Enrollee Handbook

  • Introduction

  • Time and Attendance

  • Enrollee Benefits

  • Enrollee Health and Safety

Introduction

We welcome you as a participant in the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA) United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Senior Environmental Employment Program (SEE). As a SEE enrollee, you bring life experience, knowledge, and diversity to EPA. These attributes are assisting EPA in meeting its goals and mission of safeguarding our health and the environment.

The policies, practices and procedures of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA) Senior Environmental Employment Program (SEE) are outlined in this HANDBOOK.

NCBA

 NCBA (National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to improving the quality of life for the Black elderly. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the non-profit NCBA has over 30,000 members and 51 state and local chapters throughout the nation.

 Today, NCBA is a multi-racial membership organization devoted to improving the economic status and quality of life for older persons. NCBA functions as an advocacy group on behalf of the elderly at federal, state and local levels.

SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL EMPLOYMENT (SEE) PROGRAM

The SEE program is authorized by the Environmental Program Assistance Act of 1983 (Public Law 98-313) which allows EPA to "make grants" and to enter into cooperative agreements with private, non-profit organizations designated by the Secretary of Labor under Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965. These grant/cooperative agreements are to utilize the talents of older Americans in providing technical assistance to Federal, State and local environmental agencies for projects on pollution prevention, abatement and control.

 This program is designed to meet the needs of EPA and older Citizens who wish to contribute their talents to a better environment, and receive financial support to supplement their retirement income. Members of the SEE Program are enrolled only to assist and support federal employees, not supplant them.

DEFINITIONS

NCBA: National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc.

EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency.

SEE Program: Senior Environmental Employment Program.

NCBA/SEE Program Director: Director of day-to-day operations of the NCBA/SEE Program.

SEE Enrollee: An individual who is enrolled as a participant in the Senior Environmental Employment Program, and who is assigned to various offices and laboratories to lend technical and support services to EPA staff.

EPA Monitor: An individual identified by EPA to provide day-to-day direction to the SEE Enrollee.

SEE ENROLLEE RESPONSIBILITY

Enrollees are expected to perform their assignments in a safe, professional, and responsible manner at all times. Attire should be appropriate for the assignment. Enrollees are reminded that their paychecks/benefits are provided by public funds.

Enrollees must take responsibility for the prompt and accurate submission of their Time and Attendance Reports as well as any required written activity reports.

Requests for reimbursement of authorized travel or supplies must be made and accompanied with proper documentation within thirty days of expenditure.

 Under no circumstances may an enrollee be assigned duties for more than ten

(10)   hours per day.

 Due to the nature of some assignments (which are based upon approved position descriptions}, enrollees may be requested to:

 a.  Have in their possession a valid driver's license (the NCBA office will make a photostatic copy of the enrollee’s driver's license and will place it in the enrollee's file).

b. Be willing to travel occasionally or frequently,

 c. Be away from home one or more nights.

 d. Participate in air travel.

 e. Own or have access to a privately-owned vehicle (POV) for use by the enrollee to meet SEE position description requirements that may include local travel. However, all POV local travel requirements for NCBA/SEE Enrollees are limited to 200 miles round-trip.

 f. Maintain motor vehicle liability insurance which covers business use of the vehicle by the SEE enrollee.

 g. Undergo a NCBA designated physical examination if travel and/or driving is a part of the position description.

EPA PARTICIPATING OFFICES

NCBA/EPA/SEE enrollees are assigned to:

Headquarters - Washington, DC

Laboratories:

Research Triangle Park, NC

Athens, GA

Ada, OK

Gulf Breeze, FL

and 

EPA 1 Region:

 Atlanta, GA                                     Region IV

NCBA/SEE PROGRAM

The National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the EPA/SEE Grant Program to include personnel and budget management, policy issuance, in-service training, and grant coordination with applicable EPA offices.

NCBA/SEE Staff will:

  • Initiate and administer the recruitment effort from vacancy announcements to enrollment.

  • Pre-screen all available candidates; participate in the interview process and work closely with EPA staff members who are Monitors.

  • Select a minimum of three (3) candidates per position and refer them to EPA for final selection.

  • Enroll candidates and process all formal enrollment documents.

  • Administer disciplinary procedures, establish corrective actions, and, when necessary, carry out termination in a fair and equitable manner following consultation and written documentation of issues involved with the EPA Monitor.

  • Ensure that adequate orientation and training occurs for each SEE enrollee during the initial phase of their assignment and that the orientation and training is consistent with the tasks the SEE enrollee is assigned.

  • Ensure that adequate enrollee monitoring occurs, paying particular attention to the health and safety issues affecting the SEE enrollee.

  • Assure enrollee safety, by making certain that enrollees are not assigned to unsafe or unsanitary buildings.

  • Make periodic monitoring visits to EPA assignment sites to ensure that conditions and treatment of enrollees are acceptable, and that other provisions of the cooperative agreement are being followed. Monitoring visits may occur as frequently as deemed necessary, but no less than semi-annually.

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE

 The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 subjects employers to penalties if they knowingly hire illegal aliens, or if they discriminate against employees or prospective employees because of their “Citizenship Status”.

 NCBA/SEE Program requires all SEE enrollees hired after November 6, 1986 to complete the required forms and to provide documents to establish both identity and assignment eligibility.

 The following documents are acceptable to the INS as proof of identity and assignment eligibility. (only one is needed):

  • United States passport

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, INS Form N-560

  • Certificate of Naturalization, INS Form N-550

  • Unexpired foreign passport which:

  a)   Contains an unexpired stamp which reads “processed for 1-551..." or

b)   Has a Form 1-94 attached bearing the same name as the employment authorization stamp, so long as the period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations on the Form 1-94.

  • Alien Registration Receipt Card, INS Form 1-151; or Resident Alien, INS Form 1-551. provided it contains a photo of the bearer.

  • Temporary Resident Card. INS Form 1-688; or Employment Authorization Card. INS Form l-688A, provided that it contains a

photo of the bearer.

 Any one of the following documents are acceptable to the INS, at this time, to establish Employment Eligibility only:

  • Original Social Security number card {other than one which specifically states that it does not authorize employment in the U.S.)

  • Unexpired re-entry permit, INS Form 571;

  • Unexpired Refugee Travel document. INS Form 571;

  • Certificate of Birth issued by the State Department. Form FS-545.

  • Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the State Department. Form DS-1350;

  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a State or recognized subdivision thereof establishing birth in a State.

The following are acceptable documents for the purpose of establishing the identity of the individual only:

  • State-issued driver’s license or identification card containing a photo, or if there is no photo, identifying information such as name, date of birth, sex, height, color of eyes, and address.

  •  Other documents established by the INS.

  •  Photocopies of the identification and employment authorization documents will be made and attached to the INS verification form.

Time and Attendance

AUTHORIZED ASSIGNMENT HOURS

 The EPA Monitor and the enrollee will establish an assignment schedule with the NCBA/SEE Program office to review for adherence to program guidelines. Each enrollee will identify their specific assignment hours by completing a Work Schedule form which is signed by the enrollee and the EPA Monitor.

 The NCBA/SEE Program assignment hours for all enrollees are set between 12:01 AM

Saturday through 12:00 midnight the following Friday; the core assignment hours   for all enrollees are set between the hours of 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Monday through the following Friday. Any exception to these time frames must be specifically requested and approved in advance and in writing by the EPA Monitor. Any enrollee reporting before 7:00 a.m. and staying beyond 6:00 p.m. must have the monitor or alternate  monitor  present during this time. Any extenuating circumstances (i.e., inclement weather, etc.) preventing compliance with this procedure are to be reported as soon as possible to NCBA.

 It is the EPA Monitor or Alternate Monitor's responsibility to approve assignment hours presented on the Time and Attendance Reports of enrollees assigned to them. Any authorized enrollee assignments performed in excess of forty hours per week will be paid at time-and-a-half in accordance with the regulations, and wage and hour provisions established by the U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act, EPA Monitors and/or other authorized EPA officials who sign Time and Attendance Reports in excess of forty hours per week for any enrollee should be cognizant of the budget implications of the additional expense provided by time and a half rates of pay.

Under the NCBA/SEE Program, an enrollee may NOT volunteer for extra assignment hours without pay at his/her regularly scheduled position.

COMPENSATORY TIME IS NOT PERMITTED.

 OVERTIME HOURS AND OVERTIME PAY

 NCBA is responsible for monitoring and controlling SEE Enrollee overtime within EPA offices.

In accordance with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, NCBA provides pay at a rate of time-and-a-half for tasks performed in excess of forty (40) hours per week. It is understood that any assignment hours in excess of forty (40) hours per week must be approved in writing and authorized by the appropriate EPA official and the NCBAISEE Program Director using the NCBA Overtime Request Form.

ABSENCE FROM ASSIGNMENT

Absence from assignment due to illness, emergency, and/or other reasons must be reported to the EPA Monitor no later than two hours following scheduled starting time. An enrollee or his/her representative shall call on each day of absence,    Failure to report an absence within the stated time frame may be considered justification for forfeiting hours on the Time and Attendance Report for that day. Failure to give notification may be grounds for dismissal.

Position abandonment may be considered grounds for termination of enrollment if an enrollee arbitrarily leaves the position for three working days without explanation or without contacting the EPA Monitor or the NCBA Program Director's office.

If an enrollee misses three (3) consecutive days for any reason, including but not limited to illness or accident, the EPA Monitor must notify the NCBA SEE Program Director by email or by telephone, any unapproved absence must be reported immediately.

In order to resume that assignment following a five (5) day absence due to injury or illness, an enrollee must obtain a doctor's statement. This statement must be given to the NCBA/SEE office before the enrollee may report to EPA to continue their assignment. The NCBA/SEE Program Director will authorize the enrollee's return to EPA. Fa11ure to seek NCBA authorization to return to the assignment will result in NON-paid time for the unauthorized period.

COMPRESSED ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE

NCBA/SEE Program in cooperation with the various EPA Divisions and Laboratories has agreed to allow SEE Enrollees to be assigned a pre-approved compressed schedule. However, several conditions must be met:

  •  The Compressed Assignment Schedule consists of four-10-hour days per week.

  • The Compressed Assignment Schedule must not interfere with the normal flow of the office and only the EPA Monitor may seek permission for an enrollee to compress their schedule.

  • There are no flexible times in a compressed schedule. Enrollees' times of arrival and departure are set, as are the days on which they are to complete their assignments. The Compressed Assignment Schedule is not given on demand, but is approved by the EPA Monitor.

NATIONAL CAUCUS AND CENTER ON BLACK AGING, INC.

Explanation of Enrollee Timesheet

 

  • Actual hour of arrival.

  • Actual hour of departure.

  • Total of Columns 1 & 2.

  •  Lunch hour (amount of time taken for lunch).

  •   Leave taken during course of day.

  •  Actual hours at assignment (minus the lunch hour).

  •  Total hours to be paid.

  •  Use of private auto for assignment purpose (requires NCBA's prior approval).

 

 Jury duty hours should be shown as normal assignment hours and must be accompanied by a court statement or summons for jury duty:

 NOTE:

 ERASURE AND WHITE-OUT ARE NOT ACCEPTED. STRIKE-OUT IS

PERMITTED BUT MUST BE INITIALED.

 TIMESHEETS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY THE ORIGINAL SIGNATURE

  ENROLLEE

Enrollee Benefits 

The NCBA/SEE Program establishes eleven (11} paid holidays per calendar year, which are concurrent with most federal holidays. The number of hours for which an enrollee will receive holiday pay is equal to the number of hours he/she was scheduled on assignment that day.

 Example 1: Normal assignment day= 8 hours Will receive 8 hours holiday pay.

 Example 2: Normal assignment day= 6.6 hours Will receive 5.5 hours holiday pay.

Enrollees may not perform assignment or initiate travel on designated holidays. Any exceptions must be pre-approved by the EPA Monitor or Alternate and NCBA/SEE Program Director. Enrollees must be in active status both before and after a holiday in order to be paid for the holiday; i.e., an enrollee who is on leave without pay or whose last day before termination would be a holiday WILL NOT be eligible for holiday pay.

 It is recommended that the NCBA/SEE Program office be contacted if confusion occurs regarding proper accounting for paid holidays.

 The following holidays will be observed:

  1.  New Year's Day

  2. Labor Day

  3. Martin Luther King's Birthday

  4. Columbus Day

  5. George Washington's Birthday

  6. Veteran's Day

  7. Memorial Day

  8. Thanksgiving Day

  9. And the Friday following Thanksgiving Day

  10. Independence Day

  11. Christmas Day

 Additionally, enrollees will observe all holidays that are recognized by the assigned agency.

ANNUAL LEAVE

All enrollees are entitled to annual leave, which accumulates at the rate of one hour accrued for every twenty (20) hours paid. This rate is multiplied by the total number of hours reported for the enrollee to determine the current pay period accumulation. Total hours paid (vacation, sick, regular hours, etc.) will be used to compute the accrual of annual leave.

The maximum annual leave that may be accrued and carried forward at the end of each calendar year (December 31) is one (1) pay period (80 hours maximum).

Any accrued annual leave in excess of one pay period (or 80 hours) will, at the end of the calendar year, be lost to the enrollee and may not be used or paid after midnight of December 31.

Vacation time may be taken as soon as it is earned with the approval of the EPA Site Monitor. Normally, an EPA Monitor should be given at least two (2) weeks notice in writing of planned vacations. A courtesy notice to the NCBA/SEE office is recommended when vacation is planned.

Enrollees who are terminated from the program will be paid their accrued annual leave up to the day of termination.

SICK LEAVE

 All enrollees accumulate sick leave at the rate of one (1) hour for every twenty (20) hours paid. Sick leave is paid only when the enrollee is sick. An enrollee may not take a day off and claim sick leave pay when he/she is not actually sick. However, if it becomes necessary for an enrollee to take time off for a doctor's visit or a dental appointment, said time can be charged to accumulated sick leave. Accrued sick leave will not be paid to enrollees who leave the program.

 a.  Annual leave may not be used to cover sick leave unless written authorization is given by the enrollee. Original signed and dated authorization is to be attached to the initial Time and Attendance Report.

b. The EPA Monitor must immediately notify the NCBA/SEE Program Director when any enrollee whose injury or illness, incurred on or off the job, results in an absence in excess of three (3) days. All absences due to illness or injury must be reported.

 c.  A doctor's dated and signed statement to Permit an Enrollee’s Assignment Resumption After Illness Injury is  required after an absence of five (5) days. This statement is to be given to the EPA Monitor and the NCBA/SEE office BEFORE the enrollee may return to their assignment. The NCBA/SEE office is the only office permitted to authorize the enroll ee’s return to their assignment. Upon receiving authorization to return to the office/lab, the enrollee MUST be able to resume their normal assignment hours and all of their regular position duty requirements.

 d. Time and Attendance reports must be submitted throughout any enrollee's use of sick leave for an extended period. If the enrollee is unable to sign due to hospitalization, etc., a typed statement to that effect on the enrollee's signature line, on the time sheet will suffice; the Monitor must also continue signing the time and attendance reports.

 COMPENSATION FOR ABSENCE DURING ASSIGNMENT RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS

Enrollees for whom an Employer's First Report of   Injury has been filed by the EPA Monitor and who are unable to perform their duties because of the assignment-related injury or illness, may become eligible to receive income benefits under Worker's Compensation. However, in each state there is a statutory “waiting period” before income benefits are payable under Worker's Compensation. The applicable statutory waiting period will apply as follows:

 Three (3) days in the states of: Alabama, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming.

 Five (5) days in the states of: Idaho, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota.

 Six (6) days in the state of Montana.

Seven (7) days in the states of: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.

In all states, the waiting period begins the day after the date of the injury or illness. During the "waiting period", enrollees should be granted use of their accumulated sick leave, vacation leave (if the enrollee so authorizes Its use in writing) or be put into an "inactive" status if neither sick nor vacation leave is available. Beginning the day after the waiting period expires, the enrollee becomes eligible to receive income benefits under Worker's Compensation if he/she is still unable to perform his/her duties; no further sick leave will be granted. At that time, the enrollee will be placed in an inactive status by the NCBA/SEE Program Director, until the attending Physician certifies and approves the SEE enrollee's return to their assignment.

  LEAVE OF ABSENCE - LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

This type of leave is designed for absence from assignment not covered by other authorized leave policy as stated in this section. This leave is for emergency purposes (such as emergency support to family members or relatives) and is to be considered on a case-by-case basis and can only be approved by NCBA/SEE Office.

Enrollee extended leave without pay may include up to sixty (60) days, either consecutive or cumulative, during a calendar year; six (6) months of paid time, starting from midnight of the sixtieth (60th} day, must accrue before any additional extended leave without pay may again be granted.

Request for such leave must be submitted in writing by the enrollee to his/her immediate EPA Monitor and to the NCBA/SEE office, stating:

 1. The reason for the leave.

2.  The expected duration of the leave.

JURY OR WITNESS DUTY

If an enrollee must serve on jury duty, he/she must immediately notify the EPA Monitor and inform the NCBA/SEE office in writing. NCBA encourages all SEE enrollees called to serve on County, Municipal or Federal juries to do so. During the time spent serving, enrollees will receive their regular rate of pay.

NCBA will pay SEE enrollees for jury duty hours that coincide with their regularly scheduled hours. In order to be paid his or her salary while on jury duty, or serving as a witness, the SEE enrollee is required to submit the official summons received for jury or witness duty.

 Jury or witness duty shall be considered in terms of whole days or half days. If the enrollee's presence is required at court for only half day, he/she is expected to report to their EPA assigned duty station for the remaining half day.

Enrollee Health and Safety

HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

 The NCBA/SEE Program holds the safety, welfare, and health of its staff and enrollees as a most important factor.  No task is so urgent that ample time cannot be taken to do it safely. In accordance with this principle, enrollees must exercise maximum care and good judgment to prevent accidents.

 It is an NCBA policy that enrollees not participate in activities or enter any areas in which hazardous substances are known to exist, particularly areas which require respiratory protection. Enrollees should not knowingly place themselves in any other hazardous situations. 

 RESPONSIBILITIES OF ENROLLEES

 More specifically, all enrollees are required to:

  • Read and abide by all safety rules of this program and that of the EPA office to which they are assigned.

  • Take every precaution and follow every safety rule to protect yourself and your fellow EPA employees from injury or illness, using any and all approved personal protective equipment required by the position they are performing (such as hard hats or steel toed shoes, goggles, or eye protectors).

  • Report immediately any accident they witness or are involved in to the EPA Monitor and NCBA Program Director, and seek first-aid for all injuries, no matter how minor they may seem.

  • Report as soon as possible any unsafe condition, equipment or practice observed on the job.

  

REPORTING ASSIGNMENT RELATED INJURIES AND ILLNESSES

 An enrollee must report any occupational accident/injury or illness related to their assignment to the designated EPA Monitor immediately. The NCBA Program Director must be notified by the EPA Monitor without delay.

It is essential that all information pertaining to any occupational accident/injury or illness be noted so that NCBA can report the incident accurately and expeditiously to our Worker's Compensation carrier. You are not covered by Federal Employees Worker's Compensation. NCBA/SEE enrollees are covered by NCBA's Worker's Compensation carrier.

 EPA Monitors will conduct an investigation into the circumstances of any assignment related accident/injury or illness to an enrollee under their supervision. Upon notification of the accident, NCBA will provide the EPA Monitor with the NCBA ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORT. The EPA Monitor will use this form to record the details of his/her investigation. The completed form must be returned to NCBA within five (5) working days, with one copy being retained by the EPA Monitor.