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Section III: Employment Policies

3.01 Employee Definitions/Categories

  1. Instructional personnel include instructors and instructional support employees working on an academic-year basis. Instructional support employees are instructional technicians, laboratory technicians and tutors.
  2. Instructional personnel are categorized as follows:
    1. Regular full-time instructors, as defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the College and the exclusive representative of the instructors.
    2. Regular part-time instructors, as defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the College and the exclusive representative of the instructors.
    3. Regular full-time instructional support
      1. Regular full-time instructional support personnel have assigned duties totaling 1920 hours per academic year.
    4. Regular part-time instructional support
      1. Regular part-time instructional support personnel have assigned duties totaling fewer than 1920 hours per academic year.
    5. Temporary: an instructional employee who is hired for a specified period of time not to exceed one year.
    6. Substitute: an instructional employee hired for an indefinite period of time to replace a regular instructor.
    7. Casual: an instructional employee hired on an intermittent basis for an indefinite period of time not to exceed 750 hours per year.
  3. Non-teaching employees are categorized as follows:
    1. Regular full-time: an employee with a minimum of 40 hours per week of assigned duties.
    2. Regular part-time: an employee with fewer than 40 hours per week of assigned duties.
    3. Temporary: an employee who is hired for a period of time not to exceed one year.
    4. Casual: an employee who is hired on an intermittent basis for an indefinite period of time not to exceed 173 hours per term.
    5. Work-study student employee: a student hired to work in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Financial Aid Office.
    6. Non work-study student employee: Temporary non-work study student employee hired to work in accordance with CNM policies and procedures who may work up to 20 hours per week. Employee must be enrolled in a CNM degree program and successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours each term or 30 credit hours each school year. This position is not eligible for benefits, overtime, and/or holiday pay.

3.02 Employee Groups

  1. Non-exempt: an employee who is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime purposes. Non-exempt personnel include, but are not limited to, support personnel classified in such categories as clerks and secretaries, food service workers, maintenance and custodial workers, security personnel, data services and computer operations employees, instructional and non-instructional technicians.
  2. Exempt: an employee who is not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime purposes. Exempt personnel include, but are not limited to, full- and part-time instructors and full- and part-time exempt personnel who receive a written contract of employment and/or serve at the discretion of the president. The responsibility of negotiating individual contracts rests with the president and no contract is valid unless executed by the president or designee.

3.03 Employment

  1. Employment Rules
    1. Employment shall be subject to the College's sole discretion with regard to the classification of positions, program needs, funding limitations, job assignments, function assignments, determinations of reductions in force and other terms and conditions of employment.
    2. The employment of employees whose positions are covered by collective bargaining agreements will be governed by the terms of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
    3. The employment of employees during their trial periods ("trial employees"), temporary employees, casual employees, and work-study employees, is considered "at will" employment. This means that the College may terminate the employment of employees in these categories at any time for any reason, with or without notice or cause. Likewise, these employees may quit their employment, with or without notice, at any time. The College's termination of at-will employees is final and binding, and not subject to any disciplinary or grievance procedure. Nothing in this handbook or any other policy or practice of the College may be interpreted to alter the at will status of these at will employees in any way. This at will policy may only be modified in writing. To be effective, such modification must specifically mention this policy and must be signed by the President of the College.
    4. Except as provided in the next paragraph, employees who are not at will employees are considered regular employees. The College may terminate the employment of regular employees pursuant to Section 3.07 A or for just cause as defined in Section 9.03.
    5. Senior administrative staff and other administrative employees specifically identified by the President ("contracted employees") shall execute employment contracts. The terms of such contracts shall be negotiated by, or at the discretion of, the President. The termination of the employment of contracted employees will be governed by the terms of their contracts. Contracted employees serve at the discretion of the President and there is no commitment expressed or implied to renew or extend their employment beyond the terms of their contracts. The President's decision not to renew or extend contracted employees' contracts is binding and final and not subject to any grievance procedure.
  2. CNM will post openings for non-temporary, full- and part-time positions (including part-time positions that are being made full-time) except as noted in 3.03 C.
  3. If circumstances warrant, as determined by the President or designee, the following positions may be filled by incumbents without posting:
    1. temporary positions;
    2. openings resulting from organizational restructuring; and
    3. positions changed from part- to full-time status when job duties remain substantially the same.
  4. The offer of part-time employment shall not be presumed or construed as indicating any commitment to full-time employment.
  5. In filling job vacancies, preference will be given to current employees when qualifications and experience are equal in the judgment of the College's hiring officials.
  6. Non-exempt employees may not hold more than one full-time College job (40 hours per work week) or part-time jobs equaling more than one full-time non-exempt job at the College.
  7. Work-study employees may not hold any other full-time or part-time position at the College.
  8. Exempt employees may work in a secondary capacity at the College. The primary supervisors\ may approve annual leave for an exempt employee to work in a secondary capacity only if sufficient personnel remain in the department to maintain all programs adequately and provided adequate substitutes are available.
  9. Applications and résumés are considered public records as defined in the Inspection of Public Records Act (14-2-1 through 14-2-12 NMSA 1978).
  10. All CNM employees are required to reside within the state of New Mexico.

3.04 Trial Periods

  1. All full- and part-time non-exempt employees shall be trial employees for the first six months of their employment in any position. All full- and part-time exempt employees (except those referenced in Section 3.03 A.5) shall be trial employees for the longer of their initial 28-months of employment with the College or six months from their first day of work in any exempt positions except as indicated in 3.04 E.
  2. Time spent as part-time or full-time instructors is not counted toward any trial period.
  3. The trial period for non-exempt employees may be extended for an additional period not to exceed six months. Whether such an extension is made shall be entirely at the discretion of the College. There shall not be any extension to an exempt employee's initial 28-month trial period except as provided in E.3., below.
  4. Full-time employees may be allowed to take leave during their trial period in accordance with Section VIII of this handbook. Time spent on leave is not counted toward any trial period.
  5. The trial periods for employees hired into new positions are as follows:
    1. For either a non-exempt employee or exempt employee moving into a different non-exempt position, the trial period will run for six months from the first day of work in the new position, unless that trial period is extended under Section 3.04C, in which case it will run to the end of that extension.
    2. For a non-exempt employee moving into an exempt position, the trial period will run to the later of a) completion of their initial 28 months of employment with the College or b) six months from the first day of work in the new exempt position.
    3. For an exempt employee moving into a different exempt position, the trial period will run to the later of a) completion of their initial 28 months of employment with the College or b) six months from the first day of work in the new position.
    4. For the purposes of Section 3.04 the determination of whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt is entirely at the discretion of the College.
    5. An employee who does not satisfactorily complete any trial period has no entitlement to any previously held position.

3.05 Performance Evaluations

  1. Regular, Non-Contracted Employees. Employees are evaluated in writing no less often than annually. New employees in a trial period are formally evaluated in writing prior to the completion of the employee's trial period. A written evaluation report, signed by the supervisor and the employee, is placed in the employee's official personnel file. The employee is provided an opportunity to review, discuss and offer additional comments on the evaluation report, but will be required to sign the evaluation report acknowledging that the employee has read and received a copy of the report. Criteria for evaluation will be established by Human Resources in conjunction with the appropriate department supervisor and any other applicable personnel.
  2. Contracted Employees. Employees considered "contracted employee" shall be individually evaluated at least annually in writing in a manner and according to criteria determined by the President.

3.06 Voluntary Termination

  1. Instructors and other exempt personnel are required to give 30 days notification of plans to resign from a position at the College.
  2. Other employees shall provide the College with not fewer than two weeks notice of resignation.
  3. The President of the College or designee may waive the requirement of such notice and accept a resignation, provided all financial obligations of the employee to the College have been satisfied and the early vacation of the position will not impair the mission of the College.

3.07 Involuntary Termination

  1. Layoffs and reduction to part-time status. Because the College's programs must be expanded and reduced according to the needs of industry, fluctuations in enrollment or availability of funding, it is sometimes necessary to reduce the number of employees or change employees from full-time to part-time status.
    1. Persons retained as full-time employees will be selected according to the skills needed to operate the programs involved, with seniority (see B. below) governing where two or more employees are judged to have relatively equal skills and performance records.
    2. For instructional support and non-instructional personnel, relatively equal skills will be judged on competencies needed for the job description.
  2. Definition of seniority. Seniority shall be based first upon an employee's length of full-time service with the College, second upon length of full-time service within an employee's job classification and third upon full-time service within the department. Exceptions must be in writing and approved by the president.
    1. Seniority shall cease immediately upon resignation, retirement or discharge for cause.
    2. An employee reinstated within one year after layoff or reduction to part-time status shall be entitled to seniority previously accrued during years of employment. (Also see A. above).

3.08 Background Checks

A. Purpose and Scope

To ensure that employees are well qualified and that Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) maintains a safe and productive work environment, it is our policy to conduct pre-employment background checks on all finalist candidates prior to making a final offer of employment.  Background checks may include verification of any information on the candidate's resume or application form. Any individual who is required to undergo a background check and refuses will be disqualified for employment in that position. 

All offers of employment are conditioned on receipt of a background report. All background checks are conducted in conformity with all applicable laws and regulations including, but not limited to, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Mexico Criminal Offender Employment Act, the New Mexico Caregivers Criminal History Screening Act, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. If a third party vendor conducts the background checks the vendor is required to maintain the proper expertise and comply with all aspects of this policy. Background checks generally go back seven (7) years unless the governing statute of limitations is longer. Background checks can only be conducted at the request of HR. Reports are kept confidential and are only viewed by individuals involved in the hiring process.

B. Specific Inquiries

There are different levels of background checks depending on the nature of the position. These levels may include, but are not limited to:

  1. employment verification;
  2. confirmation of a person’s identity;
  3. verification of education degree, license, or certificate required for the position;
  4. review of Motor Vehicle Division records;
  5. criminal history check;
  6. proof of New Mexico residency pursuant to Section 3.03(J) of the CNM Employee Handbook; or
  7. other background checks as required by law.

A criminal history check includes any and all felonies and misdemeanors, but does not include minor traffic offenses for which the penalty is a fine. Records that have been expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction should not appear on an individual's criminal record and should not be shown in information included in a background check. In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, CNM will not treat applicants with similar criminal records differently because of their race, national origin, color, sex, religion, military status, or any other protected classifications.

C. Current Employees

  1. At CNM’s discretion or as required by law, background checks may be conducted on a periodic basis if warranted. CNM reserves the right to conduct a background check for current employees to determine eligibility for promotion or transfer in the same manner as described above.
  2. Any employee convicted of a felony or misdemeanor criminal act, excluding minor traffic offenses, must notify their supervisor within seven (7) calendar days of the conviction. This information may result in the need to complete a subsequent background check. Any employee who fails to report a conviction will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
  3. Volunteers and contractors who have been identified as performing functions similar to those of employees occupying a position requiring a background check are subject to the provisions of this policy.

D. Confidentiality

Background check information is regarded as confidential and will be released only consistent with applicable law. Information collected for successful finalists is stored separately from the official employee files. Documents related to pre-employment screening information is retained for the period mandated by law.

E. Disclosure

This policy will be referenced in all CNM position announcements or job advertisements as appropriate.