3.0 Employment Policies and Procedures

At Missouri State University, all applicants for employment will be treated courteously and given fair and equitable consideration for employment in accordance with the University Nondiscrimination Policy (2.1) within this handbook.   All new employees are selected on the basis of experience, education, ability, training, and other job-related factors.

The University is committed to maintaining an environment that encourages full utilization and adequate reward of the individual employee's effort, achievement, and cooperation. Every employee is given a fair opportunity to advance in the University organization as the employee's abilities warrant and as job openings occur.

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the employment process for staff positions in all departments of the University. Staff positions include administrative, professional, and support staff. Administrators and search officials are designated as decision-makers for recruitment and hiring actions and are responsible for compliance with the Guidelines for Hiring Executive, Administrative, and Professional Staff.  No employment offer may be made until all employment guidelines have been followed. Chairs of search committees or hiring officials are required to complete a training session annually through the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance on how to conduct a legal and effective search.

3.1 Posting

A Posting must be initiated on the Applicant Tracking System to fill a personnel vacancy. The Posting must be submitted online for approval before the Office of Human Resources can post the vacancy on the applicant portal.

3.2 Recruitment of Personnel

3.2.1    Full-time Employees

All recruiting activities for full-time, regular staff positions will be noted on the posting and reviewed and approved as the posting is routed online during the approval process.

3.2.2    Part-time Employees

The hiring procedures for part-time employees differ from those followed for full-time employees. The Office of Human Resources web page includes a Part-time Employee Hiring Checklist http://www.missouristate.edu/human which should be followed by departments when hiring a part-time employee.

3.3 Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are prepared for each position classification and describe the minimum qualifications and essential job functions for each position. Job descriptions assist in the selection process, wage and salary administration, the identification of training needs, the performance appraisal process, and communication between employees and their supervisors about job responsibilities. Job descriptions should serve as a broad outline of the responsibilities and duties of a position classification. They are not restrictive in the sense that they may exclude the assignment of other duties and responsibilities; further, they can be expected to change as the University accomplishes its mission and departments modify their goals and objectives.

3.4 Job Posting

University system-wide vacancy announcements of full-time positions are available:

  • online on the University's website at https://jobs.missouristate.edu/
  • on the bulletin board outside the Office of Human Resources, Room 118, Carrington Hall
  • on a 24-hour telephone recording at 417-836-4683
  • on a 24-hour Bid Information Hotline for bargaining unit employees at 417-836-8367 for bid notices, notice of assignments, and notice of awards for bargaining unit positions at various campus locations
  • online Union Bids and Awards for bargaining unit positions
  • at the local office of the Division of Employment Security, and affirmative action recruitment sources.

3.5 Application for Vacant Positions

Each administrative and professional position announcement that is posted or advertised specifies the application procedures for the applicant or employee to complete. To be considered for a specific position, it is the responsibility of all applicants, internal or external, to monitor vacancies at https://jobs.missouristate.edu/ and complete the online application form before the posted closing date.

A current employee interested in being considered for transfer or promotion to a vacant position at the University should apply online at https://jobs.missouristate.edu/.  (See Section 4.3.5 of this handbook for specifics regarding transfers.)  

Individuals not employed by the University on a full-time basis are not eligible to apply for positions posted with the statement "Internal posting for promotion and transfer consideration of full-time, regular University employees only."  However, in rare cases of business necessity upon the recommendation of the Vice President of the area in which the vacancy is being posted and with the prior approvals of the Director of Human Resources and the University’s Equal Opportunity Officer, an individual not employed on a full-time basis may be allowed to apply.

3.6 Screening of Applications

3.6.1 Support Staff Positions

Applications for support staff positions are initially screened by the Office of Human Resources or the hiring department to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum qualifications to be considered for the position.  As part of the screening process, all clerical applicants will be given a series of tests to determine their proficiency in selected skills. These tests are administered weekly by the Office of Human Resources and must be completed by the applicant in order to be considered for a clerical position. On the West Plains campus, the appropriate departmental administrator or supervisor conducts the initial screening, and tests are administered on an “as needed” basis. The most qualified candidate(s) will be invited for an interview.

3.6.2 Administrative and Professional Positions

The departmental administrator may wish to be involved in the initial screening process or may form a search committee to assist in the recruitment and screening process for administrative and professional positions.  Prior to interviews being conducted, the hiring administrator and major administrator will review the list of applicants for the position. For complete instructions regarding screening of applications for administrative and professional positions, refer to the Recruiting a Diverse Workforce: Guidelines for Hiring Faculty, Academic Administrators and Executive, Administrative and Professional Staff.

3.7 Criminal Background Checks

To determine suitability for employment or continued employment, Missouri State University checks the criminal records of any employee or applicant for employment. Consideration will be given to the relationship between a conviction and the responsibilities of the position that is or will be held. A relevant job-related conviction is grounds for termination of employment or non-selection of an applicant. For positions that require operation of a motor vehicle, a conviction shall include misdemeanor traffic violations. The full content of the policy is located on the Human Resources website.

Falsification of application materials, including failure to disclose felony convictions, is grounds for termination of employment or non-selection of an applicant. University employees must notify the Office of Human Resources within five days of a conviction for a felony, or any drug, alcohol, or sex-related offense. Failure to report such conviction is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or non-selection of an applicant. Supervisors should notify the Office of Human Resources immediately upon being informed of any such conviction.

3.8 Pre-Employment Physical Examination

After the employment offer, the applicant will be required to satisfactorily complete a pre-employment physical examination, including a drug screening, to determine whether the employee is capable of performing the essential functions of the position. Physical examinations are given by the University's Taylor Health and Wellness Center at no cost to the applicant. However, if Taylor Health and Wellness Center finds it necessary to perform procedures other than those required by a routine exam or to refer the applicant to an outside specialist, those additional expenses will be the responsibility of the applicant. On the West Plains campus, tests are administered at a local contracted facility at no cost to the applicant. 

3.9 Appointment of Employees

Once an applicant for employment has accepted the employment offer, the department will prepare a Personnel Action form and forward it for approval. All full-time appointments for employment at the University are subject to the approval of the President and the Board of Governors.  Any service performed by an employee before such approval is given will be considered temporary employment. Employment approval for other than full-time regular appointments (i.e., part-time positions) can be delegated by the University President, without submission to the Board of Governors. The types of appointments are described below. 

3.9.1 Full-Time Regular Employees

Employees who have been recommended for employment with the University and who work a minimum of 75% of a full-time equivalency are full-time regular employees. Full-time equivalency is defined as a 40-hour workweek for a 12-month period. These employees fill positions that have been approved and budgeted as full-time regular positions.

3.9.2 Part-Time Employees

Policies applicable to part-time employees are also applicable to Graduate, Research and Teaching Assistants.

3.9.2.1 Part-time Regular Employees

Employees hired to work for the University 1,000 hours or more but less than 1,560 hours in any 12-month period which equates to less than 75% of full-time equivalency.

3.9.2.2 Part-time Employees Limited to 1,000 Hours

Employees hired to work for the University with the understanding that they are to work less than 1,000 hours in any 12-month period. These part-time employees may work 40 hours a week or less, but they will be employed for less than 1,000 hours in any 12-month period.

3.10 Orientation

New employees will attend an orientation program conducted by the Office of Human Resources. During orientation, employees receive information regarding University policies, compensation and benefit programs, and other general information about the University. Employees will complete all employment paperwork and forms, such as retirement, insurance enrollment, and beneficiary designation. All new employees are required to complete the  online Institutional Equity and Compliance Training Program as part of the new hire orientation program. (See Section 2.2.1 of this handbook – Sexual Harassment Training Policy). Employees may be required to complete additional compliance training for their individual job responsibilities as directed by their supervisor. (See Regulatory Compliance Series training at http://www.missouristate.edu/human/training). Departments will provide their employees with a more specific orientation about the department and the employee's position.

3.11 Employment Eligibility

It is the policy of the University, in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), to hire only U.S. citizens and foreign nationals authorized to work in the United States. The University is a participating employer of the E-verify Program.  All new employees require approval by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine eligibility to work in the United States.

The IRCA requires all employers to complete I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for all new employees. The regulations require new employees to complete and sign, by the day they begin work, the employee information and verification section of the I-9 form and to provide original documentation that is designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proving their identity and employment eligibility, within three business days of hire.  Failure to complete the I-9 form will result in termination of employment.

3.12 Probationary Period

A new employee who receives a full-time regular appointment at the University will serve a six-month employment probationary period. The departmental administrator or supervisor will conduct two evaluations of the employee's work performance during the probationary period, occurring at the end of the employee's third and sixth month of employment. See Section 5.3 of this handbook regarding the probationary period performance evaluation.

3.13 Employment Seniority

All new employees begin to accumulate seniority from the first day of employment in a full-time regular appointment. University seniority is not recognized in part-time positions.  An employee’s seniority will not be lost because of absence due to authorized leaves of absence. Union employees are covered by the seniority rules delineated in the Memorandum of Agreement between the University and Union Local 453, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Teamsters Union Local 245.

Should the status of an employee change from part-time to a full-time regular appointment, the length of University service starts from the date of the appointment to a full-time regular position.

If a layoff should occur, an employee's seniority will be retained for one year. Seniority at the University is automatically terminated upon resignation, retirement, termination, failure to return from layoff, or the taking of an unauthorized leave of absence. (See Section 3.19.2 on Layoff in this handbook for information pertaining to separation of employment due to layoff.)

3.14 Rehire of Former Employees

Employees who voluntarily terminate employment with the University, and are later rehired, will be classified as new employees and will serve the required six-month employment probationary period. The rehired employee will not be given credit for past service with the University when establishing eligibility for vacation accrual or sick leave. The rehired employee will receive credit for prior service for retirement system benefits as established by the regulations of the retirement system (refer to MOSERS Member Handbook for further details). The University will recognize prior service with Missouri State University in establishing total service for the employee recognition and service awards program.

3.15 Volunteers

Volunteers make an important contribution to the success of the University. Judgment and care must be exercised in the use of volunteers. In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the University considers a volunteer to be an individual who performs hours of service for the University for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered. Any person volunteering services to the University must complete a Volunteer Statement (V-Pre) form which must be signed by the departmental supervisor and forwarded to the Director of Human Resources before volunteer services can be performed. Volunteers must not be used in place of employees and may not displace an employee who would ordinarily be paid to do the same work.  Please contact the Office of Human Resources to obtain the Volunteer Statement (V-Pre) form.

Volunteers are covered by State of Missouri Workers’ Compensation laws and therefore must, in the event of an on-the-job injury or work-related illness, follow the procedures for obtaining medical attention, reporting the injury/illness, and must complete all required forms as described in Section 6.5 of this handbook.

3.16 Access and Review of Employee Personnel Records

The policy of the Office of Human Resources pertaining to the release of information and access to records safeguards against improper disclosure and protects employees' rights to privacy. Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment, and records of hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting an employee of the University shall be considered closed records pursuant to §§ 610.021(3) and (13), R.S.Mo., except as provided in those sections or other law or specific action of the Board of Governors, including this policy.

The following persons shall have the right of access to review an employee's personnel file:

  • The employee or former employee who is the subject of the file.
  • An attorney or designee of the employee.
  • Supervisory employees who are considering the employee for promotion, transfer, reassignment, demotion, dismissal or other personnel actions.
  • The Equal Opportunity Officer.
  • A University attorney or other appropriate officer when needed in connection with any action brought by the employee against the University.
  • Other persons acting in compliance with federal, state or local laws such as auditors, equal employment opportunity investigators, etc., or in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
  • University supervisory or administrative personnel who can establish a justifiable need.

Exempt from employee or former employee access are letters of reference or recommendation, managerial records, and civil, criminal or grievance investigation records.

The file shall be reviewed in the Office of Human Resources in the presence of a member of the Office of Human Resources staff. Employees may take notes or make copies. Employees have the right to insert concise information in their files in response to material they deem unfair or incorrect.

3.16.1  Copying of Documents

The University may charge a fee to parties who request and are authorized to receive copies of employee files. The Board of Governors has established a standard fee of ten cents per page with the hourly fee for duplicating time not to exceed the average hourly rate of pay for clerical staff of the University.

3.17 Personal Information

The Office of Human Resources maintains the personnel files on all employees and should be contacted to report changes. The following are examples of the changes that should be reported:

Nature of ChangeRecords that Need to be Changed
Name, address, home telephone, marital status, dependents for withholding, insurance or family status change (e.g., divorce, marriage, birth of a child) Personnel files, W-4, retirement system record, insurance records, cafeteria plan
Attainment of additional degree (furnish transcript) Department records, personnel file
Campus address and telephone number Personnel file for directory information
Beneficiary information Life insurance records

3.18 Release of Employment Information

Employees’ names, job titles, and salaries are provided to the State of Missouri for publication in the Missouri Official Manual.

The Office of Human Resources will only verify the current or former employee's date of hire, position, department, and release salary information by telephone. If a request is in writing, an employee's written consent will be required to provide additional information.

3.19 Separation from Employment

Employment at Missouri State University shall be "at will" and shall be terminable "at will" by the University or the employee with or without cause. No representative of Missouri State University has any authority to enter into any agreement for any specified period of time or to make any agreement contrary to the foregoing. Oral statements and representations are not binding on the University, and any exception to the foregoing must be made in writing and agreed to in writing by the University's Board of Governors. There are several types of separation from employment. The following is an explanation of each type and the procedures that apply regarding the termination of employment.

3.19.1  Resignation

An employee may terminate employment with the University by submitting a written notice or a written Separation from Employment form to his/her department head or supervisor available in the Office of Human Resources. All resignations should include the reason for leaving the University and the employee’s requested date of resignation (termination date). If any use of vacation is involved, it should also state the day the employee is last planning on being present at work.  If the employee wishes to use vacation time just prior to the resignation date, the request to do so should also be included so that the supervisor may approve or deny the request for vacation. Notice of the resignation should be submitted at least two weeks before the effective date of separation. The department head or supervisor shall immediately forward the Separation from Employment form to the Office of Human Resources along with his/her decision on the use of vacation time, if requested, and deliver a copy to the employee. If the use of vacation is denied, the resignation will become effective on the last day the employee stated he/she would be present at work. A Personnel Action Form terminating employment with the University should accompany the Notice of Resignation with the date of resignation/termination date listed in the "Effective Date" field and the last day present at work noted in "Last Actual Day Worked" field.

3.19.2  Layoff

It may become necessary to reduce the number of University employees because of a reduction of work or funds, the elimination of positions or other material change in the duties or organization, or for other related reasons. If such a reduction is necessary, the Director of Human Resources may recommend, and the departmental administrator or supervisor involved will designate, the employee or employees to be laid off and submit such recommendations to the President. Subsequently, the layoff actions will be submitted to the Board of Governors for approval at the next Board meeting. Whenever possible, the University will provide a written 30-day layoff notice to the employee.

Employees separated under the above conditions shall be given priority for re-employment at the University and retain seniority status for not more than one year. Employees who have been laid off also may apply for other positions for which they are qualified. Such applications will be given consideration in the University's normal recruitment process.

If prior to an employee being laid off, the University has a vacant position available that is in the same job title or in another job title in the same or lower salary range for which the employee meets the minimum job qualifications, the vacant position will not be subject to the normal University vacancy posting procedures. The employee whose position is being eliminated will be given the opportunity to apply for the vacant position. If the employee chooses not to apply for the vacant position, normal University vacancy procedures will be followed.

If more than one position is eliminated in the same job title, the University will consider the most senior employee for the vacant position. The final selection, however, will be made on the basis of best overall qualifications as assessed by the University. The policy on transfers (See Section 4.3.5 of this handbook) will apply when determining the salary rate in the new position under these circumstances. Before the employee transfers to the vacant position, the hiring department and the employee must mutually agree to the transfer.

Should a vacancy occur, employees accepting a transfer to another or lower job title under these conditions will be eligible, for up to one year after the transfer, to be recalled to the same department and same job title that he or she occupied prior to the transfer.

3.19.2.1 Benefits Available During a Layoff

  • Retirement - Layoff status does not constitute a break in membership; therefore, when an employee returns to work, prior creditable service will be reinstated immediately (1) if the employee was vested in MOSERS at the time of the layoff, or (2) if the employee was not vested in MOSERS but returns to work within 12 months of being laid off.  However, if the employee was not vested in MOSERS and returns to work more than 12 months after having been laid off, he/she must work at least 12 months in order to have any prior creditable service reinstated to the work record for retirement.
  • Insurance - Coverage under the University’s insurance package will terminate at the end of the month after 30 days from the last day worked. Medical and dental coverage may be continued for up to 18 months through COBRA  as long as the premiums are paid by the employee. Life insurance may be continued under the portability provisions.
  • Leave – While on layoff status, vacation and sick leave do not accrue.  Accumulated vacation will be paid. If an employee returns to work within one year from layoff status the employee’s accumulated sick leave will not be lost and will be reinstated.

3.19.2.2 Recall From Layoff

For up to one year after layoff, an employee will be eligible to be recalled to fill a position if a vacancy occurs in the same department and same job classification that was held prior to the layoff., In the University's judgment, when skills and abilities are equal, employees with the greatest amount of University seniority will be recalled first.

3.19.3  Retrenchment

Retrenchment is a reduction in programs and/or services which results in termination of an employee because of a financial exigency or formal academic planning such as changes in institutional mission, substantial program changes, or major reallocations of resources for academic or support services. Whenever possible, the University will provide 30 days notice to employees.

3.19.4  Disability

If an employee becomes physically or mentally incapable of performing the essential functions of his/her position, unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation, the employee may seek information from the Office of Human Resources regarding disability and/or retirement benefits.

3.19.5 Dismissal

Employment with the University is "at will" and may be terminated at any time. The University, at its discretion, may utilize progressive disciplinary procedures in appropriate circumstances. Dismissal requires the recommendation of the employee’s supervisor and major administrator with the approval of the Director of Human Resources. A letter will be given to the employee stating the reason(s) for dismissal. When the reason(s) for dismissal is misconduct, the dismissal is usually effective immediately. When the dismissal is for a reason(s) other than misconduct, the University may provide compensation in lieu of giving the employee two week’s notice of the termination of employment.

3.19.6  Non-Reappointment

When an employee is appointed to a position with a limited fixed term, no additional notice of termination will be provided.   

3.19.7  Retirement

All full-time regular employees are members of the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS). There is no mandatory retirement age for University employees. For detailed information regarding the retirement benefit plan refer to Retirement Program at Section 6.2 of this handbook or to MOSERS’ web site: http://www.mosers.org/.

3.19.8  Death

Beneficiaries of employees who die while in the service of the University shall be advised by the Office of Human Resources of any retirement and insurance benefits to which the beneficiaries are entitled.

3.20 Final Pay and Benefits

When an employee terminates or is laid off from employment with the University, insurance coverage will terminate at the end of the month following 30 days after the last day worked. For example, if an employee terminates employment on May 17th, then insurance coverage ends on June 30th. Employees have the option of requesting continuation or conversion of their insurance coverage after termination. For information about these options, employees should refer to the insurance plan booklets.

3.20.1  Property Clearance

When employment with the University is discontinued, for any reason, the employee is responsible for returning all University property in his/her possession. An employee who is leaving the University will be sent a Property Clearance form and an Exit Questionnaire by the Office of Human Resources. The Property Clearance form must be completed and certified by the appropriate departments and returned to the Office of Human Resources before 5:00 p.m. on or before the last day of work.   A forwarding address must be included on the Property Clearance form.  Employees are encouraged to complete and return the Exit Questionnaire to the Office of Human Resources.

All University properties, such as uniforms, clothing and tools must be returned to the departmental administrator or supervisor.  All identification cards issued to the employee shall be returned to the Office of Human Resources. All charges that have been incurred by the employee must be paid to the Bursar's Office (Business Office on the West Plains campus) before the final salary payment will be released. All keys and parking permit(s) shall be returned to the appropriate department.

3.20.1.1  Recovering Property and Money Owed to the University

The University has the right to hold any amounts due and payable (vacation pay, overpayment, reimbursement, etc.) to any employee until payment has been received to settle charges for unreturned University property and debts owed the University for any reason.  

3.20.2 Final Salary Payment

The final salary payment is based on the termination date. The termination date is your last day in pay status. The last day of work is defined as the last day the employee is physically present at work.  Accrued vacation time cannot be used to extend the effective date of termination beyond the employee’s last day worked, unless the employee has received permission pursuant to paragraph 3.19.1 above, or is retiring from the University and is eligible to immediately receive a retirement benefit from a University retirement plan in the month following the last day worked.

Exempt employees who terminate employment or retire from the University will receive a final salary payment on the last business day of the month of termination or retirement. This amount will include payment for all days worked in the month.  Payment for any days and hours of earned, unused vacation leave up to a maximum of two times the employee’s annual accrual (and 40% of unused sick days up to a maximum of 48 days for retiring employees), will be paid no later than the last business day of the month following the month of termination or retirement provided all outstanding leave information is submitted by the last day worked.

Nonexempt employees who terminate employment or retire from the University will receive a final salary payment on the last business day of the month in which their last pay period ends.  This amount will include payment for all days worked in the month, plus payment for any days and hours of earned, unused vacation leave up to a maximum of two times the employee’s annual accrual, unused compensatory time (and 40% of unused sick days up to a maximum of 48 days for retiring employees), provided the final time record has been received by the Payroll Office in accordance with the “Submit by Date” for the pay period on the Payroll Calendar.  Otherwise, unused leave and compensatory time will be paid at the end of the next month following their last pay period.

Employees who terminate employment or retire from the University will continue to accrue sick leave and vacation in their last pay period, provided that they are paid at least 80 hours during the last pay period. 

When there is a recognized University holiday in the month that an employee terminates employment or retires, and the holiday occurs after the employee’s last day of work, the employee will be paid for the holiday(s) in the month of termination if his/her last day of work is the day before the holiday.  The final salary payment will be released only after the employee has properly completed a Property Clearance form.