Chapter 3 | Benefits

Each rule and each section of the Personnel Policy Manual is an independent rule. The holding of any rule or section to be void, invalid or ineffective for any reason does not affect the validity of any other rule or section. In the event that any of the policies in this Personnel Policy Manual are found to be in conflict with the laws of the State of Illinois, the rules of the Fire and Police Commission or any current collective bargaining agreement between the Village and some of its employees, the laws, rules or agreements shall take precedence. 

3.1 Medical & Dental Insurance

Policy
The Village provides its employees assistance with the costs of healthcare by offering medical and dental insurance coverage to eligible employees, their dependents and retirees.

Guidelines 
A. The following people are eligible for medical and dental insurance:

  • All regular full-time employees
  • All regular part-time employees hired before July 1, 1992 and who work more than 1000 hours per year
  • All eligible employees' spouses and eligible dependent children all eligible retirees

B. Coverage becomes effective on the 31ST day of service. Coverage ends at the end of the month in which the employee leaves the Village's employment.

C. Information on the medical and dental plans is provided to each employee at new employee orientation. Additional information is available from Employee Benefits.

D. Annually, there is an open enrollment period during which employees may elect to change medical plans. No changes are allowed at other times during the year unless there is a qualifying event (e.g. marriage, divorce, birth of a child). Notification of a change must be made as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after the qualifying event.

E. Medical and dental coverage may be continued during an approved unpaid leave of absence at the employee's expense.

F. Continuation of medical and dental coverage after employment ends is available pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Information on COBRA is available from Employee Benefits. For retirees who become eligible for medicare benefits, medicare is the primary coverage and the Village insurance is supplemental.

3.2 Life Insurance

Policy
The Village provides term life insurance coverage equal to one times an employee's annual salary up to a maximum of $50,000 as well as the opportunity to purchase additional life insurance.

Guidelines
A. The following employees are eligible for life insurance from the Village:

  • All regular full-time employees
  • All regular part-time employees hired before July 1, 1992 and who work more than 1000 hours per year

B. The life insurance coverage becomes effective on the 31st day of employment with the Village and continues until the employee leaves the Village's employment or the policy is completely discontinued by the Village.

C. Upon termination of employment with the Village, the employee may convert the policy to an individual policy by contacting the insurance company within 31 days after termination of employment.

D. Eligible employees may choose to purchase additional life insurance on themselves, their spouse and their dependents. The specific amounts of insurance available, as well as other information on the life insurance provided, is available through Employee Benefits. The employee is required to keep their life insurance-related information current with the Human Resources Department.

3.3 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

Policy
Except for employees covered under the Fire and Police pension plans, Village employees required to work at least 1000 hours of work per year are required to contribute a specified percentage to IMRF. As an employer, the Village is also required to contribute a specified percentage of an employee's annual salary to IMRF on a tax-deferred basis. 

Guidelines
A. IMRF is the sole authority in determining eligibility and amount of benefit payment. 

B. IMRF contributions are deducted automatically from an employee's pay. 

C. To qualify for retirement benefits, an employee must have been in the pension plan for at least eight years and be at least 55 years old. An employee who terminates employment with the Village prior to qualifying for retirement benefits may request a refund of their own contribution. 

D. An employee who has worked twelve consecutive months and, because of an illness or injury lasting more than 30 days, is unable to perform the duties of their job may be entitled to disability benefits. Benefits begin on the 3 l St day of disability and are equal to 50% of the employee's monthly earnings. 

E. Upon the death of the participating IMRF member who has at least one year of service, the employee's beneficiary is eligible for a death benefit equal to one year's earnings. 

F. Additional information on IMRF benefits is available from Employee Benefits. 

G. Sworn fire and police personnel are subject to the requirements as described in the Illinois Compiled Statutes of their respective pension plans. 

3.4 Workers' Compensation

Policy
The Village provides statutory benefits to employees who suffer accidents or diseases arising out of and in the course of their employment with the Village in accordance with the Illinois Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases Acts.

Guidelines
A. Every injury or occupational illness occurring at work, including those not requiring medical attention, shall be reported to the employee's immediate supervisor as soon as possible.

B. Employees in IMRF who experience work-related injuries requiring lost time should apply for IMRF disability benefits in order to maintain service credits and death benefits.

C. If the injury or illness is such that it requires immediate medical care, or if the employee is experiencing pain at the end of the work shift, the employee will then be taken to the Village's designated facility for treatment and/or diagnosis. Workers' compensation forms, including the Form 45, Employee Incident Report, Supervisor Investigation Form, and Authorization for Medical Records and Communication Release Form must be filled out completely by the injured employee and the supervisor and returned to the Human Resources Department on the day of the injury within 24 hours. No employee may return to work after a work-related injury requiring medical care without a completed Village Medical Release Form signed by an approved physician. The Medical Release Form must specify the employee is able to return to work either to full or restricted duty. If an employee is released only for restricted duty, the Medical Release Form must specifically describe what physical limitations are still being experienced by the employee, what restrictions should be provided and the anticipated duration of those restrictions. Until the employee is able to return to work without restriction, the employee will be responsible for reporting to the Human Resources Department following each medical appointment. The employee must provide Human Resources and their supervisors with the appropriate work status information on a Village-approved form signed by the authorized physician.

3.5 Flexible Compensation Plan

Policy
Pursuant to IRS Code 125, the Village offers its employees the option of using before-tax money to pay for contributions to health insurance, dental insurance, qualifying medical expenses and dependent care.

Guidelines
A. The following employees are eligible to participate in the Village's Flexible Compensation Plan:

  • All regular full-time employees
  • All regular part-time employees (effective with the 2015 plan year).

B. Employees may participate in any or all of the three components in the Village's Flexible Compensation Plan, as applicable.

C. Premium Expense Account: employees may elect to pay their contribution toward medical and dental insurance with pre-tax dollars. The original election to participate must be made in writing. Once an employee has elected to participate in the Premium Expense Account, that election is automatically renewed each calendar year, unless the employee elects, in writing, to discontinue participation.

D. Health Care Expense Account: employees may elect to participate in this account in order to pay for certain health care expenses, such as deductibles, co-payments, dental expenses and optical expenses, with pre-tax dollars. The maximum annual contribution is set annually by the IRS. On an annual basis, employees must elect participation in the Health Care Expense Account and elect the amount to be deducted from the employee's paycheck.

E. Dependent Care Expense Account: employees may elect to participate in this account to pay for certain expenses, of a qualified individual, incurred in order for an employee and spouse to work or attend school full-time. The maximum annual contribution is set annually by the IRS. On an annual basis, employees must elect participation in the Dependent Care Expense Account and elect the amount to be deducted from the employee's paycheck.

F. Any money not spent in either the Health Care Expense Account or the Dependent Care Expense Account at the end of the Plan Year is forfeited, except as allowed by the IRS.

G. This policy is not designed to be a substitute for the Flexible Compensation Plan document. Each eligible employee should have a summary description of the Plan, and a complete copy of the Plan is available from Employee Benefits.

3.6 Deferred Compensation Program

Policy
The Village provides a deferred compensation program to all regular employees that encourages employees to save for retirement by postponing receipt of a portion of their salary in a tax deferred account. The employee does not pay income tax on the salary or interest earned until the money is withdrawn.

Guidelines
A. The Village will select a provider to manage a deferred compensation program which is in compliance with applicable IRS regulations.

B. Employees electing to have a portion of their salary deferred into this program may enroll at any time during their employment. An employee may also change the deferred amounts at any time. Contact Employee Benefits to enroll or make changes.

C. Additional information on deferred compensation benefits is available from Employee Benefits.

3.7 Tuition Reimbursement

Policy
To encourage the career growth and development of employees by enhancing their knowledge and skills through further education in order that services rendered to the Village will be more efficient and effective, the Village provides educational assistance for eligible employees who want to further their education in courses that are work-related.

Guidelines
A. All regular full-time employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement and all regular part-time employees hired before July 1, 1992, are also eligible for tuition reimbursement, but on a prorated basis. An employee must be continuously employed for one year with the Village before becoming eligible for tuition reimbursement.

B. Undergraduate and graduate courses, offered through accredited colleges, universities and technical schools are reimbursable if an employee's Department Director and the Director of Human Resources determine that the courses relate to the employee's current or potential work assignments with the Village.

C. Approval shall be obtained in advance, on the Village's form, from the Department Director, the Director of Human Resources and the Village Manager.

D. The reimbursable amount for tuition, books and lab fees is a maximum of $1,500 every 12 months for each employee. Amounts will be reimbursed at 100% after the completion of the course, providing a grade of "C" or better is obtained.

3.8 Travel Regulations

Policy
The Village, in order to advance the training and professionalism of its employees, may authorize attendance at appropriate training sessions and conferences. Employees are permitted to obtain authorized reimbursable expenses incurred in travel on Village business.

Guidelines
A. All employees who are required to travel on Village business shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in accordance with the following regulations:

  • Attendance at conferences or seminars may be authorized as funds and duties permit. Employees are expected to exercise good judgment and a proper regard for economy in incurring travel expenses.
  • Employees may be reimbursed for lunch costs if the Village requires attendance at in- service training sessions.
  • A spouse and/or other family members may accompany an employee on an official trip but no expenses attributable to them will be reimbursed by the Village.
  • Rental vehicle expense is reimbursable if approved in advance by the Village Manager. 

B. A travel request form must be filled out for any travel requiring an overnight stay and must be approved before any funds will be paid by the Village. Once the travel request form is approved, a travel advance, in an amount not to exceed the amount approved for the trip, may be secured by use of a check requisition form.

C. Within one week after returning from a trip, a travel expense report must be completed and signed by the employee and the Department Director and forwarded to the Finance Department along with all required receipts.

D. Air travel reimbursement shall be limited to "coach" or "economy" fares where such services are available. Receipts for airfare are required if not paid directly by the Village.

E. Use of Village vehicles is encouraged and may be used to travel to destinations of up to 300 miles from Arlington Heights. Special approval for longer trips may be granted by the Village Manager if there will be more than one employee making the trip or upon proof that use of a vehicle will be more economical. Tolls and parking fees are reimbursable. Proper receipts must be submitted with completed travel forms. If a Village vehicle is unavailable, an employee may request to drive his/her private vehicle. Written approval from the Department Director is required for an employee to drive his/her private vehicle.

F. Private vehicles may be used for travel on Village business in the Chicago metropolitan area. Reimbursements shall be at the current per mile rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.

G. Reimbursement for lodging shall be limited to the minimum number of nights required to conduct the assigned Village business. For example, if a conference opens on Sunday evening and closes Thursday at noon, reimbursement for lodging for Sunday night through Wednesday night is allowed. Receipts for lodging are required. If an employee chooses to arrive earlier or stay later, the additional lodging and other expenses are the employee's personal expenses. Lodging costs will be paid when an extra night is included to take advantage of lower airfare when the total of the airfare with the extra lodging is less than the airfare without the extra night lodging.

H. A per diem allowance to cover meals will be reimbursed up to $50 per day. The per diem allowance for the day of departure and day of return will be prorated based on the number of meals required away from home on those days. When the employee is not required to be away overnight, reimbursement for meals shall be based on the following schedule:

  • Breakfast | $10.  When travel begins before 6:00 a.m. and extends beyond 9:00 a.m.
  • Lunch | $15.  When travel begins before 12:00 noon and extends beyond 2:00 p.m.
  • Dinner | $25.  When travel begins before 5:00 p.m. and extends beyond 8:00 p.m. 

I. In any situation where extraordinary travel expenses are to be incurred or where this policy does not cover a particular situation or places a particular hardship on an employee if strictly enforced, the Village Manager may authorize exceptions upon receipt of a written request.

3.9 Employee Assistance Program | EAP

Policy 
The Village provides all regular full-time and regular part-time employees and their dependents and spouses with an employee assistance program (EAP). The program provides voluntary, free, short-term, professional, confidential counseling and referral services to employees needing assistance in dealing with personal or professional problems.

Guidelines
A. An eligible employee, dependent or spouse may choose to contact the employee assistance program at any time and will be assured confidentiality.

B. Supervisors may informally suggest that an employee seek assistance through the Employee Assistance Program when job performance has begun to decline or as a result of the employee sharing personal problems with the supervisor. The purpose of an informal referral is to avoid job impairment and resulting problems.

C. Participation in the EAP is voluntary. An employee cannot be required to seek assistance; however, supervisors may make a formal written referral in the case of a positive alcohol test and recommend the EAP as part of the constructive counseling process. The employee will be asked to sign a Release of Information form and will be expected to follow through with the referral. If the terms of the constructive counseling program are broken, the employee will be subject to discipline up to and including termination

D. Neither the supervisor nor the Village is entitled to information regarding the counseling service provided unless authorized in writing by the employee.

E. If an employee is referred by the Employee Assistance Program to outside counseling, the employee is responsible for any additional costs that are not covered under the employee's medical group insurance plan.

F. The telephone number for the Employee Assistance Program is posted on a bulletin board in each Village department and is also available from the Human Resources Department.

G. Employees who seek assistance through the EAP or who have been formally referred continue to be bound by Village policies, practices, performance expectations and disciplinary procedures.