At Your Service

March 6, 2013 | CUNY Matters, The University

Sexual Harassment Policy Has Added Changes

benefit3Google the words “love in the workplace” and you will find advice galore for employees and employers: what to do if the love is not mutual or consensual, or if the situation is further confused by the power one employee wields over another — or by an obvious or potential conflict of interest.

Expert counselors, such as those available free to all CUNY employees through the CUNY Work-Life Program, can help in individual situations. But to establish a detailed “big picture” policy as a guide to University-wide standards on this issue, the Board of Trustees has included new, very specific directives on sexual harassment, as part of its revised policies on equal opportunity and non-discrimination. The document also contains specific policy changes relating to consensual intimate relationships.

For example, the new policy prohibits intimate relationships between a faculty member or other employee and a student for whom he or she has professional responsibility. And while relationships between supervisors and employees whom they supervise are strongly discouraged, the policy adds a requirement that the supervising employee must disclose that relationship to his or her supervisor to avoid or mitigate any possible conflicts of interest.

Each employee is expected to be familiar with the contents of these policies and to comply with them. Search.cuny.edu “Sexual Harassment Policy.”

 

Coping With New Pre-Tax Transit Limits, Fare Hikes

Benefits_subway With so many employees and students using public transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s across-the-board fare hikes that went into effect March 1 have University-wide implications.

CUNY employees, however, are eligible to use pre-tax earnings to cover certain public transportation costs through the WageWorks program. The IRS has now released an annual inflation adjustment raising both the transit and parking monthly pretax limits to $245 for 2013. Prior to the passage of this law, the pre-tax benefit was limited to $125 per month for public transit expenses and $240 for parking expense.

If you wish to change your monthly transit deduction due to the increased monthly pre-tax limit as well as the transit fare increase or have any questions, contact your campus HR office.

 

Why Is Your Check Lower in 2013? Higher Taxes.

Benefits_chartYou likely noticed a difference in your Jan. 10, 2013 paycheck. This is because the temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax — 4.2 percent for employees for the last two years — expired Dec. 31, 2012. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, the tax for employees is 6.2 percent. The maximum Social Security tax employees and employers each will pay in 2013 is $7,049.40.