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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Glossary of HR Terms

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Terms beginning with the letter(s):

The time during which an employee is away from their job and not performing work related duties.

Accrual Date
The date on which sick leave, vacation leave, and/or personal leave begins accumulating. Usually the first date employee is in a position in a leave eligible status.

Adjunct Faculty
Those that teach 10 credits or less per academic year, and are paid a per credit rate.

Administrative Systems Review Process (ASRP)
A group consisting of both human resources and payroll staff representing a number of institutions. The group works collaboratively to develop and document system-wide processes with a goal of assisting their HR and payroll colleagues to carry out consistent and correct business practices.

Equal Opportunity & Title IX
Specific actions in recruitment, hiring, upgrading, and other areas designed and taken for the purpose of eliminating the present effects of past discrimination, or to prevent discrimination. It is one aspect of the federal government's efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity.

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Union representing the majority of the classified positions such as clerical, custodial, technical and maintenance workers.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
A federal anti-discrimination law which prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. This law (covering employers with 15 or more employees) is designed to remove barriers that prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same employment opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities. When an individual's disability creates a barrier to employment opportunities, the ADA requires employers to consider whether a reasonable accommodation could remove the barrier.

Annual Leave
A form of paid time off available to eligible employees. Time typically accrues based on length of employment and may be used for excused absences from work such as vacations, personal reasons, religious/cultural observances, absences due to adverse weather conditions etc. Refer to applicable bargaining contract or personnel plan for eligibility, accrual, use, and all other applicable procedures. Use is generally subject to advance supervisory approval.

A person receiving an annuity (payment) from one of the State's Retirement Plans such as TRA, MSRS, or PERA.

Applicant Pool
All of the applicants for a particular position who form the collection of candidates from which selection decisions are made.

Appointing Authority
A person or group of persons empowered by the constitution, statute, or executive order to employ persons in or to make appointments to positions in the civil service.

An alternative dispute resolution method that uses a neutral third party (i.e. arbitrator) to resolve individual, group or labor-management conflicts and issue a binding decision.

The tasks or duties given to an employee during the course of their employment.
Bargaining Unit
A group of occupationally related employees who are treated the same for terms and conditions of employment and may be represented by a labor union. Minnesota State employees are part of bargaining units represented by AFSCME, MAPE, MMA. IFO, MSCF, MSUAASF, etc. (See Also Collective Bargaining)

Base Salary
Compensation paid for a full time annualized appointment. Partial appointments are prorated.

Bereavement Leave
Paid leave that an eligible employee may use in the event of the death of a family or household member as defined by the terms of the employee's employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.

Board of Trustees
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees appointed by the governor. The Board has policy responsibility for system planning, academic programs, fiscal management, personnel, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, and rules and regulations.

Bureau of Mediation Services
The State of Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services provides neutral mediation of collective bargaining disputes. Such disputes arise over the negotiation of terms and conditions of a labor contract or as a result of an alleged violation of the provisions of an existing labor contract. The former is referred to as "contract mediation" and the latter as "grievance mediation."
President's Leadership Team made up of Vice Presidents...

Change in Allocation
Action taken regarding a position's classification when duties have changed substantially in an abrupt manner, e.g. reorganization.

Civil Service
All employees in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of state government and all positions in the classified and unclassified services, as provided in MS 43A.

Classification (Job Classification)
The designation given to jobs at comparable levels which require similar knowledge skills and abilities where all of the following apply:
  1. The same descriptive title may be used with clarification to designate each position allocated to the class
  2. The same general qualifications are needed for performance of the duties of the class
  3. The same schedule of pay can be applied with equity to all positions in the class under the same or substantially the same employment conditions (M.S. 43A.02)
Examples include: General Maintenance Worker, Office and Administrative Specialist, Management Analyst etc. (See also Job Class Code)

Classified Service (Classified Employees)
Positions now existing or hereafter created in the civil service and not specifically designated unclassified pursuant to M.S. 43A.08 or other enabling legislation. (Includes positions in AFSCME, MAPE, MMA, Managerial Plan, MNA, MGEC, and Commissioner's Plan)

COBRA - Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
Federal law which ensures the right to continuation of insurance coverage when coverage would otherwise end because of a life event known as a "qualifying event". Continuation coverage must be offered to each person who is a "qualified beneficiary".

Collective Bargaining Agreement
An agreement negotiated between the State and exclusive representatives executed by the parties and approved by the Legislature which covers compensation and terms and conditions of employment for all employees represented by an exclusive representative certified pursuant of Chapter 179.

Confidential Data
Data on individuals which is not public and is not accessible to the individual subject of that data by statute or federal law. (Example: active investigative data)

Confidential Employee
As defined in M.S. 179A.03, subd. 4: "An employee who, as part of the employee's job duties: has access to labor relations information as that term is defined in M.S. 13.37, subd. 1, paragraph (c); or actively participates in the meeting and negotiating on behalf of the public employer." These employees are not represented by unions. They are subject to the provisions of the Commissioner's Plan.

Cost Center
The 6-digit number which references a particular program, area, or department within the accounting structure of an institution.

Customized Training
All non-credit instruction with an occupational/professional focus offered to the general public, or all credit and/or noncredit instruction offered via contract to a specific customer.
D2L - Desire 2 Learn
Software used to facilitate online learning for both students and employees.

DDIR - Designated Department Insurance Representative
The person on each campus who has been designated to be the liaison with MMB regarding insurance questions or concerns, and is familiar with the State insurance plans available to employees.

DOFER - Now known as Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB)
The central personnel agency for the State of Minnesota. MMB's authorities and responsibilities are outlined in Minnesota Statutes 43A, and include recruitment, selection, compensation, insurance administration and negotiation of bargaining agreements.

DOF - Now known as Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB)
The central finance agency for the State of Minnesota with responsibilities for payroll and accounting.

The designation of a particular unit within a college or division. In reference to colleges, the College of Business includes the Management Department.

Representation of multiple (ideally all) groups within a prescribed environment, such as a university or a workplace.  This word most commonly refers to differences between cultural groups, although it is also used to describe differences within cultural groups.  An emphasis on accepting and respecting cultural differences by recognizing that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another underlies the current usage of the term.

A designation of specified units that define the make up of the University. Minnesota State Mankato has eight divisions: Strategic Business Education and Regional Partnerships; Institutional Diversity, Finance and Administration, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, University Advancement, Information Technology and the President.
Early Retirement Incentive
Benefit given to IFO members who have served fifteen years in the MN State Universities; are at least 55 years of age; and have met the notification deadline. They shall have their salary placement increased by two additional steps in the final two semesters of employment.

Early Separation Incentive
Benefit given to IFO members who have served at least fifteen years in the MN State Universities; are at least 55 years of age; and have met the notification deadline. They shall receive compensation equal to his/her base salary minus 10 percent of his/her base salary for each year beyond age 55.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
EAP is designed to assist in identification and resolution of personal, family, and work site problems faced by state employees. This service is offered to state employees and their immediate family members free of charge so employees and their families can get help when they need to, easily and confidentially.

Emergency Employee
An individual is appointed, without a selection process, for no more than 45 aggregate work days in any 12 month period for any single appointing authority.

Employee Self Service
A Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) web site that allows state employees to view, and if appropriate, update or change personal information including pay stubs, W-4, direct deposit, deductions, leave balances, saving plan, etc. The DOF continually updates and adds services for employees of the State of Minnesota.

Equal Employment Opportunity
A policy statement that equal consideration for a job is applicable to all individuals and that the employer does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

Exempt Employee
Employees who meet one of the FLSA exemption tests and who are paid on a fixed salary basis and are not normally entitled to overtime.

Expanded Cabinet
Includes: President's Leadership Team, Assistant, Associate Vice Presidents, Deans and some Directors.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Federal law that covers public agencies and business engaged in interstate commerce or providing goods and services for commerce. It provides guidelines on employment status, child labor, minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping requirements.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Provides by law eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for the birth, adoption, foster care of a child, or care of a spouse, parent or child with a serious health condition, or employee's own serious health condition.

Floating Holiday
A paid holiday from work taken at a time chosen by the employee and approved by the supervisor. See applicable collective bargaining contracts or personnel plans.

FTE - Full Time Equivalency
The percentage of a full-time annual work load.
A formal complaint or allegation by an employee or group or employees of a violation of a specific provision within a collective bargaining agreement.
HIPPA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Federal law enacted to make health insurance more "portable" from one employer to another. The law mandates procedures for both new hires and for existing employees who are leaving the company. The law includes provisions regarding restrictions on preexisting conditions, special enrollment rights and privacy rights and protections.

Intentional behavior, whether physical or verbal by one employee toward an AFSCME-Council 5 bargaining unit member which has the purpose of interfering with the bargaining unit member's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment constitutes a violation of state university policy.

Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP)
A medical expense savings plan administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS).

Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
IRS-sanctioned arrangements that allow an employer to reimburse medical expenses paid by participating employees. HRAs reimburse only those items (copays, coinsurance, deductibles and services) agreed to by the employer which are not covered by the employer's selected standard insurance plan.
Inter Faculty Organization (IFO)
The labor union that represents approximately 3,300 full and part time faculty at Minnesota’s seven state universities.

Intermittent Employee
An employee who works an irregular and uncertain schedule which alternately begins, ceases and begins again as the needs of the agency require.

Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP)
A defined contribution plan that is the primary retirement plan for all newly retirement coverage eligible unclassified employees.
Job Audit
The process through which a position is evaluated to determine its proper classification.

Job Class Code
The 8 digit number assigned to a specific classification. The Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) is responsible for setting up these codes. Also referred to as classification code.

Job Classification
The designation given to jobs at comparable levels which require similar knowledge skills and abilities where all of the following apply:
  1. The same descriptive title may be used with clarification to designate each position allocated to the class
  2. The same general qualifications are needed for performance of the duties of the class
  3. The same schedule of pay can be applied with equity to all positions in the class under the same or substantially the same employment conditions (M.S. 43A.02)
Examples include: General Maintenance Worker, Office and Administrative Specialist, Management Analyst etc.
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Labor Relations
The relationship between the public, public employees, and employer governing bodies. It is public policy of this state to promote orderly and constructive relationships between all public employers and their employees.

A temporary termination of employees, or the elimination of jobs, during periods of economic downturn or organizational restructuring. Refer to applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan.
ID card which allows you access to University dining, library, athletic games, campus recreation center, and student activities. Other uses consist of: vending card, photocopy, ATM card, Debt card, and MavPrint Card.

Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan (MNDCP)
A plan which allows employees to place a portion of their earnings in a tax-deferred investment program. The deferred amount is not subject to current income tax and is not taxed until money is drawn out--normally at retirement.

Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA)
Minnesota Statute Chapter 13 which regulates the collection, creation, storage, maintenance, dissemination, and access to government data in government entities. It establishes a presumption that government data are public and are accessible by the public for both inspection and copying unless there is federal law, a state statute, or a temporary classification of data that provides that certain data are not public.

Minnesota State
The state agency that includes all Minnesota’s public community colleges, technical college, and state universities, except for the University of Minnesota.

MOA - Memorandum of Agreement
An instrument recording some fact or agreement. Used by Labor Relations to formally record agreements concerning employment issues which occur outside of the bargaining and/or negotiations process.

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
Document used by Labor Relations that expresses mutual accord on an issue between two or more parties. MOUs are generally recognized as binding, even if no legal claim could be based on the rights and obligations laid down in them.

MSRS - Minnesota State Retirement System
The primary retirement fund for all state employees in classified positions.

Minnesota State Universities Association of Administrative & Service Faculty

Favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power. Occurs when supervisors and or employers favor relatives in making employment decisions. Employees shall not participate in the selection, hiring, supervision, or performance review of, or decisions regarding compensation or staff complement for, any person who is a member of the employee’s family or household. (See Nepotism Policy)

Non-Exempt Employees
An employee who does not meet any one of the Fair Labor Standards Act exemption tests and is paid on an hourly basis and covered by wage and hour laws regarding hours worked, overtime pay, etc.

The term used when a probationary employee is notified that they are being released from their position prior to the end of their probationary period. See applicable bargaining contract or personnel plan.
Open Enrollment
The period of time designated by the Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) when employees may enroll in new benefit plans or make changes to existing benefit plans.

Compensation at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate. See applicable bargaining contract or personnel plan.
PELRA - Public Employees Labor Relations Act
Federal law that governs the relationships between public employers and their employees. Provisions include granting public employees the right to organize, requiring public employers to meet and negotiate with public employees and establishing the responsibilities, procedures and limitations of public employment relationships.

Performance Evaluation
Cumulative consideration of factors used to determine a representative indicator or appraisal of an individual's activity, in reference to a defined standard over a designated period of time. The purpose of a performance evaluation is to communicate with the employee what they are doing well, what they need to improve (if anything), and to discuss their professional development. Minnesota State Board Policy 4.9 requires all employees to have a performance evaluation once per year. (See also: Professional Development Plan)

Personal Leave
Excused leave (for expected or unexpected events) granted to an eligible employee. See applicable bargaining contracts or personnel plans.

Personnel Records
Data on individuals collected because the individual is or was an employee or an applicant for employment by performs services on a voluntary basis for, or acts as an independent contractor with a state agency, statewide system or political subdivision or is a member of, or an applicant for an advisory board or commission.

Position Descriptions
The formal definition of the duties, responsibilities and working relationships of a specific job. Typically includes: the primary responsibilities of the position and examples of specific tasks associated with each; working relationships inside and outside the department; knowledge skills and abilities necessary to perform the job; the kinds of creativity and problem-solving abilities required as well as the degree of autonomy allowed.

Private Data
Data on individuals which is available only to the individual, his/her authorized representative, authorized state agencies, and those other individuals or entities authorized to see the data. Data maintained by a government entity not specifically designated as public and thus not available to the public. For State Employees this includes, but is not limited to, social security number, date of birth, home address, phone number, medical information, ethnicity, gender etc.

Professional Development Plan
Addresses individual needs to improve performance in work-related activities and balances those developmental needs with the needs of the organization. It focuses on improving employee learning and growth, and includes documentation of the timeframe, measurement indicators, and desired outcomes of professional development activities.

Protected Classes
Groups of people protected from discrimination under government regulations and laws.  The specific groups are defined as women, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, or American Indians/Alaskan Natives, people over 40, the disabled as defined under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and disabled veterans and Vietnam-era veterans as defined under the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act. 

Public Data
Data maintained by a government entity accessible to anyone upon request, unless classified as nonpublic, private or confidential by state or federal law. Public data on current and former state employees is governed by Minn. State 13.43, subd. 2.
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The action taken to change a position's classification when duties have changed substantially in a gradual manner over time.

There are two types of Reclassifications: "Reallocation" and "Change in Allocation". They are defined as: Reallocation: Duties have changed substantially in a gradual manner over time. Change in Allocation: Duties have changed substantially in an abrupt manner, e.g. reorganization.

Rule 10 (unclassified)
A historical, but still used, term referring to a temporary unclassified position or appointment. (See temporary unclassified appointment)
An eligible employee in an academic setting is granted a paid leave of absence, which is based on years of service, for research and further educational opportunities. Refer to applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan.

Salary Grid
The salary ranges and steps as determined by the salary authority. See applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan.

Salary Range Assignments for Administrators
The process used to assign new Administrator positions to a salary range and to review and, where appropriate, change the salary range assignment of existing positions when substantive changes in duties and responsibilities occur.

SEGIP - State Employee Group Insurance Plan
The State Employees Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) administers an insurance benefit program for state employees (including those of the executive, legislative and judicial branches) and their dependents; workers employed by some quasi-state agencies; and retirees of the State (and their dependents).

Severance Pay
The remuneration received by an employee, under specific contractual language, who is separating from state service. Refer to applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan.

Sick Bank
A provision establishing a collection of sick leave days which provides a pool of days upon which contributing members may draw in case they are unable to work for him or herself, spouse, or children and have exhausted their own accumulated sick leave, personal leave and emergency leave days if applicable. Refer to applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan.

Sick Leave
Is an employee benefit in the form of paid leave which can be taken during periods of illness. Refer to applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan.
TRA - Teacher's Retirement Association
The defined benefit retirement plan which is a choice for those employees in the unclassified service.

Temporary Employee
A classified appointment of limited duration, under M.S. 43A. 15, Subd.3.A. A temporary classified employee's term of employment may not exceed a total of 12 months in any 24-month period with the same agency. Temporary classified employees typically are not eligible for benefits. Refer to the applicable bargaining agreement or personnel plan for specific provisions.

Created to protect the academic freedom of faculty members and provides that the employee cannot be dismissed for reasons unrelated to performance. Thus, they can freely pursue their research and teaching interests.

TIAA - Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund
The administrative services agent charged with the administration of the Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP), the Supplemental Retirement Account Plan (SRP), and the 403B tax sheltered annuity plan for Minnesota State Colleges & Universities.
Unclassified Service
Defined by Minnesota Statute 43A.08 and refers to any position NOT included in Classified Service, such as Administrators, Faculty, and MSUAASF positions.

Unlimited (employment condition)
An employee whose appointment has no definite end date or specified maximum duration.
FEDERAL DEFINITION: under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.
Wellness Committee
A free organization for Minnesota State Mankato Faculty and Staff that promotes: Nutrition, Fitness, Workplace, Environment, and Mental/Emotional Health.

Workers' Compensation
A no-fault insurance program that pays benefits for employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. Meaning: the condition must be caused, aggravated or accelerated by work activities or the work environment.

Working Title
A descriptive title assigned by the supervisor that reflects the individuality of the actual job. Working title may be different from the job classification title.
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