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.

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.

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.

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.