For FCI Staff

Resources for employees

The Five College Consortium brings together people to solve common problems and imagine new possibilities. All members of the FCI staff—regardless of job title or specific duties—work to foster collaboration and cooperation among our member campuses. We invite you to explore the many benefits and opportunities available to you as an employee of Five Colleges, Incorporated.

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COVID-19 Policies

The health and welfare of our entire Five College community is our paramount concern, and we will comply with all orders issued by the CDC and local public health authorities. Our goal at FCI is to maintain our operations in as stable a fashion as possible in order to support the campuses in their shared functions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

To that end, FCI will follow the policies and protocols below until and unless instructed to do otherwise by the CDC, public health authorities, or our Board of Directors.

Most FCI staff have returned to onsite work. FCI employees who need to access any campus(es) other than their primary campus should seek authorization from the Director of Operations.

FCI has developed a COVID-19 Control Plan as a guide for staff members returning to their offices.

Before reporting for onsite work, you should monitor your health status. If you have new symptoms associated with COVID-19 that are not explained by another diagnosis or preexisting condition (such as allergies), you should:

  • not come to work in person
  • work remotely as your symptoms and work obligations allow
  • inform your supervisor and the Director of Operations
  • contact your healthcare provider for medical attention and guidance on returning to in-person work
  • not participate in on-campus asymptomatic testing until you return for onsite work

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever or chills,  cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea. Consult the CDC for current information about COVID signs and symptoms.

FCI's meeting rooms at Amherst College (such as the Burn Room and Dining Room at 97 Spring Street) are not currently available for in-person meetings.

Limited in-person meeting space is available at the Five College Library Annex. To inquire about availability and to reserve space, contact fc-libraryannex@fivecolleges.edu.

FCI staff who are authorized to work onsite are expected to follow the masking guidelines of the campus(es) they access.

Current masking policies can be found on each campus's COVID-19 page. See FCI's campus pandemic updates for the latest.

Amherst College currently requires KN95 masks or doubled disposable masks "in classrooms and other academic spaces that are operating at 100% capacity." The only FCI space considered to be an academic space is the Five College Center for World Languages. KN95 masks are available at 79 S. Pleasant St. and should be worn by staff and students while in that space. Additional KN95 masks are available for staff working in other spaces who opt to use this type of mask.

FCI-sponsored domestic travel is permitted with supervisor approval, unless otherwise restricted by CDC, Massachusetts, or campus travel orders. Travel should be limited to occasions when the work is essential and cannot be effectively performed remotely.

FCI staff are expected to follow federal and state travel guidelines, as well as exercise caution and good judgment when traveling. FCI staff who are required to quarantine due to travel orders and cannot perform their duties during the mandated quarantine must use accrued paid time off to cover their absence.

FCI-sponsored international travel is allowed to some countries. Travel should be limited to occasions when the work is essential and cannot be effectively performed remotely. Travel requests must be submitted to a supervisor in writing. Case-by-case determinations will be made based on CDC travel recommendations and the CDC/U.S. Department of State travel advisory levels. Decisions are subject to change as changing pandemic conditions warrant. 

There are no FCI restrictions on personal travel. FCI encourages staff to continue observing current regulations and safety precautions whenever traveling. 

FCI recognizes that vaccines are one of the most effective methods for creating a safe work environment and for reducing risk of COVID-19 infection, and that large-scale vaccination among FCI staff will support FCI’s work and the goals of the campuses that we all support. In order to ensure that FCI staff are able to perform their work with minimal restrictions and to move freely among our member campuses, FCI’s vaccination expectations are shaped by the most restrictive policies of the campuses. As a result, FCI requires all eligible members of the FCI staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Staff are asked to show proof of vaccination (or to certify an appropriate medical or religious exemption) in a confidential manner; FCI does not intend to store copies of vaccination records. Employees should note that campuses may require some FCI staff to comply with site-specific and/or role-specific policies, which may be based on vaccination status. In addition, this vaccination requirement may be extended to approved COVID-19 booster vaccines.

Benefits

FCI offers a comprehensive package of benefits for full-time and part-time employees, including benefits for family members. See below for basic information about these benefits.

For details about enrollment and eligibility, see the Benefits page and the Employee Handbook.

We offer dental benefits for you, as an individual employee, and for your dependent family members. The Delta Dental PPO plan benefits include diagnostic and preventive services, as well as restorative and other basic services.

Dental insurance benefits are provided by Delta Dental.

For plan details and a summary of benefits coverage, visit the benefits page

The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is available to you even if you are not enrolled in one of FCI's health plans. With a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible health-related expenses or for eligible dependent care expenses. Each year you decide how much will be deducted from your paycheck, up to the maximum determined by the IRS. With the tax savings, you can increase your spendable income.

The health FSA covers eligible health-related expenses for you and your dependents, which may include health plan co-pays, deductibles, dental care, and certain medical supplies.

The dependent care FSA allows you to be reimbursed for eligible dependent care expenses for a qualifying dependent 12 years old or younger (or a physically or mentally impaired dependent age 13 or older) so that you or your spouse may work, look for work, or attend school full time.

The FSA is similar to the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). However, the FSA uses employee-funded dollars, while the HRA uses employer-funded dollars.

To maximize your benefits, you can use the Health Reimbursement Arrangement for the first half of your deductible and then apply Flexible Saving Account funds to the rest of the deductible and for medical costs not included in the deductible.

The FSA is administered by American Benefits Group.

We offer two health insurance options: an HMO and a PPO, both through Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Both plans include prescription drug coverage; annual fitness reimbursement; a free wellness program; rewards for competing well-being activities; healthy eating support; and discounts and savings on vision and hearing.

Health benefits are available at four tiers:

  1. Individual employee.
  2. Employee plus spouse/domestic partner.
  3. Employee plus dependent child(ren).
  4. Family, which includes two adults (spouses or domestic partners) and dependent child(ren).

Health insurance benefits are provided by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

For plan details and a summary of benefits coverage, visit the benefits page

To assist the employees and family members covered by one of FCI's health plans, we offer a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). It is designed to help offset what you pay out-of-pocket toward your health plan's annual deductible.

The HRA cover the first 50% of deductible costs for those with individual plans and the first 50% of deductible costs for those with two-party and family plans.

The HRA is similar to the Flexible Savings Account (FSA). However, the HRA uses employer-funded dollars while the FSA uses employee-funded dollars.

To maximize your benefits, you can use the Health Reimbursement Arrangement for the first half of your deductible and then apply Flexible Saving Account funds to the rest of the deductible and for medical costs not included in the deductible.

The HRA is administered by American Benefits Group.

At a minimum, we offer seven paid holidays each year:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving (2.5 days)
  • Christmas Day

Additional holidays are determined annually. Paid holidays may include floating holidays. You are paid only for holidays that occur on days when you are normally scheduled to work.

At no cost to you, FCI offers Basic Term Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance equal to your annual salary. This benefit is for employees who sustain injuries that keep them from working; the benefit can also apply to funeral expenses. 

At your cost, you have the option to increase your life insurance coverage (“buy up”) to 2 or 3 times your salary; you may also purchase life insurance for a dependent spouse or dependent child.

Life and AD&D Insurance benefits are administered by Lincoln National Life Insurance Company.

We cover the cost of long-term disability insurance for FCI employees. Disability insurance provides partial income replacement if you are unable to work due to a qualifying non-work-related illness or injury.  You have the option to purchase a higher level of coverage.

Long-term disability insurance benefits are administered by Lincoln Financial Group.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave law temporarily provides up to one week of paid sick leave to employees who need leave for a covered COVID-19 reason.

You can take leave for the following reasons:

  • To provide self-care or to get medical treatment due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms
  • To get or recover from a COVID-19 immunization
  • To quarantine as required by a local, state, or federal public official; a health authority having jurisdiction; a health care provider; or FCI
  • To care for a family member in any of the above situations

Covered family members are your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, or sibling, a parent of the your spouse or domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis to you when you were a minor child.

This law is in place through April 1, 2022.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave benefits are set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and provided by FCI.

For additional details, visit mass.gov

Under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) employees are eligible to take up to 26 weeks of paid job-protected leave for medical or family reasons.

You may take paid family leave to:

  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or the first 12 months after the child's adoption or foster care placement
  • Care for a family member who is/was a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves and developed or aggravated a serious health condition in line of duty on active duty while deployed
  • Manage family affairs when a family member is on or has been called to active duty while in the armed forces, including the National Guard or Reserves

You may take paid medical leave to

  • Manage your own serious health condition

PFML benefits are initiated by the employee and provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For additional PFML details and to apply for benefits, visit mass.gov

As a Massachusetts employee, you are entitled to up to 40 hours of job-protected paid sick time each year. If you are in a benefits-eligible position, FCI's sick leave policy satisfies the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law.

If your position is not eligible for benefits, you may earn and access Massachusetts Earned Sick Time for illness, injury, or routine medical appointments. You may also use earned sick time for your child, spouse, parent, or spouse's parent for the same purposes. In addition, Earned Sick Time may be used to address domestic violence involving yourself or your child(ren).

Under this policy, you earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

For additional details, visit mass.gov

Under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA), you are entitled to up to eight weeks of unpaid leave related to the birth, adoption, or placement for adoption of a child or for placement by court order.

To support FCI employees and their families, we grant the first six weeks as paid leave to regular full-time and regular part-time employees. You may take the remaining two weeks of MPLA as unpaid parental leave or you may, optionally, apply your available paid time off for those weeks. 

Other part-time employees are entitled to eight weeks of unpaid parental leave.

Eligibility for parental leave begins after you have completed the 90-day initial orientation period.

Parental leave benefits are set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and provided by FCI.

For additional MPLA details, visit mass.gov

On July 1 each year, we award personal days for you to take time off with pay for your own personal reasons. Full-time employees are awarded three days each year (prorated for employees whose employment begins after July 1). Personal time does not carry over from year to year; personal time not used by June 30 will be forfeited.

To help you prepare and pay for your medical expenses in retirement, we have established a Retirement Healthcare Savings Plan (RHSP). We set money aside to help you pay your healthcare costs in retirement, such as health insurance premiums, deductibles and copays; prescription drug costs; Medicare and long-term care premiums.

We contribute to this plan on your behalf, beginning with your first paycheck; FCI's  contributions are available to you after 10 years of continuous employment at FCI. The retiree health insurance plan is available if you have reached age 55 and have been continuously employed at FCI for at least 10 years, or if you are deemed permanently disabled during your employment.

If you meet the retiree health insurance plan eligibility requirements when you separate from employment and qualify for Medicare, you and your eligible dependents may be eligible for benefits. Your spouse/domestic partner and dependents may be eligible for continued benefits after your death.

The Retirement Healthcare Savings Plan is administered by Emeriti Retirement Health and TIAA.

To encourage saving for retirement, we offer a 403(b) retirement plan for regular full-time and regular part-time employees. In support of this goal, you will be automatically enrolled upon hire (you may choose to decline). 

After one year of employment, we will match your biweekly contributions 2:1, up to a maximum match of 10%. That is, if you contribute 5% of your biweekly pay, we will contribute 10%. You may change the amount (or percentage) you contribute and you may choose to contribute more than 5%; however, FCI will not provide matching funds on any additional contributions beyond 5%.

FCI investments are administered by TIAA and monitored by a certified advisor and by the FCI Employee 403(b) Fiduciary Committee.

Regular employees earn up to one day of sick leave per month. (See the sick leave accrual schedule in the employee handbook.) Accrued but unused sick leave may accumulate from year to year up to a maximum of 130 days.

You may use sick leave for any of these purposes:

  1. For physical or mental illness, injury, or other medical condition requiring home, preventive, or professional care
  2. To attend regular medical and dental appointments
  3. To address psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence
  4. To travel to or from an appointment, pharmacy, or other location related to one of the other purposes

Sick leave may be used for your own medical care or for you to attend to the needs of your child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, or parent of a spouse or domestic partner.

For regular full-time or regular part-time employees who live at least 15 miles from the FCI main office (97 Spring Street, Amherst) and have a pay rate less than $40,000 annually, we offer a transportation subsidy toward commuting costs. Eligible employees receive a $50 taxable subsidy each pay period, except when out on (paid or unpaid) leave.

We grant financial assistance toward the cost of undergraduate tuition for regular full-time and regular part-time employees or an employee's spouse/domestic partner and dependent child(ren) enrolled as an undergraduate in an accredited four-year institution or an accredited two-year college. Regular full-time employee are eligible for up to $900 per semester and regular part-time employees may utilize up to $450 or the cost of tuition, whichever is lower. This benefit is available after one year of employment and is limited to two participants per employee for a maximum of eight semesters per participant.

With FCI approval, you may take courses at UMass Amherst to help you further your education. The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers tuition waivers (free tuition) for regular full-time or regular part-time employees who have worked at FCI for at least six months. In general, UMass Amherst does not waive tuition for continuing education, graduate, professional, or summer classes. 

As a regular full-time employee, you earn 20 vacation days a year (prorated for part-time employees).

To encourage you to take vacation time as part of essential work-life balance, you can accumulate only up to a maximum of 25 vacation days.

Personal & Professional Development

We encourage staff members to access these resources to develop their work-related skills, and to further their own personal growth.

FCI employees and their family members are eligible to join the UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. In addition to banking and loan services, the credit union offers workshops and other educational resources.

Looking for resources to shore up your financial health? Check out these articles, videos, and calculators from Baystate Fiduciary Advisors.

Several times each month, TIAA offers live and pre-recorded webinars to help boost your financial know-how.  Visit tiaa.org to sign up for these webinars and to access financial education resources. They are available to all, even if you don't have a TIAA account.

Using your Amherst College credentials you can access LinkedIn Learning videos to advance your software, computer, technology, and personal development skills. 

 

The institutions within the Five College Consortium often welcome FCI employees at no charge to participate in their campus-based professional development opportunities. After receiving supervisor approval, an employee should contact the particular college’s Human Resources office to request permission to participate.

Wellness Resources

Our Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offer free professional, confidential services to help you and your family members.

EmployeeConnect offerings include:

  • Counseling for short-term issues
  • Consultations with lawyers
  • Information and referrals on family matters and legal issues
  • Financial guidance

You and your family members can access this confidential service 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no cost to you.

To access these services, visit GuidanceResources.com (username: LFGSupport, password: LFGSupport1); download the GuidanceNow mobile app; or call 888-628-4824.

New Directions offers a range of free confidential services for you and your family members. Services include mental health support, substance use resources, legal consultation, life coaching, and referrals for other services. 

  • In-the-moment: talk in real-time, anytime
  • Online: message, chat, phone or video
  • Via telephone: schedule a time to talk via phone
  • Face-to-face: schedule a time to talk with a therapist

Simply call the New Directions EAP Support Line anytime at 800-624-5544 or visit the New Directions website and enter the code "five colleges inc" (without a period).

Payroll Information

Use this information to help manage your worktime and your wages.

FCI's 2021-2022 holiday schedule includes 13.5 paid holidays and a half-day floating holiday.

Paychecks are issued biweekly on the dates shown in this 2021-2022 payroll schedule.

Use CheckWriters to enter your timesheets. Also go to CheckWriters to view your available time off, request leave, and print your W-2s.

For guidance on entering your electronic timesheets and approving others' timesheets, follow these instructions

Review this important guidance about working hours, reporting time, and other payroll-related matters for non-exempt staff and their supervisors.

Policies

Some Five Colleges, Incorporated policies are incorporated into the employee handbook; others are listed separately below.

FCI recognizes that vaccines are one of the most effective methods for creating a safe work environment and for reducing risk of COVID-19 infection, and that large-scale vaccination among FCI staff will support FCI’s work and the goals of the campuses that we all support. In order to ensure that FCI staff are able to perform their work with minimal restrictions and to move freely among our member campuses, FCI’s vaccination expectations are shaped by the most restrictive policies of the campuses. As a result, FCI requires all eligible members of the FCI staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Staff are asked to show proof of vaccination (or to certify an appropriate medical or religious exemption) in a confidential manner; FCI does not intend to store copies of vaccination records. Employees should note that campuses may require some FCI staff to comply with site-specific and/or role-specific policies, which may be based on vaccination status. In addition, this vaccination requirement may be extended to approved COVID-19 booster vaccines.

If you need to certify your vaccination status, refer to these documents:

The Employee Handbook outlines employee guidelines, rules, and expectations. It also explains general employment and compensation policies, leave provisions, and benefit programs for regular FCI employees.

Employees should read the handbook upon hire and refer to it when questions arise about employment, benefits, and policies.

Questions should be directed to the Director of Operations or to the Director of Business Services. 

FCI implemented a flexible work policy in the fall of 2021. We understand that some operational and/or individual needs can be addressed with flexible work arrangements. Flexible work arrangements may be possible for both non-exempt and exempt employees whose job functions allow for such flexibility. Flexible work arrangements may incorporate a non-standard work schedule or may include work from home. For details, refer to these documents:

FCI supports the development, production and dissemination of intellectual property and honors the tradition that individuals own the copyrights of the academic, scholarly and other creative original works of authorship that they produce in association with FCI. This  Intellectual Property Policy identifies the ownership interest of authorship with respect to original works created with FCI involvement.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions. Generally, employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably than other employees based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions and have an obligation to accommodate pregnant workers.

Five Colleges, Incorporated retains records for the period of their immediate or current use, unless longer retention is necessary for historical reference or to comply with contractual or legal requirements.

The Record Retention and Document Destruction Policy establishes the minimum period for which records must be retained.

We are committed to high standards of ethical, moral and legal business conduct and to maintaining a workplace where you are free to raise good faith concerns regarding the FCI's business practices. The Policy on Reporting Fraudulent Activities (Whistle-Blower Protections) provides a mechanism for you to report suspected fraud and reassurance that you will be protected from reprisals or victimization for whistle blowing.

Workplace Notices

Both federal law and Massachusetts law requires employers to display certain notices in the workplace. The notices can be viewed below.

Massachusetts law prohibits an employer from taking any adverse action against an employee who exercise their rights under the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws.

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.

Applicants to and employees of most private employers, state and local governments, educational institutions, employment agencies and labor organizations are protected from discrimination under Federal law.

Employee rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Contact information for the Human Trafficking Hotline.

If you lose your job, you may be entitled to collect Unemployment Insurance.

A notice about workplace safety.

Employees' rights and employers' responsibilities related to workplace safety and health

Massachusetts employees have the right to earn and take sick leave from work.

Applicants and employees are protected from discrimination.

Massachusetts employees may be eligible for family and medical leave.

Employees are entitled to eight weeks of unpaid parental leave for the purpose of giving birth or for the placement of a child for adoption.

Information about the Massachusetts minimum wage

Notice that FCI holds workers' compensation insurance for employees

It is illegal to smoke or vape on the premises.

Employees have rights regarding the communication of information on toxic and hazardous substances.

Employees' rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Contacts

A woman with long blonde hair and a blue sweater smiles at the camera.

Toby Hall

Accounting and Benefits Coordinator
A smiling woman with short dark brown hair and blue, earrings, necklace, black top, and magenta sweater.

Yvette Morneau

Director of Business Services
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Shonda Pettiford

Director of Operations