FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Any employee who works at least eighty (80) hours per year in New York city is eligible to use sick leave after 120 hours of service. Part Time Employees earn one (1) hour of sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.

It depends on a couple of factors like your Original Hire Date and employee classification. Please refer to our Vacation Leave Policy or contact your HR Department Representative for assistance.

If you believe you will be absent from work due to injury or illness for more than five (5) days, please refer to our Disability Policy and contact the Benefits Team at benefits@tc.columbia.edu.

No. Bereavement leave is eligible for Full-Time employees who experience the passing of an immediate relative. Please refer to our Bereavement Leave Policy for more information.

Our Jury Duty Policy outlines that full-time and part-time professional staff, interim employees, Doctoral Research Fellows, Graduate Assistants, Course Assistants, and Administrative Fellows are eligible to receive pay for jury duty with certification of service.

Please review the Tuition Exemption Policy for further guidance on the eligibility. You may also contact the Benefits team at benefits@tc.columbia.edu.

 

No, the job-related tax exemption only applies to TC employees using the tuition exempt benefit for their own education. You may review the the Tuition Exemption Policy for further information.

 

 

2110 Union Benefits


2110 members are eligible to enroll in GHI/EmblemHealth medical.

2110 members are eligible to enroll in GHI/EmblemHealth dental.

 

The insurer for the vision plan is EyeMed.

 

 

  1. Legally married spouse as defined under Federal law
  2. Mentally or physically disabled adult dependent children who live with you and who are primarily dependent on you for support
  3. Dependent children up to the age listed below:
    1. Medical: up to age 26 (through the end of of birth date month
    2. Dental: up to age 19 or age 22 if FT student (through the end of the year at age 19 and through the end month of birth date at age 22)
    3. Vision: up to age 19 or age 24 if FT student (through the end of month of birth date

You can enroll in benefits through the myTC Benefits portal.

 

Yes, 2110 union members are eligible for benefits after 90 days of employment.  Employees must enroll within the first 30 days of employment.

 

A Healthcare FSA can be used to pay for qualifying medical, dental, prescription and vision expenses.  Requires an annual election and funds do not roll over from year to year.  Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis, therefore providing a tax savings.

 

A Dependent FSA can be used for eligible dependent care services such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs for children under age 13, and for your spouse or dependent who is physically or mentally not able to care for himself or herself.  Requires an annual election and funds do not roll over from year to year.  Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis, therefore providing a tax savings.

 

The Basic Life Insurance and AD&D policy is in the amount of $20,000 for FT 2110 union members and $15,000 to PT 2110 union members.  Employees are auto-enrolled and there is no cost to the employee.

 

 

Teachers College offers supplemental life insurance for the employee, spouse and children.  You must elect coverage and pay premiums per policy.

 

 

The commuter benefit is can be used for transit expenses such as MetroCard, MetroNorth, LIRR, NJ Transit, commuter buses,  etc.  It can also be used for parking expenses.  There is a pre-tax limit, which may vary by year.  Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis, therefore providing a tax savings.

2110 members can participate in the Teachers College 403(b) Plan.  Only SRA contributions are allowed.  Additionally, 2110 members are eligible for the Teachers College Non-Academic Retirement Plan (pension plan).

 

You can open your account through the TIAA website http://www.tiaa.org/tc

 

You will need to submit a Salary Reduction Agreement Form with your election to Human Resources.

 

You will automatically be enrolled after 1 year of service provided that you have worked 1,000 or more hours in that year.  After five years of service, employees become fully vested provided they have worked 1,000 or more hours every year.

 

You are eligible for tuition exemption after three months of service.  If the end of the waiting period falls within a semester, the benefit is pro-rated.

 

FT 2110 union members are eligible for 12 credits per academic year at TC, and 9 credits per academic year at Columbia (if enrolled in a degree-granting program).  PT 2110 union members are eligible for 3 credits per semester at TC or 2 credits per semester at Columbia.

 

2110 union members can use the unused portion of their tuition exemption benefit at TC only.

Current tax law requires employees to pay taxes on a graduate tuition exemption benefits if it exceeds $5,250 per calendar year.  The College will withhold taxes on such benefits during the calendar year in which it is used.  If the degree is related to your position at TC, the tuition tax may be waived.  Proper documentation is required.

 

Yes.  There is tuition assistance for undergraduate.  Also, a dependent child is eligible to receive full tuition for graduate school if enrolled at TC only.

Contact information for our benefits vendors is as follows: 

Plan

Who to Call

Phone Number

Website

Medical

GHI/Emblem

800-624-2414

Dental

GHI/Emblem

800-624-2414

Vision

EyeMed

800-723-0513

Life & Disability

The Standard

800-628-8600 (Life)

800-426-4332 (Disability)

Flexible Spending Accounts and Commuter

WageWorks

877-924-3967

Retirement

TIAA

800-842-2733

Pension

Mercer

888-824-2391

 

Employee Assistance Program

MHN

855-789-5915

  • advantageengagement.com

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal labor law that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.

The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the preceding 12 months or fifty-two (52) weeks. The 12 months, or 52 weeks, need not have been consecutive.

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

  • The birth of the employee's child and in order to care for that child.
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care.
  • To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
  • The serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their position. 
  • For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.

Yes, you will continue with group health insurance coverage while on FMLA leave under the same terms and conditions as if you have not taken leaveHowever, if you contribute to the cost of your voluntary insurance, you will need to authorize deductions from your pay before or after your FMLA leave. Failure to submit premiums will result in a cancellation of coverage.

When it is medically necessary, employees may take FMLA leave intermittently – taking leave in separate blocks of time for a single qualifying reason or on a reduced leave schedule.

 

If the need for leave is foreseeable, employees must request a leave at least 30 days in advance of the date on which you intend to begin a leave of absence.  If you are unable to foresee the need for leave 30 days in advance, then you provide notice as soon as reasonably possible. If you require a leave, you must complete a Leave Request Form.

A FMLA medical certification form should be completed by you and your health care provider

Submit both forms to Evelyn Fernandez in the Human Resources Department.

 

The New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides workers with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is deployed abroad on active military service. You may be eligible to take up to ten weeks of paid family leave and receive 60 percent of the NYS weekly average wage (determined annually)

 

Full-time employees: Employees who work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.

 

Part-time employees: Employees who work a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after working 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive. Employees with irregular schedules should look at their average schedule to determine if they work, on average, fewer than 20 hours per week.

You can take Paid Family Leave to care for a close family member with a serious health condition, including family members outside of New York State.  

Family members include:

  • spouse
  • domestic partner (including same and different gender couples; legal registration not required)
  • child/stepchild and anyone for whom you have legal custody
  • parent/stepparent
  • parent-in-law
  • grandparent
  • grandchild

Coverage may continue while on Paid Family Leave on the same terms as if you continued to work.  However, if you contribute to the cost of your voluntary insurance, you will need to authorize deductions from your pay before or after your PFL leave. Failure to submit premiums will result in a cancellation of coverage.

 

Yes, PFL can be taken intermittently. 

PFL can only be used in full day increments.

  • If you request NY PFL and you are also eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) during the same period of time, your leave will also be designated as FMLA leave and will run concurrently with leave under the NY PFL.  
  • Certain types of leave are available under the FMLA but not PFL, such as leave to care for your own serious health condition. However, if you need FMLA for your own serious health condition and then need a leave to bond with your child, you may be entitled to request twenty (22) weeks of leave: (12) weeks of unpaid FMLA leave for your own serious health condition, then ten (10) weeks of PFL to bond with your child.  Under those circumstances, you may use PFL and FMLA consecutively. 

Currently, TC does not supplement PFL with available accrued time.

 

Currently, faculty, lecturers, instructors, or any employee working in a teaching capacity is not eligible for NY PFL under regulations.  

 

New York State disability benefits insurance provides temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner absent from work for more than 7 consecutive calendar days due to a non-work related illness or injury, including pregnancy.  The maximum benefit available under DBL may be up to twenty-six (26) week based on medical necessity.  

 

Once a 2110 member has completed their 90 days probationary period, they will be eligible to receive 2/3 of their regular pay from the College after their claim is reviewed and approved by our disability insurance carrier. 

The 1/3 will be supplemented by using their sick; if no sick time is available, they can  supplement their 1/3 of pay by using their vacation and/or personal time, provided that they authorize TC to use their available accrual time.

 

 

Employees who have not met their 90 days probationary period will be eligible for the standard NYS disability benefit in the amount $170 per week after 30 days of employment.   Employees absent from work for more than 7 consecutive calendar days due to a non-work related illness or injury, including pregnancy, may be eligible for the disability benefit.  The maximum benefit available under DBL may be up to twenty-six (26) weeks based on medical necessity.  

 

Yes, as long as your doctor certifies that you need to start your disability prior to giving birth.

You can still participate in the benefit, but any amount after the pre-tax limit will be deducted post-tax.

Professional Staff


There are three medical plans through Aetna: Direct Plan, Exclusive Plan and Value Plan.

There are two dental plans available: Metlife Dental and Columbia Dental.

There is one vision plan available through EyeMed.

  1. Legally married spouse as defined under Federal law.
  2. Mentally or physically disabled adult dependent children who live with you and who are primarily dependent on you for support.
  3. Dependent children up to the age listed below:
    1. Medical: up to age 26 (through the end of year of birth date).
    2. Dental: up to age 23 or age 25 if FT student (through the end of the month of birth date).
    3. Vision: up to age 19 or age 24 if FT student (through the end of the month of birth date).

You can enroll in benefits through the myTC Benefits portal. You must enroll in your benefits within 30 days of hire.

Yes. Professional staff are eligible the 1st of the month following 30 days of employment.

A Healthcare FSA can be used to pay for qualifying medical, dental, prescription and vision expenses. Requires an annual election and funds do not roll over from year to year. Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis and therefore providing a tax savings.

A Dependent FSA can be used for eligible dependent care services such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs for children under age 13, and for your spouse or dependent who is physically or mentally not able to care for himself or herself. Requires an annual election and funds do not roll over from year to year. Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis and therefore providing a tax savings.

A HSA is offered only for employees who elect the high-deductible medical plan (Value Plan). It can be used for eligible medical expenses. Requires an annual election. Changes can be made anytime throughout the year. Funds roll over from year to year and portable if you leave TC. Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis and therefore providing a tax savings.

A Limited Healthcare FSA can only be used for dental and vision expenses. You must be enrolled in both a high-deductible plan (Value Plan) and have a HSA. Contributions are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis and therefore providing a tax savings.

The policy for Basic Life Insurance and AD&D is $30,000 for FT professorial, instructional and professional staff. Employees are auto-enrolled and there is no cost to the employee.

Yes. Teachers College offers supplemental life insurance for the employee, spouse and children. Employees must elect coverage. Premiums are deducted from each pay period for each policy elected.

The commuter benefit can be used for transit expenses such as MetroCard, MetroNorth, LIRR, NJ Transit, commuter buses, etc. It can also be used for parking expenses. There is a pre-tax limit, which may vary by year. Please contact HR for the current limits.

You can still participate in the benefit, but any amount after the pre-tax limit will be deducted on a post-tax basis.

You can participate in the retirement annuity after two years of service at TC; however, if you have worked in a comparable institution for two years or more in an eligible position, you may be eligible for a waiver.

Yes. You can participate in the Supplement Retirement Annuity. This is only employee contributions and there is no waiting period.

You can open your account through the TIAA website http://www.tiaa.org/tc

You will need to submit a Salary Reduction Agreement Form with your election to Human Resources. Changes in contributions can be made at anytime throughout the year.

Yes, the limit varies by year. Please contact HR for the current limits.

An EAP offers support, guidance and resources to help you find the right balance between your work and home life. Our EAP is administered through MHN and is available for you, your spouse, children, immediate family or life partner to resolve personal and family problems. This service is 100% confidential.

Yes. BrightHorizons provides emergency back-up care for up to 120 hours at subsidized rates. This service can be used for child care or elder care.

You are eligible for tuition exemption after three months of service. If the end of the waiting period falls within a semester, the benefit is pro-rated.

FT Professionals are eligible for 12 credits per academic year at TC, and 9 credits per academic year at Columbia (if enrolled in a degree-granting program). PT Professionals are eligible for 3 credits per semester at TC or 2 credits per semester at Columbia. PT Professionals must be enrolled in a degree-granting program either at TC or Columbia to be eligible for the credits.

FT Professionals can use the unused portion of their tuition exemption benefit at TC only. For PT professionals, there is no tuition benefit for spouse.

Current tax law requires employees to pay taxes on a graduate tuition exemption benefits exceeding $5,250 per calendar year. The College will withhold taxes on such benefits during the calendar year in which it is used. If the degree is related you your position at TC, the tuition tax may be waived. Proper documentation is required.

Yes. There is tuition assistance for undergraduate. Also, a dependent child is eligible to receive full tuition for graduate school if enrolled at TC only.

Contact information for vendors

Plan

Vendor

Phone Number

Website

Medical

Aetna

800-872-3862

Dental

Metlife

800-942-0854

Dental

Columbia Dental Plan

800-468-0600

Vision

EyeMed

800-723-0513

Life & Disability

The Standard

800-628-8600 (Life)

800-426-4332 (Disability)

Flexible Spending Accounts and Commuter

WageWorks

877-924-3967

Retirement

TIAA

800-842-2733

Employee Assistance Program

MHN

855-789-5915

  • advantageengagement.com

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal labor law that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.

The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the preceding 12 months or fifty-two (52) weeks. The 12 months, or 52 weeks, need not have been consecutive.

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

  • The birth of the employee's child and in order to care for that child.
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care.
  • To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
  • The serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of their position. 
  • For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.

Yes, you will continue with group health insurance coverage while on FMLA leave under the same terms and conditions as if you have not taken leave. However, if you contribute to the cost of your health insurance, you will need to authorize deductions from your pay before or after your FMLA leave. Failure to submit premiums will result in a cancellation of coverage.

When it is medically necessary, employees may take FMLA leave intermittently – taking leave in separate blocks of time for a single qualifying reason  or on a reduced leave schedule.

f the need for leave is foreseeable, employees must request a leave at least 30 days in advance of the date on which you intend to begin a leave of absence. If you are unable to foresee the need for leave 30 days in advance, then you provide notice as soon as reasonably possible. If you require a leave, you must complete a Leave Request Form.

A FMLA medical certification form should be completed by you and your health care provider.

Submit both forms to Evelyn Fernandez in the Human Resources Department.

The New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides workers with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is deployed abroad on active military service. You may be eligible to take up to ten weeks of paid family leave and receive 60 percent of the NYS weekly average wage (determined annually).

Full-time employees: Employees who work a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week are eligible after 26 consecutive weeks of employment.

 

Part-time employees: Employees who work a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week are eligible after working 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive. Employees with irregular schedules should look at their average schedule to determine if they work, on average, fewer than 20 hours per week.

You can take Paid Family Leave to care for a close family member with a serious health condition, including family members outside of New York State.  

Family members include:

  • spouse
  • domestic partner (including same and different gender couples; legal registration not required)
  • child/stepchild and anyone for whom you have legal custody
  • parent/stepparent
  • parent-in-law
  • grandparent
  • grandchild

Coverage may continue while on Paid Family Leave on the same terms as if you continued to work. However, if you contribute to the cost of your health insurance, you will need to authorize deductions from your pay before or after your PFL leave. Failure to submit premiums will result in a cancellation of coverage.

Yes, PFL can be taken intermittently.

PFL can only be used in full day increments.

If you request NY PFL and you are also eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) during the same period of time, your leave will also be designated as FMLA leave and will run concurrently with leave under the NY PFL.

Certain types of leave are available under the FMLA but not PFL, such as leave to care for your own serious health condition. However, if you need FMLA for your own serious health condition and then need a leave to bond with your child, you may be entitled to request twenty (22) weeks of leave: (12) weeks of unpaid FMLA leave for your own serious health condition, then ten (10) weeks of PFL to bond with your child. Under those circumstances, you may use PFL and FMLA consecutively.

Currently, TC does not supplement PFL with available accrued time.

Currently, faculty, lecturers, instructors, or any employee working in a teaching capacity is not eligible for NY PFL under regulations.

New York State disability benefits insurance provides temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner absent from work for more than 7 consecutive calendar days due to a non-work related illness or injury, including pregnancy. The maximum benefit available under DBL may be up to twenty-six (26) week based on medical necessity.

Once a full-time employee has completed one year of service, they willl receive full pay from the College after their claim is reviewed and approved our disability insurance carrier. Part-Time employee are not eligible for salary continuation.

Employees with less than one year of service will be eligible for the standard NYS disability benefit in the amount $170 per week. Employees absent from work for more than 7 consecutive calendar days due to a non-work related illness or injury, including pregnancy. The maximum benefit available under DBL may be up to twenty-six (26) week based on medical necessity.

Short Term Disability benefits end after 26 weeks. After 26 weeks, employees may be eligible for Long Term Disability benefits, provided they elected this coverage.

Yes, as long as your doctor certifies that you need to start your disability prior to giving birth.

If you want to keep the same health plan you currently enrolled in you do not need to do anything, your plan will carry over to the next plan year. However, all FSAs and HSA programs require annual election.

The time period to make changes is during Open Enrollment. After this period has ended, no more changes are allowed until the next annual enrollment period, unless, you have a qualifying event.

Cards normally arrive in the mail on or before January 1st. If you have not received your card, you may contact the vendor (please refer to the Vendor contact listing). Additionally, you may register on the vendor’s website to print a temporary ID card.

Yes, you will receive a new card in the mail on or before January 1st. MetLife does not issue card, however, you may print one from the MetLife website.

You do not need to be enrolled in health insurance to sign up for FSA.

Back to skip to quick links