2.1 Eligibility Guidelines
The state of Alabama is an employment at-will state. The University adheres to the policy of employment at-will, which permits the employer or the employee to end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, with or without cause or notice.
Neither this Handbook nor any other verbal or written communication by a management representative is an agreement, contract of employment, express or implied, or a promise of treatment in any manner in any given situation, nor does it confer any contractual rights whatsoever. No University representative may modify at-will status or provide any special arrangement concerning terms or conditions of employment.
This Handbook states only general University employment guidelines. The University may, at any time, in its sole discretion, modify or vary from anything stated in this Handbook, with or without notice, except for the rights of the parties to end employment at-will, which may only be modified by an express written agreement signed by the employee and University President.
The University values the opinions of its employees made individually or through their Department Heads about working conditions, ways and means of completing jobs in an expeditious manner, and other matters of interest to other employees and the University.
However, the University, in recognizing and accepting its responsibility to provide the necessary atmosphere to assure quality work performance and working conditions, retains the right to make decisions without prior employee consultation.
The University maintains exclusive discretion to exercise the customary functions of management, including, but not limited to the discretion to select, hire, promote, demote, transfer, suspend, dismiss, assign, supervise, evaluate, and discipline employees; to determine work schedules, including hours in excess of the normal work schedule, and the size and composition of the work force; to establish, change, and abolish policies, procedures, rules, and regulations; to determine and modify position descriptions and position classifications; to establish and modify salary schedules and rates of pay and to assign merit and other salary increases; and to assign duties to employees in accordance with needs and requirements determined by the University.
University employees may not make any work-related decisions regarding hiring, promotion, salary, job assignment, performance evaluation, discipline, terminations, or any other issue affecting another member of the employee’s immediate family, or of another USA employee who is living in the same household.
The Code of Alabama, Section 41-1-5, specifically identifies family members for nepotism purposes as those within the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity of an employee, which includes:
- Siblings, Grandparent, Grandchild
- Aunt, Uncle, Niece, Nephew
- First Cousins and their Spouses
The University’s nepotism policy also applies to half- and step- familial relationships. New relationships during employment that result in nepotism will also be subject to this policy.
The University may consider employing relatives of current University employees, provided that such hiring conforms to this policy and Alabama State law, does not unlawfully discriminate against other selected candidates for the vacant position, and the exception has been submitted for review and approved by the Associate Vice President / Chief Human Resources Officer.
To avoid actual or perceived conflict of interest, coercion, favoritism, or bias, University personnel who are married, related, or who are or have been in an intimate relationship may not participate in the evaluation of the other employee or occupy a position where one individual may affect the compensation or other terms or conditions of employment of the other individual. Accordingly, all parties to any type of intimate personal relationship must inform management.
The University generally will attempt to identify other available positions, but if no alternate position is available, the University retains the right to decide which employee will remain with the University.
For the purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the employee is similar to that of persons who are related by blood or marriage.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires all U.S. employers, regardless of size, to complete a Form I-9 upon hiring a new employee to work in the United States. An employee must complete Form I-9 by his or her first day of work. Form I-9 attests to the individual’s eligibility for employment in the United States. Certain specific documents proving eligibility for employment must be provided, based on federal guidelines.
E-Verify guidelines will be followed as mandated by federal and state laws. E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Certain employees, as designated by applicable laws, may require verification of employment authorization through E-Verify.
Information is populated from the new or existing employee’s Form I-9. Employees requiring verification through E-verify who receive a final non-confirmation from DHS or SSA will be terminated. Employees hired by November 6, 1986, are exempt from e-verification requirements as are those with certain U.S. Government security clearances or credentials as identified by E-Verify guidelines.
Former University employees who separated employment in good standing and seek re-employment with the University must meet all current requirements for the position. Upon re-employment, you will be considered a new employee and must complete an initial six-month probationary period.