workers' compensation, state disability, and unemployment insurance cover all employees in the manner prescribed by law. Eligibility for other benefits is dependent on a number of factors, including employee classification. Some benefit programs require contributions from employees, but many are fully paid by the WRLC.
302 Workers' Compensation Insurance
Employees are provided with Workers Compensation Insurance at no cost to the employee, which covers any injury incurred during the performance of their job. You should report any work-related injury as soon as possible to your supervisor or the Director of Finance & Administration, even if it appears to be minor. Failure to report an injury could result in loss of benefits.
Following an eligible workers’ compensation claim, employees returning to work must provide proof of rehabilitation or treatment from a licensed physician and verification that they are able to complete all job-related tasks. Once a physician has verified that the employee can resume all job-related tasks, he/she will no longer receive workers’ compensation benefits.
303 Health and Dental Insurance
The WRLC's health and dental insurance plans provide full time employees and their dependents access to medical and dental insurance benefits from the date of hire. The WRLC pays 80% of the monthly premium for single coverage of the employee, and 65% for employees electing coverage other than single. The remaining 20% and 35% respectively, are the employee’s responsibility and may be paid through pre-tax salary reduction. Details of the health insurance plan and costs are described in the Summary Plan Description, which will be provided in advance of enrollment to eligible employees. Contact the Director of Finance & Administration for more information about health insurance benefits.
WRLC participates in a high deductible health plan and expects to contribute 100% of the participant’s deductible into the employees Health Savings Account, $1,500 for single and $3,000 for other than single. WRLC will fund 50% of the deductible on July 1 and the remaining balance will be funded evenly over the next eleven (11) months. Employees hired during the fiscal year will receive a prorated portion of the deductible based on the number of months remaining in the fiscal year. WRLC will fund 50% of the prorated amount in the first month and the remaining balance over the remaining months in the fiscal year.
Details of the health insurance plan and costs are described in the Summary Plan Description, which will be provided in advance of enrollment to eligible employees. Contact the Director of Finance & Administration for more information about health insurance benefits.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the cost to the plan.
WRLC Health Benefits and Medicare
Effective March 2020
As an organization with fewer than 20 employees, WRLC’s employer-provided health insurance becomes secondary when the employee enrolls in Medicare. (WRLC’s employees will generally need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B during the three months prior and three months after the month they turn 65. Delaying enrollment may result in a late enrollment penalty of 10%, possibly for life.)
Employees who are participating in WRLC’s healthcare coverage for at least three years prior to their enrollment in Medicare are eligible for assistance from the WRLC with health insurance expenses. The level of WRLC assistance is based on the employee’s coverage (single, double, family) when they leave the WRLC plan and enroll in Medicare.
The change from WRLC’s health insurance to Medicare coverage could cost the employee more than their current 20% or 35% payment for WRLC’s plan. Also, if the employee is enrolled in Medicare, the employee and the employer are no longer allowed to contribute to an HSA account, per Medicare regulations. The WRLC has established this supplemental pay policy to provide comparable benefits for those employees using Medicare to those provided through the WRLC health plan.
- To be eligible for this benefit the employee must have participated in the WRLC health plan for 3 consecutive years leading up to the age of 65.
- The employee must leave the WRLC healthcare plan and join the Medicare plan. Employees who select this offer will no longer be eligible for the WRLC’s medical coverage. The employee must remain on the Medicare plan in order to receive this benefit.
- The eligible parts of the Medicare plan include Part A (Hospital), B (Doctors and Tests), C (Medicare Advantage), D (Prescription Drugs) and Medigap insurance.
- Family members other than the employee covered under the double or family option, must join another healthcare plan to be eligible for reimbursement.
- The level of WRLC assistance will be based upon the coverage (single, double or family) at the time the employee leaves WRLC’s plan and starts Medicare. WRLC will reimburse the employee for double or family coverage even though the participants are on a healthcare plan other than Medicare.
- The WRLC will reimburse the employee for Medicare premiums (and other healthcare premiums for participants in double or family plans) minus the current employee contribution towards the WRLC premium. If the employee’s monthly Medicare premiums (and other monthly healthcare premiums for participants in double or family plans) is more than the 20% (single) or 35% (non-single) employee contribution towards the WRLC premium, then WRLC will reimburse the employee the difference up to, but not exceeding, the WRLC contribution for medical coverage. For example, if the employee pays Medicare (and other healthcare premium for participants in double or family plans) $150 per month but would have paid $120 under WRLC’s plan, then WRLC will reimburse the employee $30 (plus 15% for taxes).
- The WRLC will reimburse eligible employees the CareFirst deductible (currently $1500 single and $3,000 non-single) in the same manner as WRLC employees on the CareFirst plan (50% first month and 1/11th each month thereafter during the plan year).
- The employee must provide proof of Medicare premiums (and other healthcare premiums for participants in double or family plans) each month or when any changes occur to the Medicare or other healthcare premium. These monthly premiums will be compared to the WRLC plan premium for that employee and the difference calculated.
- If at time of moving to Medicare the employee was receiving double or family coverage, then the employee must provide proof of coverage and proof of premium payment each month for those participants.
- employee’s Health Savings Account is a tax-free benefit to the employee, the WRLC will add 15% to the employee’s reimbursement and the deductible payment as compensation for the loss of the tax-free benefit.
- The employee can continue to participate in WRLC’s vision and dental plans.
- When the employee terminates his or her employment with WRLC, this assistance will stop.
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305 Life Insurance
The WRLC provides a fully paid life insurance plan for regular full time employees with coverage equal to the employee's annual salary (to a maximum of $100,000), with an additional $15,000 of life insurance coverage provided after the first 30 days of employment. The plan begins from the date of hire. The life insurance plan also includes Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance coverage.
Details of the life insurance plan, including benefit amounts, are described in the Summary Plan Description provided to eligible employees. Contact the Director of Finance & Administration for more information.
306 Short-Term Disability
Regular full time employees are eligible for Short-Term Disability coverage from the date of hire, fully paid by the WRLC. If the employee becomes disabled from a non work related injury or sickness, disability income benefits are provided as a source of income. You are not eligible to receive short term benefits if you are receiving workers’ compensation.
The short term disability insurance plan begins to pay benefits after a 15 day waiting period; the benefit schedule pays 60% of weekly salary, a maximum of $1,500 per week, up to 11 weeks. Details of the short term disability plan, including benefits and conditions, are described in the Summary Plan Description available from the Director of Finance & Administration.
307 Long-Term Disability Benefits
The WRLC provides long-term disability benefits for regular full-time employees. Long-term disability is designed to ensure continuing income for employees medically disabled and unable to work. The plan begins to provide benefits 90 days after the employee becomes disabled. The plan pays 60% of the employee’s monthly salary, up to a monthly maximum of $5,000, continuing to the normal Social Security retirement age. Details of the long-term disability plan, including benefits and conditions, are described in the Summary Plan Description available from the Director of Finance & Administration.
308 Retirement Benefits
The WRLC has established a 403(b) retirement plan with TIAA-CREF to collaboratively invest in your future.
To be eligible to participate in the WRLC retirement program, you must complete six months of continuous service and be 21 years of age or older.
Each eligible employee is required to make an annual contribution of $200 or 1% of salary, whichever is less, and may optionally contribute up to 5% of salary. The WRLC makes a minimum contribution of 5% of the employee's salary and also matches whatever the employee contributes, up to a maximum of 5%. For example, an employee contributing the minimum of 1% of their salary would receive an additional contribution from the WRLC of 6%, for a total of 7%. An employee who contributes the maximum of 5% would receive an additional contribution from the WRLC of 10%, for a total of 15% of the employee’s salary.
If an employee is ineligible to receive contributions from the WRLC during their first six months of employment, the employee may make their own contributions to a TIAA-CREF retirement account.
Because the employee's contribution is automatically deducted from earnings, before federal and state tax withholdings are calculated, the employee saves tax dollars now by having the current taxable amount reduced. While the amounts deducted generally will be taxed when they are finally distributed, favorable tax rules typically apply to 403(b) distributions.
Complete details of the TIAA-CREF retirement plan are described in the Summary Plan Description provided to eligible employees. Contact the Director of Finance & Administration for more information.
309 Training and Professional Development
The WRLC recognizes that the skills and knowledge of its employees are critical to its success. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to identify training and professional development opportunities that will enhance and improve job-related skills, knowledge and understanding.
The WRLC will pay for training and related travel expenses approved in advance by the employee's supervisor. Regular full and part-time employees are eligible. Training that is required by the supervisor will be paid in full. Educational opportunities that would be beneficial, but not required by the supervisor, may be reimbursed at less than 100%.
WRLC employees who are matriculated in an accredited graduate program that is directly relevant to their position responsibilities at WRLC may request tuition support of 50% of tuition up to a maximum of $1000 per semester. Each employee may receive a maximum of $2,000 tuition reimbursement per fiscal year. Tuition reimbursement will be processed on a semester-to-semester basis upon successful completion of each course demonstrated by presentation of a transcript or certificate of grades.
Attendance at training and professional development programs is covered by administrative leave and does not count against the employee’s vacation. Attendance for graduate coursework is not covered by administrative leave.
If an employee voluntarily separates from the WRLC's employment within six months of a training or professional development program having a registration fee of $1,500 or more, the employee will be required to repay 50 percent of the registration cost. The WRLC has the right to reduce the final paycheck by the outstanding balance.
310 Business Travel
The WRLC will reimburse employees for reasonable business travel expenses incurred while on assignments away from the normal work location. Approved costs of travel, meals, lodging, taxi, public transportation, tolls and parking directly related to accomplishing business objectives will be reimbursed. Employees are expected to limit expenses to reasonable amounts.
Employees should submit travel expense reports, including receipts for all individual expenses, no later than 30 days after completion of travel or by June 30 of the current fiscal year (whichever is sooner).
Employees are permitted to combine personal travel with business travel, as long as time away from work is approved in advance. Additional expenses arising from non-business travel are the responsibility of the employee.
Abuse of this business travel policy, including falsifying expense reports to reflect costs not incurred by the employee, can be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Use of Vehicles for Business Travel
While on WRLC business, employees using their personal vehicles or vehicles leased or rented by the WRLC are expected to obey traffic laws and to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Employees who are involved in an accident while traveling on business must promptly report the incident to their supervisor.
Employees who use their personal vehicles for approved business purposes will receive a mileage allowance based on the current IRS standard mileage rates.
Local Business Travel
WRLC employees on assignment, attending conferences, meetings or training in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area will be reimbursed for approved travel expenses, whether by car (including tolls and parking), taxi, or public transportation, minus the expenses they would typically incur traveling to the WRLC. For example, an employee typically drives 20 miles roundtrip between home and the WRLC, equivalent to $10 if reimbursed at $0.50 per mile. To attend a meeting at GW, the employee drives 50 miles round trip and would be reimbursed $15, which is $25 for driving 50 miles at $0.50 per mile minus $10 for the employee’s typical commute to the WRLC. If the employee were to take Metro to GW, they would be entitled to full reimbursement of expenses minus the employee’s typical $10 commuting expense.
Mileage reimbursement is based on the current IRS standard mileage rates.
Employees will not be reimbursed for meals during local assignments, meetings or conferences.
Out of Town Travel
All business travel outside the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area must be approved in advance by the employee's supervisor. Employees should submit a travel request (email is acceptable) as early as possible outlining the destination, dates, purpose, and estimated cost of the out-of-town travel. Travel outside of the United States and Canada requires explicit approval by the Executive Director.
Employees are expected to arrange their own travel and lodging but must submit complete documentation for reimbursement. The WRLC will not be responsible for reimbursing travel expenses for unapproved trips or for changes or cancellations made by the employee due to personal reasons. Employees are to use the most expedient mode of transportation available, to book reasonable fares, and to stay and eat at moderately-priced establishments. The WRLC will reimburse a maximum of $50 per day for meals, with a maximum of $30 for any one meal.
Abuse of this business travel expenses policy, including falsifying expense reports to reflect costs not incurred by the employee, can be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
The WRLC will reimburse, in accordance with WRLC travel polices, all expenses for required travel.
The WRLC encourages its employees to participate in professional associations and conferences, and will reimburse registration and travel-related expenses up to a maximum of $1,250 for any one conference unless approved in writing by the Executive Director prior to incurring the expense.