Employee Handbook

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Welcome to the Tower Foundation of San Jose State University (Tower).  Tower is the University’s auxiliary organization dedicated solely to philanthropy.  Its primary mission is to build bridges with alumni and friends by improving services, stewardship and donor support.  Tower encourages gifts from individuals, corporations and private foundations, trusts, and bequests for the benefit of San Jose State and manages the University’s endowment to achieve maximum returns.

This handbook has been prepared to acquaint you with Tower and provide you with a general summary of the working conditions and some of the procedures and practices affecting your employment.  You should read, understand and comply with all provisions.

The handbook only highlights Tower’s procedures and practices and is not intended to create a contract of employment, expressed or implied, or to modify the rights of Tower and you to terminate employment at will at any time for any reason.  To preserve the ability to meet Tower’s needs under changing conditions, Tower reserves the right to modify, rescind, delete or add to any of the provisions of all policies, except for the policy of at-will employment.  For more detailed information, you should contact Human Resources.

The Tower Chief Operating Officer (or designee within Human Resources) is the only person with the legal authority to establish compensation for a Tower employee.  Oral or written statements or promises by any other person are not binding upon Tower.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Tower is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an active nondiscriminatory policy for all employees.  It is Tower’s policy that all employees and applicants shall receive equal consideration and treatment.  All recruitment, hires, transfers and reclassifications will be made on the basis of the qualifications of the individuals for the positions being filled regardless of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, medical condition, veteran’s status, marital status, national origin, and physical or mental disability or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws. Tower’s policy of equal employment opportunity applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training, compensation, benefits, promotion, transfer, discipline and termination.  It is the duty of every employee to help maintain a work environment that promotes this policy.

Tower is also committed to assisting employees in performing the essential functions of their jobs by providing reasonable accommodations for any known physical or mental disability for which an employee requests accommodation, unless undue hardship would result.

Anyone who has a question or a concern about discrimination in the workplace should bring his or her concerns to the attention of a supervisor, the Human Resources Director or the COO.  Employees may raise concerns and make complaints without fear of reprisal.  Anyone found to be engaging in any type of discrimination or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Harassment Prohibited

Tower is committed to providing a work and educational environment that is free of sexual harassment, as well as other unlawful harassment based on such factors as race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, medical condition, veteran’s status, marital status, national origin, and physical or mental disability.  In keeping with this commitment, Tower maintains a strict policy that prohibits unlawful harassment of employees by managers, supervisors, or co-workers, and unlawful harassment of students by any Tower employee.  Visitors to the campus, and workers employed by the University, by other auxiliaries, or by other public or private organizations engaged in business with Tower are expected to comply with this policy.  The purpose of this policy is to:  (1) familiarize Tower’s employees with the definition of unlawful harassment and the forms it can take; (2) confirm that unlawful harassment will not be tolerated and is contrary to the standards of conduct expected and required of Tower’s employees; and (3) make clear that employees who engage in unlawful harassment are subject to possible disciplinary action which may include discharge.  Tower also provides regular training to its supervisors and managers regarding this policy.

Definition of Harassment

For the purposes of this policy, unlawful harassment means harassment on the job that is prohibited by provisions of state or federal law applicable to Tower at the time the harassment occurs.  Subject to this general definition, unlawful harassment may include unwelcome verbal, physical or visual conduct that unreasonably interferes with an employee's or student’s performance or that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working or educational environment.  This may occur where:

  1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's employment or education.

  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of employment or educational decisions affecting the individual.

  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual's work performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment.

Under most circumstances, harassment refers to the type of conduct that is pervasive, repetitive, and that is sufficiently severe to alter the conditions of an employee’s employment or a student’s education or employment.  It also may refer to a single incident that is sufficiently outrageous or harmful, in and of itself, that it substantially alters the conditions of an employee’s employment or interferes with that individual’s ability to perform job related responsibilities.

Employees also should not confuse harassment with supervision.  Supervisors have the right and responsibility to define the job that they want an employee to perform, as well as the manner in which an employee must perform that job.  Thus, close supervision of an employee (which includes, but is not limited to, counseling and warnings about job performance, inappropriate conduct, or other performance issues) is not considered to be an example of unlawful harassment.

Examples of Harassment

Harassment may take many forms and will vary with the particular circumstances.  Examples of unlawful sexual harassment prohibited by this policy may include, but are not limited to, the following:  unwanted flirtations, advances and/or propositions of a sexual nature; deprecating remarks, insults, humor, jokes and/or anecdotes that belittle or demean an individual's body or clothing; unwelcome and/or offensive displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; unwelcome and offensive touching, such as patting, pinching, hugging or repeated brushing against an individual's body; sexual assault; and/or suggestions that submission to or rejection of sexual advances will affect decisions regarding such matters as an individual's work assignments, status, salary, benefits or other terms or conditions of employment.

Conduct that is part of a consensual relationship is not considered harassment.  Nevertheless, a prior consensual relationship does not permit subsequent unwelcome or unwanted harassment.

Reporting and Complaint Procedure

Employees and students are encouraged to report incidents of inappropriate or unwelcome conduct whenever it occurs.  Employees and students are not required to wait for the conduct to be repeated or to worsen.  Any incident of unlawful harassment, by any Tower employee or any other person conducting business with Tower, should be reported promptly to the employee's supervisor or manager and/or to the Human Resources Director, who will arrange for an investigation of the matter.  Managers who receive complaints or who observe harassing conduct are required to immediately inform the Tower Human Resources Director.  An employee or student may contact Tower Human Resources directly and is not required to complain first to his or her supervisor. 

All complaints of unlawful harassment are taken seriously, and are promptly and objectively investigated.  For example, an investigation may include interviews of individuals who might have information pertaining to the alleged harassment.  If Tower begins an investigation, we will endeavor to keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible, including the names of complaining employees and witnesses.  In the same way, anyone involved in an investigation of harassment has an obligation to keep all information about the investigation confidential.  That is why Tower will only share information about a complaint of harassment with those who need to know about it.  Failure to keep information about an investigation confidential may result in disciplinary action.

When the investigation has been completed, Tower will normally communicate the results of the investigation to the complaining employee or student, to the alleged harasser and, if appropriate, to others who are directly involved.  If Tower’s policy against harassment is found to have been violated, appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination, will be taken against the harasser so that further harassment will be prevented.  Both the rights of the alleged harasser and the complainant will be considered in any investigation and subsequent action.

No Retaliation

It is the obligation of all employees to cooperate fully in the investigation process.  In addition, disciplinary action may be taken against any employee who is uncooperative or who attempts to discourage or prevent an employee from using Tower’s complaint procedure to report unlawful harassment.  Retaliation by a Tower employee against any individual who makes a complaint of unlawful harassment is strictly prohibited.  Similarly, any person who participates or cooperates in any manner in an investigation or any other aspect of the process described herein shall not be retaliated against.  Retaliation is itself a violation of this policy and is a serious offense.  Complaints regarding allegations of reprisal should be immediately brought to the attention of the Human Resources Director.

Corrective Action

If unlawful harassment of, or by, a Tower employee is established, Tower will take action that is reasonably calculated to stop the harassment.  In cases in which the alleged harasser is not an employee or student, Tower will take action to minimize the recurrence of any unlawful behavior.

Discipline that Tower or the University may impose on employees for behavior that violates this policy (or for other unprofessional conduct by a Tower employee) may include, but is not limited to, reprimand, mandatory attendance at an unlawful harassment training program, suspension, demotion, or dismissal.  Unlawful harassment by non-employees may result in restricting the harasser’s access to campus.

Additional Information

In addition to Tower’s internal complaint procedure, employees may also contact either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH") to report unlawful harassment.  The EEOC and the DFEH serve as neutral fact-finders and will attempt to assist the parties to voluntarily resolve their disputes.  For more information, contact the Human Resources Director, or you may contact the nearest EEOC or DFEH office.

Nature of Employment

Employment with Tower is at-will.  This means that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time with or without cause and with or without prior notice by either you or Tower.  Moreover, every aspect of the employment relationship with Tower is subject to Tower’s policy of at-will employment, and Tower reserves its inherent authority to manage and control its business enterprise and to exercise its discretion to determine all issues pertaining to your employment, including (but not limited to) all matters pertaining to promotion, salary, job assignment, the size of the workforce, demotion, transfer, discipline, or any other term or condition that the Tower may determine to be necessary for the safe, efficient, and economic operation of its business.  Nothing in this handbook or in any other policy statement shall limit the right of Tower to terminate employment at-will.  No department manager, supervisor or employee of Tower or the University, has any authority to make any promise or representation, or otherwise to enter into any binding agreement that is contrary to this policy which alters in any way an employee’s at-will status.  Only Tower’s COO has the authority to alter the employment at-will status of any employee, and then only in writing signed by the employee and Tower’s COO.

Conflicts of Interest, Gifts and Outside Employment 

Tower is concerned about conflicts of interest between Tower and its clients and vendors, and between Tower and its employees.  While you are employed with us, Tower is entitled to your undivided loyalty.  That means that you have an obligation both to avoid actual and potential conflicts of interest with Tower and its clients and vendors.  An obvious conflict of interest would include engaging in, or preparing to engage in, a business that competes with Tower’s business.  Other obvious conflicts would occur if you or a close relative accepted a gratuity, gift or premium from a vendor who is seeking to do business with Tower, or where a Tower project, department, or agency enters into a business relationship with an entity that is substantially owned or operated by an employee or relative of Tower.  Employees are not permitted to accept gifts or gratuities in excess of $50.00 from users of Tower services, visitors or vendors.  Overall, you are expected to represent Tower and the University in a positive, ethical, and loyal manner.

For these reasons, you should not engage in, directly or indirectly, either on or off the job, any conduct that is disloyal, disruptive, competitive, or damaging to Tower.  For example, employees should not accept employment outside Tower if that employment is to be conducted during the hours that the employee is working for Tower, or if such employment conflicts with the effectiveness of the employee’s work for Tower.  Any outside employment also must comply with limitations established by the California State University System.  Further, employees should not utilize Tower information or services for their personal use, nor should they perform activities that are unrelated to Tower work during working hours.

Employment Categories

In order to determine eligibility for various benefits, the following employment categories have been established:

Regular Benefitted Employees

Benefitted Employees are those individuals who are regularly scheduled to work, and who do regularly work, at least 20 or more hours per week.  Benefitted employees are eligible to receive Tower benefits based on the employee’s number of hours worked and the nature and length of the employee’s assignment.

Regular Non-Benefitted Employees

Non-Benefitted Employees are those individuals who work less than 20 hours per week, and may be assigned a work schedule in advance or may work on an as-needed basis.  Non-Benefitted Employees also include those whose expected length of service is less than three months or whose work schedule is intermittent or irregular.  Non-Benefitted Employees are not eligible for most Tower benefits, although they are eligible for such benefits as workers’ compensation and disability insurance.


Non-exempt employees who work over 8 hours in a day or over 40 hours in a work week are entitled to receive overtime pay.


Exempt employees are not entitled to receive overtime compensation.  Exempt employees are salaried executive, administrative, and professional employees.

Working Hours and Schedule

Tower is open for business from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tower’s regular workweek is Sunday through Saturday, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday morning and ending at 12:00 a.m. the following Saturday night.  Most employees are assigned a work schedule and are expected to begin and end their workday in accordance with their schedule.  Daily and weekly work schedules may change from time to time at the discretion of Tower to meet varying needs of our business.

Employees are authorized and shall take one paid 10-minute rest break for every 4 hours worked.  This rest break should be taken during the middle of the work period as the work day permits.  A meal period is normally one hour and should be arranged to provide adequate office coverage at all times.  All non-exempt employees must take at least a one-half hour unpaid meal break when they work more than 5 hours per day.  Employees who work in excess of 10 hours in a work day are eligible to receive a second unpaid meal period of no more than 30 minutes.  Your work schedule will be determined by your supervisor.

At times, emergencies such as power failures, road closings, earthquakes, fires, or severe weather may interfere with Tower's operations.  In such an event, Tower may order a temporary shutdown of all or part of its operations.  Tower will determine the appropriateness of paying for such downtime.

Timekeeping Procedures

Nonexempt Employees must record their actual time worked for payroll and benefit purposes.  They do that by recording the total number of work hours and non-work hours each day in an electronic time reporting system  

Exempt Employees are required to record their non-work hours only.

Time cards must be completed and submitted by the deadlines published on the Tower Foundation Payroll Schedule.  Altering, falsifying, and tampering with time records, or recording time on another employee's time record are prohibited and subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Payment of Wages

Employees are paid twice a month for work performed the preceding pay period.  Work performed from the first through the fifteenth is paid on the twenty-sixth of the month and work performed from the sixteenth through the end of the month is paid on the tenth of the following month.  Dates may be adjusted if the pay date falls on a weekend or holiday.  Employees should check the pay date calendar issued each year.

Paychecks are available for pick up in Clark Hall, third floor (University Advancement) at the Reception Desk, between 9am and 5pm on each pay date.  Please bring photo identification and be prepared to sign for the release of your paycheck.  Paychecks may not be picked up by unauthorized individuals without written permission.  Paychecks not picked up on the pay date may be picked up on subsequent business days at the same location and time.  It is possible to arrange for paychecks to be sent to an individual's home.  However, a check lost in the mail cannot be reissued until the "stop-payment" order to the bank has been verified.

If there is an error in your check, please report it immediately to your supervisor and to Tower Human Resources.

Automatic Deposit 

Employees may authorize Tower to automatically deposit their pay into one or more checking or savings accounts.  All of the required enrollment and consent forms are available from Tower Human Resources.

Payroll Deductions

Wages paid to employees are subject to certain federal and state mandated deductions, such as income tax withholding, social security or FICA, and state disability insurance.  No payroll deductions will be withheld from an employee’s paycheck, except those mandated by federal and state law or those that are authorized in writing by the employee.


Non-exempt employees will be paid one and one-half times their regular rate for all hours worked in excess of eight hours in a workday, over 40 hours in a workweek, or for the first eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.  Non-exempt employees will be paid two times their regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 12 in a work day or in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.  For purposes of determining which hours constitute overtime, only actual hours worked in a given workday or workweek will be counted.  Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay or to compensating time off.

Duration of Employment

Continuation of employment with Tower is at the discretion of the employee and Tower, and any employment beyond one year is dependent on funding.  Employment must be renewed on an annual basis and renewal does not guarantee employment for the following year.

Performance Evaluations

Tower believes in the principle that employees should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and continually improve their job performance. A performance evaluation will be conducted on an annual basis, although it may be conducted at any time to provide both you and your supervisor with the opportunity to discuss your job tasks, identify and correct weaknesses, encourage and recognize strengths, and discuss methods for improving your performance.  Where performance problems exist, Tower will endeavor to notify an employee about his or her deficiencies.  Such notification is an opportunity for the employee to improve.  Evaluations are also prepared to:

  • Evaluate career potential opportunity and development.

  • Achieve a more effective working relationship between the employee and supervisor.

  • Departmental goals and personal goals.

  • Provide a basis for compensation review.

At the same time, please understand that a positive performance evaluation does not guarantee an increase in salary, a promotion, or even continued employment.  Compensation increases and the terms and conditions of employment, including job assignments, transfers, promotions, and demotions, are determined by and at the discretion of Tower.

In addition to these more formal performance evaluations, Tower encourages you and your supervisor to discuss your job performance on an ongoing basis.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy 

Tower is committed to establishing and maintaining a drug-free workplace.  To that end, Tower prohibits the unauthorized use of drugs or alcohol, including but not limited to, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of alcohol or controlled substances in the workplace.  An employee who violates this policy shall be subject to discipline including immediate termination.  Except as provided below, the following is strictly prohibited for all employees while on Tower’s or the University’s premises, while operating Tower’s or the University’s vehicles or equipment, or while performing Tower business regardless of the location: 

  1. Use of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants, or controlled substances.

  2. Reporting to work, or remaining on duty, while impaired by or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or controlled substances.

  3. Driving a vehicle on Tower business while impaired by or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or controlled substances.

  4. Possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, transportation, dispensation or distribution of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia or an attempt to do any of the same.

The use of prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, or possession incident to such use, is not prohibited by this policy if: (a) the drug has been legally obtained and is being used for the purpose for which it was prescribed or manufactured; (b) the drug is being used at the dosage prescribed or authorized; and (c) the use of the drug does not prevent the employee from safely performing the essential functions of his or her position with or without reasonable accommodation.  Tower reserves the right to require certification that the use of the drug will not impair the ability of the employee to perform his/her job properly and safely.

Consequences for Violating This Policy

In the event that Tower discovers that an employee has violated this policy, the employee will be subject to discipline up to and including termination and Tower may report the violation to appropriate law enforcement authorities.  It is the responsibility of any Tower employee convicted of a criminal drug offense occurring in the workplace to notify the Tower Human Resources Department within five calendar days of the conviction.  Additionally, an employee’s conviction for the sale, possession or use of any illegal controlled substance while off the job will also subject the employee to discipline up to and including termination.

Employees Who Seek Assistance

Employees who suspect that they may have a substance abuse problem may contact Human Resources about the possibility of a leave to enroll in a professionally recognized alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation program.  However, such a request does not give an employee the right to state that he or she has a substance abuse problem and expect accommodation once Tower discovers that an employee has violated this policy.  Nor does it shield an employee from disciplinary action for violation of this policy.

Tower is not responsible for the cost of the employee’s participation in the rehabilitation program, and any leave necessary to attend a rehabilitation program is unpaid, unless the employee is otherwise eligible to use paid time off under Tower’s policies.  If the employee fails to return to work upon the expiration of his or her rehabilitation program leave or fails to satisfactorily complete the program, the employee will be terminated.

Questions and Confidentiality

Employees with questions about this policy or about issues related to drug or alcohol use in the workplace may raise their concerns with their supervisor or with the Tower COO.  All records or communications relevant to an employee’s participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program or use of prescription drugs or over the counter drugs will be confidentially maintained and limited to personnel on a need to know basis.

Whistleblowers Protection

When employees notify an appropriate government or law enforcement agency that they have reasons to believe their employer is violating a state or federal statute, or violating or not complying with a state or federal rule or regulation, those employees are protected from retaliation.   Tower has a strict policy that prohibits retaliating against employees who make such reports and that prohibits retaliating against employees who have made such reports while employed in any former employment.   Tower also does not permit retaliation against an employee who refuses to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.

If you have information regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules, regulations, or violations of fiduciary responsibility by Tower, we encourage you to report it immediately to your supervisor, manager, or to the COO at (408) 924-1508.  Alternatively, you may contact the California State Attorney General’s Whistleblower Hotline at 1-800-952-5225.  The Attorney General will refer your call to the appropriate governmental authority for review and possible investigation.

Electronic Communication Use

Tower’s computer systems, voice mail, electronic mail (e-mail), and its access to the Internet enable employees to access and exchange information quickly and efficiently.  When used properly, we believe these resources greatly enhance employee productivity and knowledge. 

Voice-mail, e-mail and computer systems and files used by Tower are provided solely to further Tower’s business operations.  These systems and the information stored in them belong to Tower.  Although employee passwords may be used for Tower-oriented security reasons, the use of such passwords is not intended to assure employees those messages or other communications generated by or stored on these systems will be kept confidential.  Tower maintains the right to access these systems and to retrieve information stored therein at any time, and all employee passwords must be made known to Tower upon demand.  Further, Tower reserves the right to monitor, review or access, at any time, information revealing an employee’s Internet usage, including websites accessed or any information that may have been downloaded.  Consequently, Tower’s voice mail, e-mail, and computer systems, including the Internet, should be used primarily for business purposes.

Once again, employees should bear in mind that messages and all other data stored on Tower’s voice-mail, e-mail and computer systems is subject to access by Tower at any time.  We therefore ask you to exercise good judgment in using these systems.

Guidelines for Use

This section sets forth guidelines concerning the appropriate use of Tower’s voice-mail, e-mail and computer systems.

  • Since voice-mail and e-mail messages, as well as other computer-stored data, are considered business records and may be electronically retrieved, even after you “delete” them, nothing should be included in a voice-mail or e-mail message that you would not consider putting in a memorandum.

  • Employees should delete unwanted voice-mail and e-mail messages as soon as practical and should log off when not using the computer system.

  • Employees should exercise good judgment in the use of e-mail distribution lists; these lists are developed for the convenience of the addressees and unnecessary or frivolous messages should not be sent, thereby cluttering up user screens.

  • Employees should not use a password, access a file, or retrieve or download any stored communication without express authorization.  You also should not send e-mail or other communications that either mask your identity or indicate that someone else sent them, and you should never access another employee’s voicemail, e-mail, or computer systems without express authorization.

  • Employees may not install any software on Tower computer systems without the prior authorization of Tower’s COO.

Tower’s voice-mail, e-mail and computer systems, including the Internet, must not be used for the following purposes.

  • Any illegal, discriminatory, threatening, harassing, abusive or offensive comments.  For example, the display or transmission of sexually explicit images, messages, and cartoons is not allowed.  Other such misuse includes, but is not limited to, ethnic slurs, racial comments, off-color jokes or anything that may be construed as harassment or showing disrespect for others.
  • Anything in conjunction with an employee’s outside business endeavors or sales of any product or outside service (home products, cosmetics, etc.).

  • Messages or other communications violating a Tower policy or contrary to supervisory instructions.

  • To copy or distribute copyrighted material unless you have confirmation from an appropriate source that Tower has the right to copy or distribute the material.

  • For the illegal duplication of software and its related documentation.  Employees also may not use any software on local area networks or on multiple machines that is not in accordance with the software license agreement.

Employees should notify their immediate supervisor, the network administrator or any member of management upon learning of a violation of this policy.  Any violations of these “Guidelines for Use” or other provisions of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination.

External Access and Confidentiality

Under certain conditions, employees will need to communicate with clients and other external users via voice-mail, e-mail and/or via the internet.  Employees are cautioned to exercise an additional level of discretion, professionalism, and sound judgment when communicating with third parties via these systems. 

For example, all employees should safeguard Tower’s confidential information, as well as that of guests and others, from disclosure.  Messages containing confidential information should not be left visible while you are away from your work area.  E-mail messages that you send which contain confidential information should include the following statement in bold and in all capital letters at the top of the message:

“Confidential:  Unauthorized Use or Disclosure Is Strictly Prohibited.”

Also, you should be aware that Internet sites maintain logs of visits from users.  These logs identify the company and the individual who accessed the Internet website.  If your work requires a high level of security, please ask your supervisor or an appropriate manager for guidance on securely exchanging e-mail or gathering information from Internet sources.

Privacy and Disclosure

As previously noted, Tower’s and the University’s voice-mail, e-mail, and computer systems, including the use of the Internet, are provided to facilitate the conduct of its business.  All messages and other communications generated through and/or stored on these systems are considered business records.  Employees who use the voice-mail, e-mail and/or computer systems should understand that information stored on these systems cannot be considered confidential or private.  Indeed, Tower reserves the right to access any voice-mail, e-mail, Internet usage or other computer-stored information at any time.


Tower is concerned about the health and safety of its employees and others who enter Tower’s premises. It is Tower’s policy to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local health and safety regulations and to provide a work environment as free as feasible from recognized hazards.  You are expected to comply with all safety and health requirements whether established by management or by federal, state, or local law. 

Any accident that occurs on Tower’s premises be that of a client, visitor, or employee, should be reported immediately to your supervisor or to the Human Resources Director.  For your own safety and the safety of others, please do not attempt to give medical aid to an injured client, visitor, or fellow employee.  Call the appropriate medical authorities.

Tower also requires that work areas be kept clean and orderly at all times.  You are responsible for maintaining your work area in a clean and orderly fashion at all times.  Tower will attempt to maintain the temperature, lighting, and noise level of its facilities at a level that is comfortable for employees yet appropriate for the nature of our operations.  You should inform your supervisor of any concerns about working conditions.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is prohibited on the San Jose State University campus.

Life-Threatening Illness Policy

Tower understands that employees with life-threatening illnesses including, but not limited to cancer, heart disease, and AIDS, may wish to continue to engage in as many of their normal pursuits as their condition allows, including work.  As long as these employees are able to meet acceptable performance standards, and medical evidence indicates that their conditions are not a threat to themselves or others, Tower is sensitive to the medical conditions of these employees and insures that they are treated consistently with other employees.  At the same time, Tower has an obligation to provide a safe environment for all employees.  Therefore, Tower will take appropriate precautions to help insure that an employee's condition does not present a health and/or a safety threat to other employees.

Workplace Violence

Tower has zero tolerance for violence and/or threats of violence against Tower employees, Tower business associates, or any member of the campus community.  Tower prohibits any violent act, threat of violence or any behavior, which by intent, action or outcome harms or intimidates another person or property on any Tower or University work site, or while conducting Tower business.  Such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

We strongly encourage you to report any observations, experiences of violence or threats of violence to the Human Resources Director, the Tower COO, or to any member of Tower’s management team.

Inquiries About Your Employment

Tower may receive inquiries from outside individuals regarding the status of your employment.   Tower responds to written requests only and has a strict policy of providing only limited information.  Consequently, no employee other than the Director of Human Resources may provide any information regarding current or former employees (either on or off-the-record) to any non-employee without the specific written approval of the Tower COO.  This includes letters of reference.  The only information that we will confirm is your dates of employment and your position title with Tower.  We will not reveal your salary without your written authorization. Tower’s strict policy prohibits us from revealing any information about why you may have left us.

Employee Benefits

Tower provides medical, dental, vision and life insurance to Regular Benefitted Employees whose appointment is expected to exceed three months.   Detailed information and brochures describing available plans may be obtained from Human Resources.

Participation in Tower’s insurance plans is not automatic.  Employees must complete necessary applications before coverage can commence.  Eligible employees normally have sixty (60) days to decide on a plan.

Tower reserves the right at any time to modify, amend or terminate (in whole or in part) any or all of the provisions of the employee benefit plans or programs with advance notice.

Dual Coverage: 

Employees holding a concurrent appointment with Tower and San Jose State University and who are eligible for medical, dental and/or vision benefits from both sources may not participate in Tower’s Plans if enrolled in such plans through the University.  However, the employee may participate in dual retirement systems for the percentage of time employed by each entity.

Medical Benefits

Tower will provide health benefits to its employees hired half time (20 hours per week) or more with an appointment equal to or exceeding 3 months.  Tower pays a share of premium costs for medical insurance.  Employees are eligible for medical coverage the first of the month following 30 days of continuous employment. Employee must complete enrollment forms for all plans to initiate participation.

Employees not requiring medical benefits may participate in the Benefits for Cash Plan.  This is an optional benefit plan that allows employees to waive insurances in exchange for cash.  Employees will receive $128.00 additional cash in their paychecks each month.  This payment is treated as taxable income and will be subject to the same payroll taxes as regular salary.  The additional income will be reported as income on Form W-2 in the year it is received. 

Employees taking advantage of this program must certify that they have alternative coverage(s) and that coverage has been approved by Human Resources.  Tower may modify these benefits as necessary at any time. Contact Tower Human Resources for plan information and rates for medical coverage.

Delta Dental – Tower pays the total premium for employees and their dependents

VSP Vision Plan – Tower pays the total premium for employees and their dependents

Auxiliary Employee Assistance Program (LifeMatters) – All Tower employees are eligible for the AEAP.  Employees and their dependents may use the services offered by CONCERN. Employees are permitted 1-5 sessions per year for each issue.  After 5 sessions, the employee is referred to outside sources.

Long Term Disability Insurance (LTD) – Sun Life – Tower pays the total premium for eligible employees.

Short Term Disability Insurance (STD) –Sun Life – Tower pays the total premium for eligible employees.

Short Term (State) Disability Insurance (SDI) – The Employee pays cost of insurance which provides coverage for loss of wages when employees are unable to work because of physical or mental illness or injury.  All employees are eligible for SDI and it is required by the State of California. 

Short and Long Term Disability Plans (Sun Life) Tower pays the total premium for employees.

Life/Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) - MetLife

Employees appointed half time (20 hours per week) or more and for more than six months may enroll in Life and AD&D- Insurance.  Coverage is effective the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment.  Benefit is one times employee’s annual salary up to a maximum of $50,000.  Employee must complete enrollment forms to initiate participation.

Retirement/Supplemental Retirement Annuity - Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF)

Regular Benefitted employees appointed half time (20 hours per week) or more and for six months or more, are eligible for the retirement program. Regular Benefitted Employees are eligible to contribute to the retirement plan on the first of the month following completion of 30 days of employment. Employees completing one year of service and at least 1,000 hours of work are eligible for a Tower contribution of seven (7) percent of the employee’s base salary. 

Employees may contribute a minimum of $25 per month via payroll deduction. Contributions may be made to the regular retirement annuity or to a Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity, beginning the first of any month after hire.  Enrollment forms are required and may be obtained from Tower Human Resources.

Lifetime Medical Benefits

Retiring Tower employees age 60 or older, with at least 10 years of continuous service during the last 20 years and who are currently employed by Tower and enrolled in a Tower sponsored health plan, are eligible for life time medical benefits. This benefit is extended to eligible dependents also currently enrolled.

Educational Reimbursement Program

Tower assists Regular Benefitted Employees who aspire to high levels of skills and professional competencies.  Educational reimbursement may be used for successful completion of approved work-related classes or accredited courses leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Educational reimbursement, based upon availability of funds, will be made accessible to all Regular Benefitted Employees who have completed at least one year of service.  Eligible employees are required to submit an Education Reimbursement Application Form for approval prior to enrollment in classes.  To maintain eligibility, employees must remain on active payroll (regular full-time) and receive satisfactory course grades.  Upon demonstration of successful completion of courses taken, the employee’s semester/quarter tuition costs or fees will be reimbursed up to the equivalent of San Jose State University mandatory fees for zero to six units per semester.

Other Benefits

Workers’ Compensation

All Tower employees are protected in the event of job-related injuries and illness by Workers' Compensation Insurance which is an employer-paid benefit.  If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of his or her job, this insurance pays for medical care, necessary rehabilitation services, income in case of disability, or death benefits to dependents.

If any injury causes temporary disability, temporary disability indemnity will be payable for the period commencing on the fourth day of disability, or in the case of hospitalization for inpatient treatment required by the injury, the first day of disability. If the temporary disability extends beyond 14 total days, the initial 3 days that were withheld would be paid at that time.

Important: Report any injury or illness immediately to the appropriate supervisor and call Human Resources.  Any delay in reporting an accident may delay Workers' Compensation benefits.  Failure to immediately report a work injury or accident may be cause for disciplinary action.


The President of the University establishes the academic work days and holidays for the University, and Tower normally observes the same holidays.  If a designated holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following day (Monday).  If a designated holiday falls on a Saturday, the holiday is observed on the preceding Friday.  When a designated holiday falls on a weekday and classes are still being held, all staff members will be expected to work as usual and a substitute day will be designated.  In addition to the stated holidays, eligible employees receive a personal holiday to be taken on your birthday or religious holiday. Holidays will be posted at the beginning of each calendar year.

Regular Benefitted Employees are eligible to receive holiday pay, but they must be employed and  on paid status with Tower on the date that the holiday is actually observed, as established by the University’s academic calendar, and the holiday must fall on a scheduled work day to qualify for holiday pay.

Non-exempt Regular Benefitted Employees who work on recognized holidays shall be paid their straight-time rate of pay for hours actually worked on the holiday. Holidays that are recognized by Tower are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Martin Luther King's Birthday (3rd Monday in January)

  • President's Day

  • Cesar Chavez Day

  • Memorial Day

  • Independence Day

  • Labor Day

  • Thanksgiving

  • Friday after Thanksgiving

  • Christmas Day

In addition to the named holidays, 2 - 3 additional days per year are scheduled by the University President, usually in connection with the Christmas and/or New Year's holidays. A holiday schedule will be posted at the beginning of each calendar year.


Nonexempt Tower employees accrue vacation based on length of service as follows:

Service Requirements Hours Accrued per Month Days Accrued Annually
1 Month to 3 Years 6-2/3 10
37 Months to 6 Years 10 15
73 Months to 10 Years 11-1/3 17
121 Months to 15 Years 12-2/3 19
181 Months to 20 Years 14 21
241 Months to 25 Years 15-1/3 23
301 Months and over 16 24

Exempt employees accrue vacation at the rate of 16 hours per qualifying month.  Part-time employees accrue vacation on a prorated basis.

Sick Leave

For each month of continuous employment, Tower employees accrue 8 hours of sick leave.  Part-time employees accrue sick leave on a prorated basis. 

Bereavement Leave

Tower Foundation allows a regular employee 5 days of Bereavement Leave when a death occurs in the employee’s “immediate family” which for the purposes of this policy, is defined as spouse, registered domestic partner, parents, guardians in lieu of parents, siblings, child, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren.

Jury Service/Court Leave

Regular Tower Foundation employees are eligible to be paid their regular wages while on jury leave up to a maximum of 5 work days per calendar year.  The Jury Summons must be submitted with the time sheet for the appropriate pay period.

Leaves of Absence

It is Tower’s policy to grant leaves of absence to eligible employees for the purpose of medical, disability and personal emergencies.  Unless specifically provided otherwise, all leaves of absence are available on an unpaid basis.

Subject to any applicable legal restriction or obligations, requests for leaves will be considered on the basis of employee’s length of service, performance, responsibility level, the reason for the request and Tower’s ability to obtain a satisfactory replacement during the time the employee would be away from work.

Detailed information regarding Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), Pregnancy Disability Leave, Military Caregiver Leave, Qualifying Exigency Leave, Military Leave, Leave When Spouse or Domestic Partner is on Leave from Military Service, Time for Victims of Domestic Violence, and Personal Leave may be obtained from Human Resources.

If You Must Leave Us...

While we hope that your employment with us will be lengthy and pleasant, it must be remembered that the employment policy of Tower is that all employees are employed on an at-will basis which is based on the mutual consent of you and Tower.  Thus, either you or Tower may terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, with or without cause.

Most Tower employees sign appointment forms, indicating that funding for their position may end at the end of the project, grant or contract, or it may end at the end of the Tower’s fiscal year unless they are offered a new appointment.  Severance is not paid to departing Tower employees.

If you decide to leave Tower, we would appreciate at least two weeks written notice of your resignation.  Should you fail to provide sufficient written notice of your resignation, you will be deemed ineligible for re-employment.  Please return all property owned by Tower (e.g., computers, keys, identification badges, credit cards, etc.) prior to your departure.  University keys must be returned to the Lock Shop; parking permits to Traffic and Parking; and Identification Cards to Human ResourcesAlso, please contact Human Resources to determine your eligibility for any unemployment insurance and disposition of your final paycheck.

If you are moving, a forwarding address should be given to Human Resources for mailing of W-2 Forms and other paperwork.

Tower retains the right to accept your resignation immediately and pay you the amount of compensation you would have earned had you continued to work during your resignation period. 

Exit Interview

Before leaving, you will be asked to participate in an exit interview.  This will provide closure to your employment with Tower and will allow Tower Human Resources to ensure that it has resolved various administrative matters pertaining to computer passwords and other information, and that it has answered any questions you may have about continuation of benefits.  It also provides Tower with an opportunity to listen to any of your comments or ideas about improving Tower's operations or procedures.