Travel and Entertainment

The travel and entertainment policy is intended to establish and communicate equitable standards and effective procedures for administering and controlling travel and entertainment expenses, and ensure consistent and fair treatment of all employees who travel on CCS business.

CCS recognizes that the effective conduct of the College’s activities will require employees to travel from time to time on behalf of CCS. It is therefore the policy of the College to reimburse employees for all expenses that are necessary, and incurred, when traveling on authorized College business.

Reason for Policy

This policy is to establish and communicate equitable standards and effective procedures for administering and controlling travel and entertainment expenses, and ensure consistent and fair treatment of all employees who travel on CCS business. This policy’s purpose is:

  • To provide guidance to employees, and those with authority to approve expense reports, on travel and entertainment expenditures incurred on behalf of CCS
  • To ensure compliance with legal and internal control requirements
  • To identify reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses
  • To clarify employee responsibility for controlling and reporting travel and entertainment expenses.

Rationale

CCS’s Travel and Entertainment expense guidelines are based on generally accepted business practices and IRS regulations which describe those expenses that a business or an individual may legally deduct from gross income when paying Federal taxes. In addition, certain procedures and practices have been included to maintain good internal accounting controls.

Procedures

For each trip an employee takes, an expense report must be completed, approved and submitted to Business Services within ten business days of completion of the trip. Expense reports must contain a detailed description of all business expenses and appropriate receipts, to include airline boarding passes and/or a copy of the travel itinerary. Receipts are normally provided for airfare, hotel, and car rental. If not provided, you should request a receipt for meals, taxi, parking and miscellaneous items. Acceptable receipts must be original and itemized.

General

CCS wishes that its employees who are required to travel, do so in reasonable comfort. Employees are expected to exercise good judgment in distinguishing between reasonable comfort and extravagance. Employees are expected to:

  • exercise discretion and good judgment with respect to expenses
  • check for accuracy of bills prior to payment
  • report all expenses and advancements promptly and accurately with required documentation
  • if plans change and the employee does not make a trip, return all advanced funds to Business Services immediately
  • reference the list of recommended local restaurants and hotels on Blackboard for local meetings
  • plan travel in advance to insure lowest cost
  • research arriving one day before and/or staying one day later on trips if that may be less expensive and time effective (considering work schedules, air fare, hotel, and meals)
  • provide documentation for all advance cost quotes for air fare, hotel, car rental, and taxi/limo service vs mileage/parking.

Travel Guidelines

(effective May 1, 2009, all travel must be pre-approved by an officer of the College)

Air

All employees will travel the most economical fare available at all times. Reservations should provide the most economical airfare within a two hour window of requested departure and arrival times (one hour before or after requested departure and one hour before or after requested arrival). Airfare change or upgrade fees are allowable only if necessary due to College business, and approved in writing by reporting officer. Reporting officers have some discretion to approve seat only upgrades on flights over four (4) hours. Trip Protector insurance is not an allowable expense except for international travel and only with reporting officer approval. Employees are allowed one (1) piece of checked luggage on domestic flights.

Automobile

Employees must obtain prior approval from their supervisor before using personal vehicles for business trips when doing so would be more economical and time effective than traveling by air. Personal vehicle mileage will be reimbursed per the current IRS limits, which are subject to change annually, and may not exceed the cost of the most economical air fare. For evaluation purposes, employees must confirm airfare rates at the time they register or plan their trip. Personal vehicle mileage allowance covers the cost of gasoline, oil, and wear and tear of the automobile. Employees using personal vehicles must have a current Motor Vehicle Record file in Human Resources. If two or more employees are attending the same event, it is recommended that they make every effort to carpool.

Cash Advance

A cash advance may be approved for legitimate business purposes and in cases of emergency. A cash advance must be requested and approved no later than five working days in advance of any planned travel. A cash advance may not be requested prior to ten business days before the start of any planned travel. A cash advance may be used only by the person requesting it and approved for the cash advance. Cash advance balances must be cleared with a personal check or cash submitted with the expense report within ten business days of completion of the trip. Petty cash advances must be cleared with Business Services within five business days.

Car Rental

With many promotional programs constantly changing, the least expensive car should be reserved unless there is a business necessity to upgrade. Travelers should decline Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Personal Accident Insurance. This coverage is provided through our College policy. Rental cars need to be re-fueled prior to drop off to avoid the refueling and service charges.

Frequent Flyer

Frequent Flyer bonus programs and usage credits awarded by airlines, car rental agencies or hotels shall be assigned to the employee. CCS considers this a perquisite well earned by the employee. However, the employee must still travel at the lowest possible rate.

Family

Spouse or family members may accompany employees on trips, with approval from your immediate supervisor. When a spouse, companion or family travel with an employee, their travel must be accounted for, and paid for separately. The College will pay for a standard room, no upgrades. Any additional charges for spouse, companion, or family sharing a room is the employee’s responsibility. Employees must separate all expenses associated with spouse, companion, or family members, with no incremental expenses to the College.

Hotel

Reservations will be made at moderately priced establishments that will be comfortable, but not extravagant. Travelers should insure that the rate charged matches the rate on the itinerary. “No-show” bills are incurred when “guaranteed” hotel reservations are not used and have not been canceled. It is the responsibility of the traveler to cancel hotel rooms which become unnecessary due to changes in travel plans. The cancellation can be made through the travel agency or with the hotel directly. In either case, the traveler should obtain a cancellation number. Room change or upgrade fees are allowable only if necessary due to College business and approved in writing by a reporting officer. Personal upgrades and changes are not reimbursable.

Local Transportation

Employees are expected to use their own transportation when traveling to/from home and/or CCS campus to Metro Airport or other local sites. CCS or the employee’s home, whichever is less mileage, is considered the home base for local trips. Mileage will be reimbursed from the home base to the local site. Limousine services (e.g. Checker, Metro Cars) are not to be used when traveling to/from CCS or the employee’s home and Metro Airport unless the cost is less than the cost for mileage and airport parking. Employees are expected to use the most economical ground transportation when traveling to and from airports and hotels while out of town. Taxi, rental car, bus, and van are all acceptable. Travelers should always ask if the hotel at which they are staying provides a shuttle service to and from the airport.

Meals

While traveling, employees should eat at moderately priced restaurants. The actual cost of meals, including tips, incurred while traveling on CCS business is reimbursable. Up to twenty (20%) percent of the meal cost is the maximum tip in the U. S. The tip or “service” is often included in the meal cost at certain restaurants. Alcoholic beverages are limited to one (1) per person with any meal. Employees are expected to exercise discretion and good judgement with respect to meals, alcoholic beverages and tipping.

Parking

Discounted parking rates are available at lots around Detroit Metropolitan Airport. These lots provide parking for about one half the cost of parking at airport lots. All of these lots provide 24/7 shuttle service to all terminals. Online coupons for one day free parking are available at their websites. Discounted parking is available at these lots:

Employees should not park in Detroit Metropolitan Airport lots and valet parking is not allowed as it is approximately twice the cost of long-term lots.

Telephone

Telephone and Internet access from hotel rooms should be used only as necessary and with discretion. Personal phone calls should be limited to one call per day, except for emergencies or special circumstances. Cell phones and pre-paid calling cards are low-cost options.

International Travel

Employees on international travel should always use their credit card and not cash for expenses. Credit card use insures charges are processed at the current exchange rate on the day the charges were incurred. This eliminates the need to research the exchange rate when the expense report is processed.

Entertainment

Entertainment is defined in this policy as limited to entertainment when traveling on College business. Employees will be reimbursed for the actual cost of entertainment, when such expenses have been determined reasonable and beneficial to the College. Entertainment must conform to current tax and legal requirements. Discretion must be used as to levels of entertainment. Unreasonable entertainment expenses will not be reimbursed. When an employee pays the expense of any other person who is not an employee of the College, the expenses of all persons in attendance, including CCS employees, are to be listed on the expense report and itemized receipt. Spouses or partners expenses are not eligible for reimbursement, unless approved in advance by a reporting officer.

Expenses not Authorized

The following is given as a guide, and not necessarily a complete list, of expenses that are not reimbursable:

  • alcoholic beverages not part of a meal, with discretion allowed for College officers to approve appropriate entertainment
  • alcoholic beverages in excess of one (1) per person at any meal
  • alcoholic beverages at department meeting or events
  • tobacco products
  • minibar expenses
  • snack food
  • personal care (spas, medication – laundry is allowed up to a maximum of $50 for domestic trips longer than 7 days and for international travel)
    personal entertainment (movies in hotels or on flights)
  • personal items (books, dvds, newspapers, magazines, maps, personal care items, souvenirs, etc.)
  • parking or traffic tickets
  • rental car GPS charges, unless approved in advance by a reporting officer.
  • airline or travel insurance; Trip Protector insurance except for
  • international travel with officer pre-approval
  • valet parking at airports
  • ATM fees
  • gifts to employees or departments

Exceptions

In unusual business circumstances, actual expenses that are incurred, and that are not covered by this policy, are subject to approval and/or adjustment by the Vice President of Administration and Finance or the President.

Federal Income Tax Regulations and Compliance

Employee’s will appreciate that, if the Travel and Entertainment Policy is to work to everyone’s best interest, each employee must be responsible for supporting and complying with it in both spirit and letter. To meet IRS requirements, travel and entertainment expenses must adhere to the following conditions:

  • the expenditure must be shown to be ordinary and necessary in the course of business
  • original, itemized receipts, no photocopies, must be submitted
    • credit card statements or non-itemized receipts are not acceptable
    • credit card receipts with only a total amount are not reimbursable
    • ATM receipts for cash are not acceptable
  • the expenditure must actually be incurred, and supported with exact and detailed records, verifying the names, amount, date and location, business purpose and business relationship of the person entertained (name, company, title)
  • name, title and company affiliation of those present
  • employees must account for all travel expenditures by submitting a complete and accurate Expense Report within 10 business days after the completion of a trip or business event
  • incomplete reports and those lacking receipts, approvals, or other required documentation, will be returned, delaying reimbursement
  • no reimbursement will be made for expenses incurred in violation of the Travel and Entertainment Policy
  • Expense Reports will be monitored and audited on a regular basis to ensure adherence to the provisions of the Travel and Entertainment Policy
    non-compliance may result in disciplinary action

Approvals

The Internal Revenue Code specifically states that an individual may not approve his/her own expense report. Immediate supervisors must approve cash advances, expense reports, and travel related expenses charged to the College Corporate American Express and Master Card of employees reporting to them. Additionally, Deans and Vice Presidents must approve cash advances, expense reports, and Corporate American Express and Master Card charges for faculty and staff in their division. It is the responsibility of the approving individual to determine if the advance and expense was:

  • ordinary and necessary for the benefit of the College and within budget;
    properly substantiated to meet CCS policy.
  • The Expense Report will be further reviewed and approved by Business Services, for conformance to both College policy and IRS regulations. All Expense Reports over $1,000 will require approval by the Administration and Finance division. Individual expenses not approved will be returned and be the responsibility of the employee. The employee will be required to complete and resubmit a new Travel and Expense Report.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Purpose

The College affords eligible employees family or medical leave in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  All rights and obligations under the FMLA and this policy are interpreted according to the law.  All leave of absence, including workers’ compensation, temporary disability and FMLA leaves, will be coordinated and will run concurrently as allowed by law.

The Leave Policy

You may be eligible for a job-protected, unpaid leave of absence for up to twelve (12) weeks each leave year if you:

  1. have been employed by CCS for at least 12 months (the months need not be consecutive);
  2. worked at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months immediately preceding the leave; and
  3. are taking the leave for a qualifying reason.

A leave year is defined as the rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date you first took FMLA leave.  During FMLA leave, you will be entitled to group health benefits as if you were still working.  Upon completion of FMLA leave, you will be restored to your same or equivalent job with the same pay, benefits and conditions of employment.  After 12 weeks, the FMLA provisions regarding job restoration do not apply.  If your leave exceeds 12 weeks, your right to job restoration and/or benefits, if any, will be determined by CCS’s existing policies and any applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Please note that CCS’s short-term and long-term disability plans are income protection plans for eligible employees and do not guarantee a job, or any particular job, following an absence.

Reasons for Leave

FMLA leave may be taken for any of the following reasons:

  1. the birth of a son or daughter and in order to care for such child;
  2. the placement of a child with you for adoption or foster care;
  3. to care for your spouse, child or parent (“covered relation”) with a serious health condition; or
  4. because your own serious health condition renders you unable to perform the essential functions of your position.
  5. because of a “qualifying exigency” arising out of active duty or a call to covered active duty of a covered relation in the Armed Forces or:
  6. to care for a covered relation or next of kin who is a covered service member and has incurred a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves.

FMLA leave may not exceed 12 weeks per leave year, except where the leave is to care for an injured or ill service member, in which case an eligible employee may take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for the service member.  Leave to care for an injured or ill service member, when combined with other FMLA-qualifying leave, may not exceed 26 weeks on a single 12-month period.  A leave to care for a newborn son or daughter or due to the placement with you of a foster or adopted son or daughter must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement.  Spouses who both work for CCS will be entitled to a combined 12 weeks of FMLA in a given leave year when leave is take for the birth of a child, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or care of a parent with a serious health condition.  Similarly, spouses who both work for the College may take only a combined 26 workweeks of leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

A child includes a biological, adopted, foster or stepchild (or legal ward) who is under 18 years old.  Children over 18 who are incapable of self-care because of physical or mental disability are also included.  (However, where leave is due to a qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or a call to active duty or to care for an injured or ill service member, there is no age limit on the child).  A “parent” includes your biological parent or person who stood in the position of parent to you when you were a child.  A parent does not include your spouse’s parent.

“Spouse” as defined in the FMLA, means a husband or wife as defined or recognized in the state where the individual was married and includes individuals in a same-sex marriage or common law marriage.  Spouse also includes a husband or wife in a marriage that was validly entered into outside of the United States if the marriage could have been entered into in at least one state.

A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.  Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.  Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.

A “qualifying exigency” means short-notice deployment (notice of seven days or less), military events, child care and school activities, financial and legal arrangements, counseling, rest and recuperation, post-deployment activities, and additional activities where CCS and the employee agree.

“Covered active duty” means, in the case of a member of a regular component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country, and, in the case of a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty.

A “covered service member” is (1)  a member of the Armed Forces, including the National guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise in the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness or (2) a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, at any time during the period of five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.

A “serious injury or illness” is one that was incurred in the line of duty on active duty (or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty) and that may render the service member medically unfit to perform duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.  With respect to a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces at any time during the period of five years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, a serious injury or illness means that qualifying injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty on active duty or existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Use of Paid Leave

In general, FMLA leave is unpaid.  However, CCS generally requires that you substitute any paid leave (assuming you are eligible for paid leave) for unpaid leave.  Your entitlement to up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave will run concurrently with any workers’ compensation or temporary disability absence as long as the criteria for a serious health condition is met.  You may use any available unused paid time off (PTO) to supplement your worker’s compensation or temporary disability pay, up to 100% of your regular pay.

Notice of Leave

If it is foreseeable that you will need FMLA leave, you must give CCS at least 30 days’ advance written notice.  If your need for FMLA leave, or the timing of the leave, is unforeseeable, you must give CCS notice as soon as practicable, generally within two business days after the need for leave becomes known to you.  You are also expected to comply with CCS’s normal call-in or reporting practices and procedures.  Failure to give the required notice may result in the delay of your leave.  If the leave is due to planned medical treatment, you must make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment to minimize disruption to CCS.  Requests for leave must be submitted to Human Resources and forms are available in that office.

Medical and Family Certificates

If you request leave because of your own or a covered relation’s serious health condition, you and the relevant health care provider must supply an appropriate medical certification to CCS.  You may obtain Medical Certification forms from Human Resources.  Generally, for foreseeable leave, any required medical certification must be provided to Human Resources before your leave begins, unless it is impractical to do so, in which case a medical certification must be provided as soon as possible. Also, if the leave is for the birth, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or care of a covered relation, CCS may require you to provide reasonable documentation or a statement confirming the family relationship.  In addition, if you are requesting leave for a qualifying exigency related to military service, you may be required to provide an appropriate certification.  Failure to timely provide the requested medical certification or other documentation may result in a delay or denial of your leave.

CCS may, at its discretion and expense, require an examination by a second health care provider designated by CCS.  If the second health care provider’s opinion conflicts with the original medical certification, CCS may require a third, mutually acceptable health care provider to conduct an examination and provide a binding opinion.  (Second and third opinions will not be requested for a covered service member’s serious injury or illness, however.)

Notice:  The Genetic Information nondiscrimination act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law.  To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to requests for medical information.  “Genetic information” as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.

Reporting During Leave and Upon Return From Leave

If you take an FMLA leave due to your own or a covered relation’s serious health condition, CCS will require you to provide medical re-certifications, at reasonable intervals during your leave, generally not more than every 30 days. While on an FMLA leave, you must periodically report on your status and intent to return to work.  If the circumstances precipitating the need for an FMLA leave change while you are on leave, you must promptly notify the Human Resources office in writing of those changes, generally within two (2) business days.

CCS will require you to provide a certificate of fitness to return to work, which may address your ability to perform the essential functions of your job, at your expense, when your leave was due to your own serious health condition. A fitness to return to work certificate will not be required if the leave was taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. Failure to timely provide the above status reports, re-certifications or fitness to return to work certificates may result in the delay or denial of leave, or restoration to your position.

Medical and Other Benefits During Leave

During an approved FMLA leave, CCS will maintain your group health benefits as if you continue to work. All other benefits will be maintained in accord with CCS established policies.  Paid time off (PTO) days do not accrue during leaves of absence, including FMLA and temporary disability absences (except during the time period that the leave is being covered by PTO).

If you normally pay a portion of your group health or other elective benefit premium, and if you are on a paid leave, CCS will deduct your portion of the health plan premium as a regular payroll deduction.  If your leave is unpaid, you must pay your portion of the premium to the Human Resources office by the 20th day of the month prior to the month the premium will cover.  Failure to timely pay your portion of the premium may result in termination of coverage, provided you are notified in advance that coverage will lapse.  If CCS pays your portion of any elective benefit premium or group health premium during your leave, CCS will seek reimbursement from you when you return to work.

If you do not return to work at the end of the leave period, you will be required to reimburse CCS for its share of the premiums paid for maintaining your group health benefits during any unpaid leave, unless you cannot return to work due to a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond your control.

Intermittent and Reduced Schedule Leave

Leave may be taken intermittently (in separate blocks of time due to a single health condition) or on a reduced leave schedule (reducing the usual number of hours you work) when medically necessary.  Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt CCS’s operations.  Leave for qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.

If your leave is unpaid, CCS will reduce your salary as permitted by law based upon the amount of time actually worked.  In some situations, while you are on an intermittent or reduced schedule leave, CCS may temporarily transfer you to an available alternative position (with equivalent pay and benefits) that better accommodates your leave request.  Intermittent or reduced schedule leave to care for a newborn child or child placed with you for adoption or foster care requires prior consent of CCS (unless the leave is due to a serious health condition).

Special FMLA Rules Applicable to Instructional Employees

The FMLA contains special rules for instructional employees who seek intermittent leave or a leave near the end of an academic term.  “Instructional employees” include, for example, faculty members. Generally, teacher assistants and counselors are not considered instructional employees.  The purpose of the special rules is to avoid undue disruption to students.  If the special rules apply to you, CCS may require you to remain on leave until the end of the semester.  If you have requested intermittent or reduced schedule leave, CCS may require that you take leave in a block of time or it may temporarily transfer you to another position.  If you have any questions regarding these special FMLA rules and whether they apply to you, contact Human Resources.

Additional Information

The FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the existence of any right provided under the FMLA or discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.  An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.  FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede and State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.  If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Human Resources.

CCS reserves the right to modify this policy when circumstances warrant modification, or to change any provision of this policy as determined by CCS in its discretion, consistent with the FMLA and any other applicable law.

Electronic Communications

CCS continues to adopt and make use of new means of communication and information exchange. This means that many of our employees have access to one or more forms of electronic media and services, including: computers, e-mail, telephones, voice mail, fax machines, external electronic forums, wire services, on-line services, the Internet, and the World Wide Web.

CCS encourages the use of these media and associated services because they can make communication more efficient and effective and because they are valuable sources of information. However, all employees and everyone connected with CCS must be aware that electronic media and services provided by CCS are for the purpose of facilitating and supporting CCS educational and business use.

This policy cannot establish rules to cover every possible situation. Instead, it is designed to support CCS’s Mission Statement and set forth general principles employees should apply when using electronic media and services.

The following procedures apply to all electronic media and services that are:

  • accessed on or from CCS premises;
  • accessed using CCS computer equipment or via CCS paid access methods; or
  • used in a manner that identifies the individual with CCS.

Prohibited Communications

Electronic media cannot be used for knowingly transmitting, retrieving, or storing any communications that are:

  • discriminatory, annoying, or harassing;
  • derogatory to any individual or group;
  • offensive, obscene, defamatory, or threatening;
  • attempting to test, circumvent, or defeat security or auditing systems;
  • SPAMMING, the method of mass distribution of communications, that does not support CCS related business;
  • engaged in for any purpose that is illegal, fraudulent, malicious, or contrary to CCS policy or educational and business interests.
  • CCS reserves the right for interpretation of the above prohibited communications.

Personal Use

Electronic media and services are provided by CCS primarily for employees’ educational and business use. Limited, occasional, or incidental use of electronic media (sending or receiving) for personal, non-business purposes is understandable. Personal use of CCS’s electronic media and services cannot interfere with an employees’ position responsibilities. Employees are expected to demonstrate a sense of responsibility and not abuse this privilege.

Access to Employee Communications

CCS does not routinely access or monitor employee communications directly. However, individual use patterns – telephone numbers called, sites accessed, call length, and time at which calls are made – are monitored for the following purposes:

  • cost analysis;
  • resource allocation;
  • optimum technical management of information resources; and
  • detecting patterns of use that indicate employees are violating CCS policies or engaging in illegal activity

CCS reserves the right to review any employee’s electronic files and messages at any time to ensure electronic media and services are being used in compliance with the law, this policy, and other CCS policies. Employees should not assume that electronic communications are private.

Software Use

CCS licenses the use of various computer software for educational and business purposes and does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation. The employees of CCS, do not have the right to reproduce such software for use on more than one computer, or use the software for purposes other than those authorized by the license.

Employees may only use software on local area networks or on multiple machines according to the software license agreement. CCS prohibits the illegal duplication of software and its related documentation.

Security / Appropriate Use

Employees must respect the confidentiality of other individuals’ electronic communications. Except in cases in which authorization has been granted by CCS management, employees are prohibited from engaging in, or attempting to engage in:

  • monitoring or intercepting the files or electronic communications of other employees or third parties;
  • hacking or obtaining access to systems or accounts they are not authorized to use;
  • using other people’s log-ins or passwords; and
  • breaching, testing, or monitoring computer or network security measures

No e-mail or other electronic communications can be sent using CCS equipment that attempt to hide the identity of the sender or represent the sender as someone else.

Electronic media and services should not be used in a manner that is likely to cause network congestion or significantly hamper the ability of other people to access and use the system.

Anyone obtaining electronic access to other organizations’ or individuals’ materials must respect all copyrights and cannot copy, retrieve, modify, or forward copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the copyright owner.

Confidential Information

The confidentiality of student and employee records is protected by state and federal laws. No employee may access confidential information unless authorized to do so. CCS confidential information should never be transmitted or forwarded to outside individuals or organizations without authorization. Employees are required and expected to protect CCS confidential information.

Participation in On-Line Forums

Employees must be aware that any messages or information sent on CCS provided facilities to one or more individuals via an electronic network (i.e.: Internet mailing lists, bulletin boards, and other on-line services) are statements identifiable and attributable to CCS.

CCS recognizes that participation in some forums might be important to the performance of certain employees’ positions. Employees should include the following disclaimer in all of their postings to public forums:

The views, opinions, and judgments expressed in this message are solely those of the author. The message contents have not been reviewed or approved by CCS.

Employees should note that, even with a disclaimer, connection with CCS exists and a statement could be imputed legally to CCS. Therefore, employees should not rely on disclaimers as a way of insulating CCS from the comments and opinions they contribute to forums. Instead, employees must limit their discussion to matters of fact and avoid expressing opinions while using CCS systems or a CCS provided account. Communications must not reveal information about CCS’s business or confidential information and must not otherwise conflict with this or other CCS policies.

Policy Violations

Employees who abuse or violate the privilege of CCS facilitated access to electronic media or services are subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.

Employee Conflict of Interest

CCS administrative staff should avoid situations where their own interests materially conflict with their obligations to CCS, or create the perception of a conflict. All decisions and actions by administrative staff in the course of their professional responsibilities are to be made consistent with their obligations to CCS.

Generally, a conflict of interest arises when an administrative staff member has a personal or financial interest in a transaction or event – or is a party to a transaction or event – that might adversely affect his or her judgment in performing professional or employment duties for CCS. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Engaging in any business with, or employment by, an employer that is in competition or in conflict with any transaction, activity, or objective of CCS.
  2. Engaging in business with or employment by a supplier of goods or services to CCS without prior approval of CCS.
  3. Using equipment, supplies, or services owned or provided by CCS in conjunction with any external work, without obtaining prior agreement in writing from CCS.
  4. Making use of any confidential information acquired through employment with CCS for personal profit or advantage, or the advantage of a third-party.
  5. Publicly associating CCS or its prestige with an outside business interest for personal gain.

Administrative staff members who believe they have a financial, personal or professional interest that is (or could potentially become) a conflict of interest must fully disclose the nature of the potential conflict in writing to the Director of Human Resources. All decisions concerning whether a conflict of interest exists are within the sole discretion of CCS.

Confidentiality

Due to the nature of the College’s work, you may be privy to confidential information. Certain information is required to be confidential by law, while other material must remain confidential in order to comply with contracts or good professional practice.

If you have access to confidential information, you must not disclose it to anyone inside or outside the College unless express authorization has been obtained from the College. If you have any questions about the confidentiality of the work you perform or the information that you receive, either in written or verbal form, please contact your supervisor or the director of Human Resources.

Intellectual Property Rights

Policy Goals

The College for Creative Studies (“the College” or “CCS”) is committed to nurturing students’ creative and intellectual abilities. This is best done in an environment that encourages exploration and experimentation and in which artistic and academic freedom are respected and protected. As artists, designers, writers, and scholars, the College’s faculty and students continually produce creative works in the course of their academic activities. These works constitute Intellectual Property (“IP”). It is important that the rights to ownership and use of this Intellectual Property are understood by all members of the CCS community and by those members of the public who support their work. This policy explains those rights. It proceeds from the basic principles that the College’s primary responsibility is the education of its students and not the commercialization of their work, and that creators should in general retain intellectual property rights in their works subject to reasonable use rights held by various members of the CCS community. The policy is intended to promote innovation and excellence in educational and artistic pursuits, to encourage the best educational experiences for students, to allow faculty and students to reap the benefits of their own creativity, and to enable the College to celebrate the work of its faculty and students in order to promote the College to its varied constituencies.

Policy Overview

This policy covers work created at or in connection with CCS and sets forth the intellectual property rights of faculty, students, staff, and CCS in that work. It describes the categories of works subject to the policy and specifies the ownership and usage rights for each of those categories. This policy also describes when and how the ownership and usage rights applying to a particular work may be changed, typically by mutual agreement of the relevant parties.

Categories of Works

Several categories of Works that may be subject to Intellectual Property Rights are covered by this policy. “Works” refers to all designs, works of authorship, works of art, literary works, writings, student theses, inventions, software, discoveries, and other work products that may be subject to Intellectual Property Rights. The categories include the following:

  • “Scholarly and Artistic Works”—Works created by faculty or students in the scope of their respective employment or student status at the College, including instructional materials produced by faculty for use in the course of classroom and studio activities, Works of art or scholarship produced by faculty or students in the course of classroom and studio activities, and other Works created using more than a minimal amount of CCS facilities or equipment.
  • “Sponsored Works”—Works created by faculty or students with the sponsorship or special support of a Sponsor pursuant to a written sponsorship agreement.
  • “Commissioned Works”—Works created by faculty or students at the specific request of CCS and not in the course of their individual scholarly, academic, and artistic pursuits, including materials created for use in or as CCS publications and promotional materials, logos, graphic or other designs, commemorative items, and the like.
  • “Administrative Works”—Works created by faculty in the course and scope of their employment other than Scholarly and Artistic Works, Sponsored Works, and Commissioned Works, including evaluations of student work, correspondence and memos, materials prepared in connection with work on CCS committees, materials created for use in CCS bulletins, brochures, and catalogs, and the like; and Works created by staff (including student employees) in the course and scope of their employment.
  • “Non-Covered Works”—Works created by faculty, staff, or students outside the scope of their employment or student status at the College using minimal or no CCS facilities or equipment, without the sponsorship or support of a Sponsor, and not created at the request of CCS.

General Rules on Intellectual Property Ownership and Usage

The following explains who owns the intellectual property rights in the Works described above:

  • Faculty own the IP Rights in their own Scholarly and Artistic Works.
  • Students own the IP Rights in their own Scholarly and Artistic Works. However, in a case where the College provides resources in the development of a Work that go beyond what the College typically provides to students in their daily academic activities, the College may share in the ownership of the IP Rights in that Work.
  • Ownership of IP Rights in Sponsored Works is determined by a written agreement between the College and the Sponsor. Sponsored Projects are accepted in CCS classes only when they provide educational value and are approved by the course instructor and department chair. In cases where the College agrees to transfer to or share with a Sponsor the ownership of the IP Rights in a Sponsored Work or Works produced by students, the College will inform students of this agreement prior to the commencement of the Sponsored Project and will obtain their informed consent to the terms of the agreement. If a student is unwilling to relinquish his/her IP Rights, the College will find an equivalent class in which the student can enroll. Students should never be coerced into taking a class with a Sponsored Project or relinquishing their IP Rights. Regardless of who owns the IP Rights in Sponsored Works, students must be permitted to include the Work products in their portfolios for purposes of self-promotion, subject to certain limitations in Sponsorship agreements, such as removing company logos.
  • CCS owns all Intellectual Property Rights in all Commissioned Works and all Administrative Works.
  • CCS does not claim any ownership or use rights in Non-Covered Works.

Use Rights

Although the IP Rights in a Work may be owned by an individual, a Sponsor, or the College under this policy, others may have the right to make use of that Work or the IP rights to it. These rights are called “Use Rights” and are as follows:

  • Faculty and Students have the right to make, distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use reproductions of, and make derivative works based on, their own Works for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes, as examples of their own work, and for purposes of exhibition.
  • Faculty also have the right to make photographic or similar representational reproductions of their students’ Works; and to distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use those reproductions for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes and as examples of their students’ work.
  • CCS has the right to make, distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use photographic or similar representational reproductions of faculty and student Works for noncommercial purposes of education, scholarship, exhibition, accreditation, development, alumni relations, promotion, and the like; as examples of faculty and student work; and for inclusion in CCS’s permanent collection and archives.
  • A Sponsor has the right to make, distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use reproductions of, and make derivative works based on, Works for commercial and non-commercial purposes pursuant to the terms of a written sponsorship agreement.

Modification of the General Rules With Respect to Particular Works

It is anticipated that members of the CCS community may on occasion wish to modify the General Rules of this Policy with respect to specific Works, particularly in cases involving Sponsored Works. Such modification is allowed if all of the parties having an ownership interest in the Work under the applicable General Rules agree in writing to the desired modification. The burden of seeking and obtaining such written agreement is on the party seeking the modification. If all of the parties having rights in the Work under the applicable General Rules are unable to reach a written agreement, then the allocation of ownership and usage rights in the Work provided by the relevant General Rule will remain in effect.

Patent Policy

In a case where the College shares in the ownership of the IP Rights in a student’s Work, the College may, from time to time, at its own initiative or upon request, elect to pursue the registration of a patent on the Work in one or more jurisdictions, and shall do so entirely at CCS’s cost; no creators of a Work shall be charged or assessed any fees or cost in connection with that registration. In furtherance of this policy, the creator(s) of the Work may be required to execute formal paperwork relating to the registration process, and CCS shall be responsible for the costs associated with execution. CCS will share with the creator(s) of the Work any monetary proceeds that are derived from the patented Work, according to an agreement that the College will reach with the creators, prior to filing the patent application. Any third parties interested in licensing a Work for commercialization should consult the Senior Director for Corporate Relations in the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Procedures

This policy will be administered by the Office of the Provost. The Provost will establish procedures to be adopted by CCS to ensure compliance with this policy, including a procedure for considering in a timely manner any questions, objections, complaints, or other challenges arising from or relating to this policy. We welcome any questions or concerns that you may have concerning this policy or its application.

This policy is complete and effective as of the date set out above, and may be amended from time to time by the Provost in consultation with the faculty and with the approval of the President and Board of Trustees. This policy and all amendments thereto will be published on and made available through the CCS Blackboard website. Amendments will be effective as of their date of publication.

Social Security Number Privacy

The College for Creative Studies, in order to properly secure and protect employee Social Security number/identification information, holds all employees that use or have access to any employee’s Social Security number and information to the highest degree of confidentiality.

In addition to the College’s normal security and confidentiality policy/practices, employees are prohibited from accessing, viewing or using other employees’ Social Security information. No employee is permitted to access or use Social Security numbers without express permission of the College.

Only authorized personnel may access records and documents, both internal and external, that contain employee Social Security number and identification information.

Any employee who accesses Social Security data without authorization, or for illegal purposes, shall be disciplined up to and including termination and, if illegal intent is determined, referred to authorities for possible criminal prosecution.

All documents and records containing Social Security numbers and information will be kept in a secure environment with need to know access by authorized personnel only. When necessary, documents containing this and other confidential information will be properly destroyed through shredding or other means before disposal.

Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment

The College for Creative Studies subscribes to the principle of equal opportunity in its employment, admissions, and educational programs and activities and strives to provide an educational environment and workplace free from unlawful harassment or discrimination. The College is committed to an inclusive community that respects and values all its members, including students, faculty, and staff. This Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (including Title IX) (“Policy”) prohibits discrimination, including harassment, because of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability or any other characteristic protected by law. This prohibition includes discrimination and harassment based on the perception of an individual’s protected status, even if that perception is incorrect. It also prohibits misconduct related to protected status discrimination and harassment specifically, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The Policy applies to the administration of employment and educational policies, practices, programs, and activities.

The Policy also prohibits retaliation against an individual: (1) who files a complaint or report of discrimination, harassment, or related misconduct; (2) against whom a complaint is filed; (3) who participates in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of possible violations of this Policy; or (4) who engages in good faith opposition to what the individual reasonably believes to be discrimination, harassment, or related misconduct under this Policy. The Policy should be read in a way consistent with all applicable federal and state laws addressing discrimination, harassment, and related misconduct.

This Policy specifically prohibits sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender- based harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. In some cases, this conduct is also prohibited by or included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and/or the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. Sexual misconduct represents a serious breach of the College’s commitment to fostering a positive educational and working environment. An individual who violates this Policy may also be subject to criminal prosecution and civil litigation in addition to College disciplinary procedures. As described in the annual security report (see “Sexual Assault/Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Programs”), with the intent of ending sexual misconduct, the College conducts primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees.

The Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion is responsible for administering this Policy and its implementing procedures. The Title IX Coordinator is the College’s designated Coordinator for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Dean of Students is the Coordinator for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for educational matters and for the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; and the Human Resources Director is the Section 504 Coordinator for employment matters.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students the certain rights with respect to their educational records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the College for Creative Studies (CCS) receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.  The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

    A student who wishes to ask CCS to amend a record should write the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it should be changed.

    If CCS decides not to amend the record as requested, the Registrar will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before CCS discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student —
    • To other school officials, including faculty, within CCS whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes Board of Trustees, a student serving on an official committee, contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
    • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
    • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
    • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
    • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
    • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
    • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
    • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
    • Information the school has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11)).  CCS defines the following as “directory information:”
      • Name
      • Dates of Attendance
      • Graduation Date
      • Major/Academic Program
      • Degrees, honors, and awards received
    • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))


Information for Dual Enrolled High School Students

A student attending a postsecondary institution – at any age – the rights under FERPA have transferred to the student. However, in a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and a postsecondary institution, the two schools may exchange information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parents still retain the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records sent by the postsecondary institution to the high school.

Student Information Release Authorization

To release PII to a parent, another individual, or organization, the Student Information Release Authorization must be completed and signed.  This form is available in the Academic Advising and Registration Office (AARO).

Request to Withhold Release of Directory Information

To request to withhold the release of directory information, the Request to Withhold Release of Directory Information must be completed and signed.  This form is available in the Academic Advising and Registration Office (AARO).

Complaints

Students have right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by CCS to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, DC 20202

Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is meant to provide fair and equitable treatment of the disabled through non-discriminatory practices and reasonable accommodations.

The ADA protects people who are disabled – defined as anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.  The law protects both job applicants and employees.

CCS supports and follows the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Michigan law, as stated in the law. It is CCS’s policy not to discriminate against any qualified employee or applicant with regard to any terms or conditions of employment because of such individual’s disability or perceived disability so long as the employee can perform the essential functions of the job.  In addition, CCS provides reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with a disability in accordance with the ADA and other applicable laws, except where such an accommodation is unreasonable or would create an undue hardship on CCS.  Reasonable accommodation may also be provided to pregnant employees, even where they do not qualify as disabled under the ADA or state law.

Employees with a disability who believe they need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job should contact Human Resources.  Requests for accommodation should be made as soon as possible after the need is known.  Under Michigan law, the request for reasonable accommodation must be made in writing within 182 days of knowing of the need for such accommodation.

Employees who believe they or another employee have been treated in violation of this policy should follow the reporting procedure set forth above in the College’s Policy on Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment.