Employee Benefits

Eligible employees of the Diocese of Brownsville are provided a wide range of benefits. A number of the programs (such as social security, worker’s compensation) cover all employees in the manner prescribed by law.

 

Benefits eligibility is dependent upon a variety of factors, including employee classification. Your supervisor can identify the programs for which you are eligible. Details of many of these programs can be found elsewhere in the employee handbook.

 

The following benefit programs are available to eligible employees:

Auto Mileage Life Insurance Severance Pay
Bereavement Long-Term Disability Sick Leave Benefits
Dental Insurance Medical Leave Vacation Benefits
Family Leave

Military Leave

AFLAC (tax deferred premiums)
Health Insurance 403b retirement plan Employee Retreat
Holidays Personal leave Worker's Compensation Insurance
Jury Duty Leave Relocation assistance Cafeteria Benefits


Some benefit programs require contributions from the employee such as insurance benefits, but most are fully paid by the Diocese of Brownsville.

 

The Diocese of Brownsville does not offer continuation of insurance coverage (COBRA) at termination of employment.

Life Insurance

Life insurance offers you and your family important financial protection. The Diocese of Brownsville provides a basic life insurance plan for eligible employees.

 

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance provides protection in cases of serious injury or death resulting from an accident. AD&D insurance coverage is provided as part of the basic life insurance plan.

 

Employees in the following employment classifications are eligible to participate in the life insurance plan:

 

 

  • Regular full-time employees
  • Regular part-time employees

 

 

Eligible employees may participate in the life insurance plan subject to all terms and conditions of the agreement between the Diocese of Brownsville and the insurance carrier.

 

Details of the basic life insurance plan including benefit amounts are described in the Summary Plan Description provided to eligible employees. Contact the Insurance Department for more information about life insurance benefits.

Bereavement

 

Employees who wish to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member should notify their supervisor immediately.

 

Up to three days of paid bereavement leave will be provided to eligible employees in the following classification(s):

 

 

  • Regular full-time employees
  • Regular part-time employees

 

 

Bereavement pay is calculated based on the base pay rate at the time of absence and will not include any special forms of compensation.

 

Bereavement leave will normally be granted unless there are unusual business needs or staffing requirements. Employees may, with their supervisor’s approval, use any available paid leave for additional time off as necessary.

 

The Diocese of Brownsville defines “immediate family” as the employee’s spouse, brother, sister, parents, children, step-children, father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandparents, or grandchildren.

 

Sick Leave Benefits

 

The Diocese of Brownsville provides paid sick leave benefits to all eligible employees for periods of temporary absence due to illnesses or injuries. Eligible employee classification(s):

 

 

  • Regular full-time employees
  • Regular part-time employees

 

 

Regular full-time employees will be awarded sick leave benefits at the rate of 10 days per year. Sick leave benefits are calculated on the basis of a “benefit year”, which is actually every fiscal year.

 

Regular part-time employees will be awarded sick leave based on the amount of hours that are worked during the workweek. The following schedule will be used to calculate sick leave for regular part-time employees:

 

If the employee works:

 

  • 21-24 hours per week: 5 days sick leave
  • 25-28 hours per week: 6 days sick leave
  • 29-32 hours per week: 7 days sick leave
  • 33-36 hours per week: 8 days sick leave
  • 37-39 hours per week: 9 days sick leave

 

 

Paid sick leave can be used in minimum increments of one hour. Eligible employees may use sick leave benefits for an absence due to their own illness or injury or that of a family member who resides in the employee’s household.

 

Employees who are unable to report to work due to illness or injury should notify their direct supervisor before the scheduled start of their workday if possible. The direct supervisor must also be contacted on each additional day of absence. If an employee is absent for three or more consecutive days due to illness or injury, a physician’s statement must be provided verifying the disability and its beginning and expected ending dates. Such verification may be requested for other sick leave absences as well and may be required as a condition to receiving sick leave benefits. Before returning to work from a sick leave absence of three calendar days or more, an employee must provide a physician’s verification that he or she may safely return to work.

 

Sick leave benefits will be calculated based on the employee’s base pay rate at the time of absence.

 

Sick leave benefits are intended solely to provide income protection in the event of illness or injury, and may not be used for any other absence. Unused sick leave benefits will not be paid to employees while they are employed or upon termination of employment.

 

Vacation Benefits

Vacation time off with pay is available to eligible employees to provide opportunity for rest, relaxation, and personal pursuits. Employees in the following employment classification(s) are eligible to use vacation time as described in this policy:

 

 

  • Regular full-time employees
  • Regular part-time employees

 

 

The amount of paid vacation full-time employees receive each year increases with the length of their employment as shown in the following schedule:

 

 

  • After 1 year of eligible service – entitlement is 10 vacation days each year
  • After 5 years of eligible service – entitlement is 15 vacation days each year
  • After 10 years of eligible service – entitlement is 20 vacation days each year

 

 

After completing the first year of employment, part-time employees are entitled to paid vacation time equivalent to the amount of hours they work in one workweek.

 

The length of eligible service is calculated on the basis of a “benefit year”. This is the 12-month period that begins when the employee starts to earn vacation time. An employee’s benefit year may be extended for any significant leave of absence except military leave of absence. Military leave has no effect on this calculation. (See individual leave of absence policies for more information.)

 

Once employees enter an eligible employment classification, they begin to earn paid vacation time according to the schedule. Earned vacation time is available for use in the year following its accrual.

 

Paid vacation time can be used in minimum increments of one-half day. To take vacation, employees should request in advance, approval from their supervisors. Requests will be reviewed based on a number of factors, including business needs and staffing requirements.

 

Vacation time off is paid at the employee’s base pay rate at the time of vacation. It does not include overtime.

 

As stated above, employees are encouraged to use available paid vacation time for rest, relaxation, and personal pursuits. In the event that available vacation is not used by the end of the benefit year, employees will forfeit the unused time.

 

Upon termination of employment, employees will be paid for unused vacation time that has been

earned through the last day of work.

Health Insurance

 

The Diocese of Brownsville’s health insurance plan provides employees and their dependents access to medical and dental insurance benefits. Employees in the following employment classifications are eligible to participate in the health insurance plan:

 

 

  • Regular full-time employees
  • Regular part-time employees

 

 

Eligible employees may participate in the health insurance plan subject to all terms and conditions of the agreement between the Diocese of Brownsville and the insurance carrier.

 

Details of the health insurance plan are described in the Summary Plan Description (SPD). An SPD will be provided to eligible employees no later than three weeks after enrollment. Contact the Insurance Department for more information about health insurance benefits.

 

Holidays

The Diocese of Brownsville will grant holiday time off to all employees on the holidays listed below:

New Year’s Day (January 1)
Holy Thursday (Half day)
Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Assumption of Mary (August 15) 
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
All Saints Day (November 1)
Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November)
Day after Thanksgiving
Immaculate Conception (December 8)
Christmas Day (December 25)
Day After Christmas (December 26)

The Diocese of Brownsville will grant paid holiday time off to all eligible employees immediately upon assignment to an eligible employment classification. Holiday pay will be calculated based on the employee’s straight-time pay rate (as of the date of the holiday) times the number of hours the employee would otherwise have worked on that day. Eligible employee classification(s):

 

Regular full-time employees

Regular part-time employees

 

 

A recognized holiday that falls on a Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday. A recognized holiday that falls on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.

 

If a recognized holiday falls during an eligible employee’s paid absence (such as vacation or sick leave), holiday pay will be provided instead of the paid time off benefit that would otherwise have applied.

 

If eligible nonexempt employees work on a recognized holiday, they will receive holiday pay plus wages at one and one-half times their straight-time rate for the hours worked on the holiday.

 

Paid time off for holidays will not be counted as hours worked for the purposes of determining overtime.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

 

The Diocese of Brownsville provides a comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance program at no cost to employees. This program covers any injury or illness sustained in the course of employment that requires medical, surgical, or hospital treatment. Subject to applicable legal requirements, workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits after a short waiting period, or, if the employee is hospitalized, immediately.

 

Employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses should inform their supervisor immediately. No matter how minor an on-the-job injury may appear, it is important that it be reported immediately. This will enable an eligible employee to qualify for coverage as quickly as possible.

 

Neither the Diocese of Brownsville, nor the insurance carrier will be liable for the payment of workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that occur during an employee’s voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity sponsored by the Diocese of Brownsville.

 

Jury Duty

The Diocese of Brownsville encourages employees to fulfill their civic responsibilities by serving jury duty when required. Paid leave will be granted to permit employees to serve on a state or federal jury or to appear as a witness in a state or federal court after completing a minimum of 180 calendar days of service in an eligible classification.

 

Jury duty pay will be calculated on the employee’s base pay rate times the number of hours the employee would otherwise have worked on the day of absence. Employee classifications that qualify for paid jury duty leave are:

 

 

  • Regular full-time employees
  • Regular part-time employees

 

 

Employees must show the jury duty summons to their supervisor as soon as possible so that the supervisor may make arrangements to accommodate their absence. Of course, employees are expected to report for work whenever the court schedule permits.

 

Either the Diocese of Brownsville or the employee may request an excuse from jury duty if, in the Diocese of Brownsville’s judgment, the employee’s absence would create serious operational difficulties.

 

The Diocese of Brownsville will continue to provide health insurance benefits for the full term of the jury duty absence.

 

Vacation, sick leave, and holiday benefits will continue to accrue during unpaid jury duty leave.

 

The employee will be allowed to retain any compensation received for his or her participation in jury selection or actually serving in a jury.

Cafeteria Benefits

The Diocese of Brownsville participates in a section 125 Cafeteria Plan. This allows employees and the Diocese of Brownsville to save the taxes on insurance premiums. Along with the tax savings, a variety of products are offered to employees on a voluntary basis. The employees have options of choosing as many or as few of the products offered. Products include: disability insurance, medical reimbursement accounts, cancer policies, heart and stroke, etc. Most of these products are portable and if and when an employee leaves the Diocese of Brownsville, they can continue with these products independently of the Diocese. Contact the Human Resources Department for more information on the Cafeteria Plan.