This section provides an overview of many benefits available to faculty and staff. In the event of conflict between the overview provided in this handbook and the plan document or insurance plan, the plan document or insurance plan will govern. Complete descriptions are not possible in the handbook; employees should contact Human Resources for specific plan details. The Labor Agreement governs in the case of Union employees in all aspects of this section. Regular non-union employees who have a schedule involving a (.46) FTE or above, and Union employees who have a (.50) FTE or above are eligible to participate in the College’s benefit programs.

Carleton College will comply with all applicable laws such as ACA, FMLA, federal, state, and any applicable regulations.

Employment & Benefits

Conditions of Employment

This section provides an overview of employment conditions for exempt and non-exempt staff. The Labor Agreement governs in the case of Union employees in all aspects of this section.

Definition of Employee

A regular employee is one who is regularly scheduled to work 18.4 hours per week or more. Regular employees are eligible to participate in the College’s benefit programs.

An employee may be further defined by an assigned work schedule:

  • Regular Full-Time: Scheduled to work 40 hours per week. 52 weeks per year.
  • Regular Part-Time: Scheduled to work at least 18.4 hours per week (but less than 40 hours per week) for a minimum of 10 months or more per year.
  • Temporary Part-Time: Scheduled to work less than 18.4 hours per week or temporarily assigned.


Non-Carleton employees may be approved to volunteer at Carleton College under the supervision of a designated department or division. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Volunteers must understand and comply with the duties and responsibilities of the assigned tasks. The respective division/department supervisor will specify their task parameters and review the eligibility of volunteer status with Human Resources. All volunteers are expected to represent Carleton College in a professional and responsible manner. Our goal is to protect our volunteers from injury or illness while serving the College. However, it is important that volunteers are aware that Workers Compensation does not apply to volunteers because they are not a paid employee. If a volunteer is involved in an incident or accident, it should immediately be reported to the Risk Manager. Carleton College will require that the volunteer review and sign the Volunteer Work Form, as well as their designated supervisor. Supervisors can find this form on the Human Resources website on the Documents and Forms page. The signed document will be retained by the Business Office Risk Manager.

Independent Contractors

Periodically services that may utilize the skills of an independent contractor are required when other means are impractical. Prior to hiring a contractor, please contact Human Resources to evaluate whether the work requested meets the criteria to determine employee or Independent Contractor status. This step is completed through of the submission of an Independent Contractor Evaluation Form which will verify the independent contractor status. If the service provider is determined to meet the classification of an employee, approval must be made through the Human Resources hiring process and include associated fringe benefit costs, employer payroll taxed and insurance risks inherent with employees. Misclassification of service providers as independent contractors exposes the College to penalties from the IRS and other regulatory agencies.  The commitment to hire an independent contractor should not be made until the status is confirmed by Human Resources.

  1. Employment Requirements

    Employment Records/Orientation

    All offers of employment are contingent upon completing all required documents. New employees are required to meet with Human Resources to complete these documents. Human Resources must have a Social Security number on record for each employee. A new employee who does not have a number must apply for one.

    A new employee must, within three days of date of hire, verify their identity and eligibility to work in the United States according to the provisions of the 1986 Immigration Act (form I-9). A list of additional acceptable documents may be obtained from Human Resources.

    A Withholding Tax Exemption Certificate (form W-4), for both Federal and State Tax withholding purposes, must be filed with Human Resources.

    Employees have a right to review their file, upon a written request made in good faith, once every six months while employed. After termination, employees may review their records once annually for as long as the employer maintains the record. An employer must comply with an employee’s good faith, written request to review their file within seven working days if the record is within the state, and within 14 working days if the record is out of state. After the review, the employee may request in writing a copy of the record.  If such a request is made, the employer must provide a copy, at no charge, to the employee. If the employee disputes information contained in the record and the employer does not agree to remove or revise the disputed information, the employee may submit a written statement explaining the employee’s position.  This statement must be included in the personnel file for as long as the employer maintains it. If an employer violates the statute, employees may bring a civil action to compel compliance and for actual damages and costs. Employers may not retaliate against employees for asserting rights or remedies under the statute.  If an employer unlawfully retaliates against an employee, the employee may bring a civil action to compel compliance and for actual damages, back pay, reinstatement, equitable relief, and attorney fees.

    Background Checks

    To protect the welfare and provide for the safety of the students, employees, and institutional resources of Carleton College, Human Resources will conduct background checks on final applicants for specified positions at the College.

    Carleton College assesses the needs for background checks for all Carleton positions at the College. Background checks must be authorized by the new employees through signature on a consent form (as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These checks are completed solely for the purpose of hiring, promoting, and retaining qualified employees.

    Pursuant to applicable law, Carleton College employees or prospective employees holding positions that allow access to campus housing units will be required to sign a consent form which allows Human Resources to conduct finger print criminal background checks. Failure to comply with this will be grounds for dismissal or retraction of an employment offer. The College reserves the right to consider information received from the background checks to determine eligibility for employment or continued employment.


    Prospective employees receiving conditional offers of employment which require significant physical activity and lifting activities as part of the essential job functions will be required to undergo a workplace physical (without request of genetic information) to determine if the employee is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

  2. Initial Review Period

    An initial review period of up to 90 days is necessary for some positions to determine whether an employee is fully qualified for regular employment and a good fit with the needs of Carleton College. This does not negate the At Will relationship of the employee and employer.

  3. At Will Employment

    Employment with the College is not for any set period of time unless an individual is hired under the provisions of a letter of appointment which specifies length or conditions of employment. In other cases, the College or an employee may choose to end their work relationship at any time and for any lawful reason.

  4. Discipline

    Disciplinary measures can include but are not limited to, in any order, verbal or written warnings, suspension, or termination. Specific disciplinary action will be determined by the supervisor, based on the specifics of each case and will depend on such factors as frequency, severity, and gravity of the situation. In general, the College will use progressive discipline but reserves the right to take any disciplinary action it deems appropriate to the circumstances.

  5. Notice of Termination

    Employees must notify Human Resources of their termination date in Workday so that important information concerning various benefit continuation provisions are provided. Minimum of two weeks notice is required to receive time off accruals eligible for payout. The last day worked will be the effective employment termination date. Employees who have submitted their notice of resignation or retirement may not use their time off benefits (i.e. vacation, sick, floating holiday, weather days or unused College Holiday) to extend their termination end date. An exit interview should be scheduled with a member of the Human Resources department. Upon termination of employment, all debts payable to the College must be settled; any items on loan (i.e., library books, computer software, etc.) must be returned. ID card, keys and other assigned property must be turned in to the supervisor.

    Employees are expected to notify their department for absences and/or tardies in the event they cannot be at work as scheduled. No-Call, No-Show occurs when an employee both fails to report for work at the start of a scheduled work shift and fails to notify the supervisor or designated person of an intention to be absent. Three consecutive working days of No-call, No-show absences for which an employee is unable to provide an acceptable explanation is considered job abandonment and deemed as a voluntary resignation. A supervisor or designee should make reasonable attempts to contact the employee during this three-day period; however, failure to make contact with the employee does not excuse the No-call, No-show absence.

  6. Changes in Personal Status

    Changes in marital status or number of dependents often will affect payroll deductions, insurance coverage, beneficiary designations, and the status of other employee benefits provided by the College. These events are called “qualifying events” and notification to Human Resources in Workday needs to occur within 30 days of the change.  Please refer to the Human Resources website to complete the necessary form and also contact the Human Resources department directly for benefit changes due to personal changes. Address and phone number changes are also important. Therefore, it is necessary that employees notify Human Resources in Workday of such changes.

Last Revised: January 25, 2011

For: Staff

Last Reviewed: February 5, 2024

Maintained by: Human Resources

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