SUBJECT: Collection of Debts Owed to the University by Employees
RELATED POLICY: HR0515
RELATED FORMS: None
To provide a method of settling debts owed to the university by its employees.
Who is affected:
This policy applies to all university employees. Debts owed to the university by employees are covered by the terms of this policy.
- Definition of Debt – A debt is an amount or value owed to the university by the employee. Debts may include, but are not limited to, parking fines, library fines, travel advances which have not been appropriately repaid, computer loans, bookstore accounts, and personal telephone usage, including with university cellular phones, and rent for employees living in university housing.
- Notification – If any department has been owed a debt by an employee for at least three months without obtaining a settlement through normal channels, the department responsible for collecting the debt will notify the employee in writing of the amount owed, the nature of the debt, the date by which payment must be made, and that the payment will be deducted from the employee’s pay if not paid by the stated date. The notice shall give the employee three options: a) pay the debt within 15 days of the receipt of notice; b) authorize the university to withhold from each of the employee’s paychecks an amount agreeable to both parties until the debt is paid in full; or c) request a hearing for the purpose of contesting the debt.
- Contesting the Debt – The employee may contest the alleged debt by requesting a hearing, within 15 days of the receipt of notice. This hearing may be held under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (TUAPA), or an informal hearing before the chief business officer (or his/her designee) of the university. The informal hearing option is available only if the employee waives his/her right to a TUAPA hearing.
- Procedure When the Debt is Found Valid – The campus will give notice to any employee with overdue debts that a debt is owing. This notice will allow each employee the following alternatives:
- The employee may pay the debt within 15 days of when notice was sent.
- The employee may, within the same period, authorize the university to withhold from each subsequent paycheck an amount agreeable to both the employee and the university until the debt is paid in full. The employee’s department should connect with the payroll office to determine how many payments the debt should be broken down into.
- The employee may, within the same period, request a hearing for the purpose of contesting the debt.
- Sanctions or Disciplinary Action – If the reason for the debt is a result of a violation of university policy or misuse of university property or accounts, appropriate sanctions depending on the frequency or severity of the offense may be issued. Sanctions may include termination of employment.
- Debts of Terminating Employees – When a terminating employee is determined to have debts to the university, the department(s) to which money is owed will work in conjunction Human Resources and the Payroll Office to take appropriate steps to recover the debt via the electronic exit process.
See also HR0160, Termination of Employment; HR0525, Disciplinary Action; HR0530, Garnishments.