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Impact On UA

The following links provide guidance on the recommendations and policy changes affecting certain non-benefits-eligible employees at UA.

Impact on UA: Adjunct Faculty

Posted:  October 9, 2013
Updated:  October 31, 2014

Starting in January 2015, employers will generally be obligated to offer healthcare insurance to employees who work 30 or more hours a week under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  To comply with the future requirements of the ACA, the University needs to have clear baselines in determining course loads for full-time equivalents (FTEs) for nontenure faculty whose only duties are teaching.  While full-time course loads vary, the benchmark of fifteen credits has been determined to be the equivalent of full-time status (1.0 FTE) for instructional faculty with no advising or other duties.

Using this baseline, each credit hour is the equivalent of 2.67 working hours, or .067 FTE. Instructors on semester-to-semester contracts may become eligible for employer-sponsored benefits under the ACA if they teach 11 or more credit hours in a single semester (the equivalent of .75 FTE). In some cases, departments may need to increase an instructional faculty member's FTE to take into account labs, studio courses, advising, outreach, or other departmental assignments.

Given the need to track FTE/work hours to meet the future obligations of the ACA, we need to have a clearer alignment of titles with duties. To meet this need, departments are asked to limit the use of "adjunct" in Notices of Appointments for positions that do meet the eligibility requirements for Sate/University benefits.  If changes in FTE are made after a Notice of Appointment has been drawn up, departments should revise individuals' titles when possible.

Impact on UA: Student Workers

Posted:  October 9, 2013
Last updated: October 6, 2014

In accordance with the guidelines set by the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), some student worker employment policies changed with the start of the spring 2014 semester, and others changed with the start of the 2014-2015 academic year or the fall 2014 semester.

These student worker employment policy changes are as follows:

University of Arizona (UA) Enrollment Requirements Student workers previously had to be enrolled students at UA with a minimum enrollment of 1 credit hour. Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, student workers must be enrolled at UA for at least 6 credit hours each semester during the academic year (fall and spring semesters) to ensure that they are not eligible to participate in ASRS. Enrollment during the winter and summer sessions is not required if enrollment for the previous and subsequent semesters is demonstrated within the fiscal year.

Also beginning with the fall 2014 semester, students who are enrolled for fewer than 6 credit hours at UA in a given semester may be employed at UA, but only in a non-student-worker employment category. Students who are enrolled at another institution (e.g., Pima Community College) may be employed at UA in a non-student-worker employment category.

Work-Hour Limits Student worker positions at UA are intended to support students while they pursue their education. Because these positions are not intended to be benefits-eligible or retirement-eligible positions, beginning with the fall 2014 semester, student workers may work up to a maximum of 25 hours per week during the academic year, and up to a maximum of 35 hours per week during the winter and summer sessions.

Student workers averaging 30 or more work hours per week will become eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance under the Employer Mandate of the ACA. Therefore, departments should begin monitoring student work hours effective immediately. Student workers who meet employer-sponsored health insurance eligibility requirements under the ACA will not be eligible to remain in student worker positions.

University Information Technology Services (UITS) and HR have developed four dashboards to assist departments with monitoring student worker hours and enrolled credit hours. All are located on the Business Manager Home Page in UAccess Analytics. Detailed instructions and information can be found by clicking here.

As discussions continue throughout campus, HR is working with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to revise the Student Employment Manual.

Impact on UA: Graduate Assistants/Associates

Posted:  October 9, 2013
Last updated:  May 13, 2015

Effective with the 2014-2015 academic year:

Graduate assistantships/associateships are not intended to be employee benefits-eligible positions. To ensure that graduate students remain eligible for graduate assistant/associate (GA) appointments, graduate students in such appointments must average less than 30 work hours per week. Therefore, the maximum allowable FTE for a GA appointment is .66 FTE.

A GA hired at the .66 FTE appointment level may not receive additional supplemental compensation for the duration of the appointment. GAs at .50 FTE or less, however, may pursue additional supplemental compensation up to the maximum allowable .66 FTE.

To facilitate tracking GA supplemental compensation, home hiring units are required to sign off on any Personnel Action Form (PAF) and/or supplemental compensation forms for GAs, as they do with faculty and appointed personnel.

Allowable hours for summer sessions will depend on the GA appointment during the academic year. In some cases, a graduate student will not be able to work more than 35 hours per week (.875 FTE) over the summer sessions without exceeding the 30 hour average per week threshold for the year. For GAs who maintain an FTE of .50 or less over the academic year, they may work up to 1.0 FTE over the summer sessions.

GAs and hiring departments must be mindful of the requirements set by the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS). If GAs work 20 weeks in a fiscal year at .5 FTE or greater without being enrolled in at least 6 credit hours of courses, they will become eligible for participation in ASRS requiring contributions by the GA and hiring department. The intersection of this requirement with ACA hours limits can create complex hiring restrictions, especially for summer sessions. Hiring units are advised to check GA eligibility at UAccess Analytics > Dashboards > Business Managers Home Page > Retirement Eligibility and to consult with the Graduate College about any concerns. The staff in the Graduate College (Dorian Voorhees, voorhees@grad.arizona.edu, Rachel Nielsen, rnielsen@grad.arizona.edu, and Julie Treanor, jtreanor@grad.arizona.edu) are available to assist departments to maintain compliance with the requirements of the ACA and ASRS.

Impact on UA: Ancillary Staff

Posted:  October 9, 2013
Updated:  December 5, 2014

UA policies on the hiring and employment of ancillary employees currently meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) when followed as intended. Departments and units must continue to monitor the employment of and hours worked by these employees to ensure they meet the appropriate ancillary worker description below.

Ancillary staff members who are not initially eligible for benefits may still become eligible for employer-sponsored insurance benefits under the ACA if they average 30 work hours or more during the measurement period.

Part-Time Ancillary Classified Staff

A part-time ancillary classified staff member is an individual whose FTE is less than .50 and whose position is expected to be active for more than 6 months. This position is not intended to be eligible for employer-sponsored benefits.  

Temporary Ancillary Classified Staff

A temporary ancillary classified staff member is an individual who will be active for less than 6 months.

A temporary ancillary classified staff member expected to be employed at .50 FTE or more for less than 90 days is not eligible for employer-sponsored benefits.

A temporary ancillary classified staff member expected to be employed at .50 or more for more than 90 days but less than six months is eligible for employer-sponsored insurance benefits.  The employee will not accrue sick and vacation time or be eligible for Qualified Tuition Reduction.  The employee will contribute to the Arizona State Retirement System if he/she is expected to work more than 20 weeks. 

On-Call Worker

An on-call classified staff member is a non-exempt employee who is scheduled for intermittent or seasonal employment. An on-call worker has an FTE of .25 and is not eligible for employer-sponsored benefits.

Ancillary staff members with prior employment at UA may be eligible for employer-sponsored insurance benefits upon rehire or a job change regardless of the new position's intended FTE or expected duration.  For employees with a break in service of less than six months, the hours worked during the prior employment period must be considered at the time of rehire.  If the employee averaged 30 hours per week during the measurement period as part of his/her prior employment, insurance benefits must be offered upon rehire or the job change.