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Section III-3: Employee Benefits and Retirement

Employee Assistance Program Retirement Supplemental Retirement Plans
Fair Labor Standards Act Section 125 Flexible Benefits Plan (Cafeteria Plan) Tax-Deferred Annuity
Insurance Benefits Special Offers and Discounts Workers’ Compensation
Longevity Pay State Employees' Credit Union Other Benefits
National College Savings Program (529 Plan)    

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program is a professional, confidential counseling service available to assist employees and their immediate family members in esolving personal issues and problems before they affect health, family relationships, and/or job performance.

Durham Technical Community College recognizes that a wide range of personal problems can affect an employee’s job performance. Examples of such personal problems include alcohol and/or drug dependence, marital or family stresses, or any problems that cause emotional distress. These problems may result in deterioration of job efficiency. In most instances, the employee will overcome such personal problems independently and the effect on job performance will be negligible. In some instances, normal supervisory assistance will serve either as motivation or guidance by which such problems can be resolved so the employee’s job performance will return to an acceptable level. In some cases, however, neither the efforts of the employee nor supervisor have the desired effect on resolving the employee’s problems. In addition, unsatisfactory performance may persist over a period of time, either consistently or intermittently.

The intent of the Employee Assistance Program is to help the employee overcome the problem so that job performance meets expectations. The program is designed to identify the problem at the earliest possible stage, motivate the employee to seek help, and direct the employee to appropriate assistance.

Durham Technical Community College believes it is in the interest of the employee, the employee’s family, and the educational institution to provide a service which deals with such persistent problems. For the Employee Assistance Program to be successful, the following must be acknowledged or implemented:

  • Personal problems which affect work performance and attendance are legitimate concerns of management; management recognizes that these problems can be successfully treated provided they are identified early and referral is made to the appropriate resource;
  • Personal problems requiring assistance include alcohol dependence or abuse, drug dependence or abuse, marital issues, or other problems that cause emotional distress;
  • The purpose of the Employee Assistance Program is to assure employees that, if such personal problems are the cause of unsatisfactory job performance, they will receive an offer of assistance to help resolve such problems in an effective and confidential manner;
  • Employees will not have their job security or promotional opportunities jeopardized because of participation in the program;
  • Strict confidentiality is essential and will be maintained;
  • Employees are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program voluntarily when they need professional help or guidance;
  • If an employee has not sought help independently for a personal problem, it will be the responsibility of the Supervisor and/or Department Head to follow a procedure which will ensure that no employee with a behavioral disorder will fail to have the benefit of diagnosis and treatment;
  • Any expenses incurred in seeking assistance, beyond that which is covered by medical insurance, will be the employee’s responsibility;
  • It is the employee’s responsibility to cooperate in the designated treatment or rehabilitation plan; after a reasonable opportunity for progress, normal disciplinary procedures, up to and including job dismissal, will apply unless there is noticeable improvement in job performance;
  • The program is also available to an employee’s immediate family members;
  • Time off for participating in the Employee Assistance Program will be granted in accordance with the existing policy on leave for doctor appointments; and
  • Implementation of this policy will not require or result in any special regulations, privileges, or exemptions from the standard personnel policies applicable to job performance.


Full-time and continuing part-time employees may use the Employee Assistance Program on a self-referral basis by calling the Employee Assistance Program Counselor directly or by contacting their Supervisor. When an employee’s job performance begins to decline, the Supervisor and/or Department Head will:

  • Be alert to continued changes in work and behavior patterns;
  • Not attempt to counsel with employees relative to personal problems;
  • Document particular instances in which an employee’s job performance fails to meet minimum standards or in which individual behavior patterns seem to be changing or deteriorating (i.e., an employee whose attendance and productivity have been good suddenly begins to miss time from work or his/her productivity slips for unexplained reasons);
  • Conduct normal corrective disciplinary interviews when the documented record of unsatisfactory performance calls for it; and at the conclusion of the interview, inform the employee that the Employee Assistance Program is available if a personal problem exists including the following:
    • Review all recorded instances of performance problems with the employee;
    • Explain precisely why the level of job performance is considered unsatisfactory;
    • Allow the employee to give reasons for his/her actions or failures;
    • Make suggestions for corrections as they apply to job performance; and
    • Document the corrective disciplinary interview(s) and inform the employee that the Employee Assistance Program is available if a personal problem exists.
  • If the employee’s performance continues to be unsatisfactory, conduct another interview and issue a written warning; conclude again with a recommendation to utilize the Employee Assistance Program;
  • Inform the employee that failure to improve job performance will result in other disciplinary action, including possible job dismissal;
  • Review all aspects of the situation with the Department Head or Dean;
  • Confirm the significant points of the interview to the employee in writing using the normal disciplinary procedures;
  • If deterioration of performance continues, conduct another interview with the Department Head present and conclude again by offering the employee the service of the Employee Assistance Program or accepting the prescribed disciplinary action for continued unsatisfactory performance;
  • If the employee refuses assistance, normal disciplinary procedures will apply; and
  • Employees participating in the Employee Assistance Program whose performance either does not improve or continues to deteriorate are subject to normal disciplinary procedures.

To contact the Employee Assistance Program Counselor, call 1-800-435-1986. This call and Employee Assistance Program visits are confidential. Numbers of college employees and family members using the services are reported annually to the Human Resources Department for determining continuation of this benefit.

Fair Labor Standards Act

See Time-Off Plan for Overtime Compensation in Section III-4 of this Employee Handbook.

Insurance Benefits

Durham Technical Community College provides several insurance plans and voluntary supplemental plans for full-time employees. The college also provides medical, dental, and life insurance for full-time employees. Only medical coverage and dental coverage are provided for continuing part-time employees. Employees must enroll within 30 days of their starting date in order to be eligible to participate in any insurance benefits Durham Tech provides. All insurance becomes effective on the first day of the month after the employee receives his/her first paycheck. There is no waiting period for the employee's dependents if they are enrolled within the first 30 days of employment. For enrollment after the first 30 days of employment, refer to the insurance provider's handbook or contact the Accounting and Payroll Services Director in the Business Office.

Various insurance plans are available as follows:

Cancer/Dread Disease Insurance

Cancer/dread disease insurance is available as an optional plan covering cancer and 30 specified diseases with hospital intensive care. A return of premium is available after five years.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance coverage is through MetLIfe. The college pays the cost of the employee’s coverage. Family coverage is available to each participating employee and must be paid by the employee. Coverage includes exams, cleaning, and X-rays at 100 percent. Other procedures are covered at 80 percent for preventive service and 50 percent for restorative procedures.
Limited assistance is provided for orthodontic care.

Disability Insurance

The Teachers’ and State Employees’ Disability Income Plan provides an equitable replacement income for eligible employees who are temporarily or permanently disabled and unable to perform the duties required of their usual occupation prior to retirement. Short-term disability benefits are payable on the sixty-first day of a disability. Employees must have at least one year of contributing membership service in the Retirement System earned within 36 calendar months preceding the disability. Benefits for short-term disability are equal to 50 percent of 1/12 of the employee’s annual base rate of compensation. At the conclusion of the short-term eligibility period, an employee whose disability is likely to be permanent is eligible to apply for long-term disability benefits if the employee has five years of contributing membership service earned within 96 calendar months prior to the end of the short-term disability (available to employees participating in the Retirement System).

Disability insurance options are also available as follows:

(A) Colonial Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan beginning on the eighth day an illness (including pregnancy) and the first day of an accident. This insurance is portable.

(B) Symetra Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan beginning after 6 months of disability and providing monthly benefits for up to 60 months (available to full-time employees).

Liability Insurance

All employees are covered through Durham Technical Community College's general and professional liability insurance. This insurance provides coverage arising from any alleged wrongful act, error, omission or neglect, or breach of duty that occurs when acting as a representative of Durham Technical Community College.

Life Insurance

Durham Tech provides life insurance benefits and additional options as follows:

(A) Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System of North Carolina – Provides a group plan equal to the employee’s annual salary, not to exceed $50,000, after one year of employment;

(B) Colonial Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan offering term and cash value permanent life insurance as well as an accidental death benefit. This insurance is portable;

(C) Symetra Life Insurance Company – Provides a group plan equal to the employee’s last annual salary (provided to full-time employees);

(D) Symetra Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan offering employees the opportunity to supplement the basic group life insurance through the purchase of additional life insurance equal to their last annual salary at reduced group rates (available to full-time employees).

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care benefits are available to Durham Tech employees on a voluntary, self-pay basis. These benefits are intended to supplement benefits provided through the employee's health plan. Coverage is available to employees and their spouse, children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandparents-in-law.

Medical Insurance

Health insurance is provided by the North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Comprehensive Major Medical Plan. The college pays for the cost of the employee’s coverage on the basic coverage plan; employees pay a portion of the standard coverage plan. Children and family coverage is available to each participating employee and must be paid by the employee. For additional information about this insurance, visit the State Health Plan website at http://www.shpnc.org/ or contact the college’s Accounting and Payroll Director who also serves as the college's Health Benefits Representative.

Vision Insurance

Vision insurance is available as an optional benefit through the Superior Vision provider network of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and optical companies. Employees may select a plan for an annual exam and materials or a plan for materials only. Discounts are available for prescription eyeglass lens and frames, contact lenses, disposable contact lenses, and all other prescription materials. Because this is an optional benefit, all costs related to participation are paid by participants. A listing of providers is available through the Superior Vision provider directory available at www.superiorvision.com. If an employee's current provider is not listed, the employee may nominate his/her provider for consideration to the Superior Vision network.

Longevity Pay

Regular contract full-time employees and continuing part-time employees working 30 hours or more per week are eligible for longevity pay after the date the employee has completed 10 years of aggregate service to the State of North Carolina. Prior State of North Carolina service may count toward calculation of longevity for pay purposes if necessary records are provided by the employee at the time of employment.

Longevity pay amounts are computed by multiplying the employee's annual base salary rate as of the eligibility date by the appropriate percentage in accordance with the following table:

Years of Aggregate
State Service

Pay Rate

10 but less than 15 years 1.50%
15 but less than 20 years 2.25%
20 but less than 25 years 3.25%
25 or more years 4.50%

Annual payment is made in a lump sum, subject to all statutory deductions, during the monthly pay period in which the employee has satisfied all eligibility requirements.

National College Savings Program (529 Plan)

Full-time and continuing part-time employees are eligible to participate in the National College Savings Program. The National College Program, which is officially known as the North Carolina Savings and Investment Program, has been established by the State Education Assistance Authority, a political subdivision of the State of North Carolina, to enable residents of any state to invest funds to pay the qualified higher education expenses of their designated beneficiaries on a flexible basis that achieves certain tax savings in accordance with federal tax law and North Carolina law. As part of the program, the General Assembly has established the Parental Savings Trust Fund of which the Authority is trustee, to hold all assets of the program. The Trust Fund assets are not the property of the State of North Carolina.


Full-time employees and continuing part-time employees working 30 hours or more per week are enrolled in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, and 6 percent is deducted monthly from all wages earned to contribute to this retirement benefit. The state contributes a percentage of all wages paid as the employer’s contribution to the employee’s retirement account.

As of July 1, 1982, employees’ contributions were placed into a State employee tax-sheltered annuity account. These contributions are deferred from State and Federal income taxes until the employee retires or withdraws the funds.

For additional retirement information, see "Separation from the College” and "Re-Employment of Retired Persons" in this Employee Handbook.

Section 125 Flexible Benefits Plan (Cafeteria Plan)

The Flexible Benefits Plan allows employees to elect (by estimating expected expenses) the amount of out-of-pocket medical and/or dependent/child care expenses they anticipate incurring during the annual benefit period. The law allows for that same amount of income not to be taxed. The portion elected for eligible expenses is set aside each pay period and later reimbursed when the expense is incurred (available to full-time employees and continuing part-time employees working 30 hours or more per week).

Special Offers and Discounts

Some restaurants, stores, and businesses give discounts, coupons, or special offers to state and local government public employees.

  • The college participates in the "WeSave" program at http://www.wesave.com/.
  • Carowinds and Kings Dominion online discounts
  • The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) offers a discount to broadway shows.
  • McDuffie Dentistry located at 6104 Fayetteville Road, Suite 107, offers free teeth whitening for new patients. Phone: 919-484-7478.
  • Melton's Service Center offers the following discounts for students and employees of Durham Tech (ID must be shown): 10% off all repairs up to $500.00, excluding tires and state inspection and a $24.95 oil change which includes up to 5 qts. oil (5w30, 5w20 and synthetic blends – full synthetic extra), standard filter, top off all fluids and check tire pressure.
  • Great Wolf Lodge offers a 10% discount.
  • The American Dance Festival Perfomances offer a 20% off single tickets to ADF performances at Durham Performing Arts Center and Reynolds Industries Theater on Duke University's Campus. They can purchase tickets online, over the phone, or in person at either box office using the code: 14EDUADF The discount is not available for Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor at Nasher Museum of Art or Ishmael Houston-Jones and Emily Wexler at The PSI Theatre at the Durham Arts Council. http://americandancefestival.org/performance/general-information/
  • STAYMOBILE provides convenient repair service, the latest accessories, and protection plans for smartphonse, iPhones, tablets, iPads, and laptops. $15 off of regular repair pricing and $5 off the purchase of any accessory. Employees can simply show their Durham Tech badge to receive the priority pricing.
  • SimplyBridal.com provides a 15% off on wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, special occasion dress, and accessories (shipping not included). USE CODE: DHEDUBRIDAL15 on www.simplybridal.com
  • AT&T and Verizon offer a discount to state employees. Contact your local AT&T or Verizon store for details. T-Mobile offers a 15% discount through WeSave.
  • Performance Automall - The Performance Automall VIP Program is an exclusive network of companies, restaurants, educational institutions, and other organizations based in the Triangle. As a member of this program, you’ll have access to special offers and other benefits at every Performance dealership as well as at each of the VIP partners (listed on the right-hand side of the page). Enjoy the best of entertainment, design, housecleaning, and more in the area with these exclusive offers available only to Performance Automall VIP members.

State Employee's Credit Union

Employees are eligible to join the State Employees' Credit Union. The credit union is a cooperative savings and loan association organized to promote thrift among its members and to provide a source of credit for worthwhile purposes at the least possible cost. Banking services include but may not be limited to savings, checking, loans, and direct payroll deposit. Financial advisement is also available. Contact the Accounting and Payroll Services Department in the Business Office for information.

Tax-Deferred Annuity Plans (Supplemental Retirement Plans)

Tax-deferred annuity programs are available to full-time and continuing part-time employees. Under these programs, the employee designates specific salary funds to be deposited in an annuity fund. These funds are deferred from taxes until the employee retires or withdraws the funds. These additional funds at retirement may serve to supplement an employee’s retirement income. Contact the Business Manager about voluntary programs under section 403-B and 401-K of the federal tax code.

Workers' Compensation

All employees are covered through the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Liability under Workers’ Compensation applies to on-the-job injuries or death caused by an accident arising in the course of employment. In case of an accident covered through Workers’ Compensation Insurance, individuals may obtain the necessary forms to report such accidents from the Business Office located in the White Building.

Other Benefits

Also see a variety of additional benefits and educational opportunities detailed in Section III-5 “Professional Development.”

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Durham Technical Community College
1637 Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

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