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Employee Hardship Fund

Overview

The Wright State University Hardship Fund is a mechanism developed to give temporary assistance to employees, both faculty and staff, in times of financial distress or urgent need. The fund relies on denotations from employees and community members as a way for employees to help each other in time of need.


 

Employee Hardship Fund Description

Hardship funds are a mechanism for employees of a company to help each other in times of need. The Wright State Employee Hardship Fund is being developed to provide that mechanism of temporary assistance for the employees, both faculty and staff, of Wright State University. The intention is that everyone who applies for a grant from the fund is unexpectedly in financial distress and in urgent need.

One of the biggest challenges for Employee Hardship Funds is making the determination of whether the employee is experiencing a temporary financial hardship or has chronic financial difficulty. An employee whose expenses regularly exceed net income has chronic financial difficulty and will likely not be eligible for a one-time grant from the Hardship Fund. 

Eligibility

Any full-time (75-100% FTE) continuous employee, faculty, or staff member.

Eligibility Criteria

The following criteria apply to be eligible to receive a grant:

  1. This must be a temporary hardship; individuals who are experiencing a temporary hardship due to a significant life event, such as an accident, illness, natural disaster;
  2. The employee must be a full-time (75-100% FTE) employee;
  3. The employee must have been employed at Wright State for at least one year at the time of application;
  4. The employee cannot be in a disciplinary status, such as in progressive discipline or on a performance improvement plan; and
  5. The employee must provide supporting documentation (e.g., lease, mortgage statement, bills, spouse/partner's layoff notice, paystubs, death certificate, fire or police report, etc.).

Grant Evaluation Committee

An Employee Hardship Fund Committee (PDF) has been created, composed of 2 faculty from Faculty Senate, 2 staff from Staff Senate, and an HR representative who is a non-voting member. This Committee determines if the request matches the established criteria of the Fund. In the event of a tie, the Senate has asked that the HR representative cast a vote. The application process is administered through Human Resources. All materials are sent to the committee with anonymity as HR will redact all personal identifying information.

Application Process

To apply, you must complete an application form and send it to the Chief HR Officer, or his/her designee, with supporting documentation. Committee members will receive the application and documentation with as much anonymity as possible, e.g., removal of employee name and status. The utmost discretion and sensitivity will be used.

The Hardship Fund application can be returned to Shari Mickey-Boggs either in person or by Proofpoint secure file share. It will then be redacted and sent to the committee of Wright State employees who review the applications and determine 1) if the application meets the criteria, and 2) whether or not a grant should be provided. Once a decision has been made by the committee, the applicant will be notified about the application's outcome by the CHRO, or his/her designee.

Application Decision Timeframe

Once an application is received, the committee is committed to deciding within 30 days.

Fund Administration

The Fund is administered by the Wright State Foundation. An agreement has been established that enables employees and community members to periodically donate to the Fund.

Grant Amounts

Amounts are dependent upon the situation and request, but no award shall exceed $1,000. In addition, no grant shall be given if the fund balance is below threshold limits deemed acceptable by the committee.

While it is unlikely the committee will allow for an employee to access grants more than one time in his/her career, the guidelines allow for discretion given unusual circumstances.

Grant Repayment

This grant is considered a gift. However, it will be subject to federal, state and/or local taxes and paid through Payroll.

Available Resources

Financial difficulties are stressful. The University also offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with referrals to a counselor who may be able to help the employee handle the stress that comes from situations such as continuing debt. They may also assist in developing a financial recovery plan and may also offer suggestions for utilizing other community resources. More information can be found at https://www.wright.edu/human-resources/benefits/additional-miscellaneous-benefits/employee-assistance-program

Contribution Information

A Foundation Fund has been established and employees may contribute anytime they are interested at wright.edu/give/employeehardshipfund.

Periodic campaigns will also be communicated to the Wright State workforce.

An application form is forthcoming.