Section III: Employment Policies

Table of Contents 

3.01 Employee Categories

Effective Date: 6/12/18

  1. Instructional personnel include faculty and instructional support employees working on an academic-year basis. Instructional support employees are instructional technicians, laboratory technicians, readers/writers and tutors.

    Instructional personnel are categorized as follows:
    1. Regular full-time faculty: as defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the College and the exclusive representative of the faculty.
    2. Regular part-time faculty: as defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the College and the exclusive representative of the faculty.
    3. Regular full-time instructional support: regular full-time instructional support personnel have assigned duties totaling 1920 hours per academic year.
    4. Regular part-time instructional support: regular part-time instructional support personnel have assigned duties totaling fewer than 1920 hours per academic year.
    5. Temporary: an instructional employee hired to work a reasonably predictable schedule, full or part-time, for a time period not to exceed six (6) months. The six(6) month time limit shall not be extended.
    6. Limited Term: an instructional employee who is grant-funded or hired to meet a business need for a specific period of time that is six (6) months in duration or longer.
    7. Substitute: an instructional employee hired for an indefinite period of time to replace a regular faculty member.
    8. Casual: an instructional employee hired on an intermittent basis for an indefinite period of time not to exceed 519 hours per year.
  2. Staff 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 to work a reasonably predictable schedule, full or part-time, for a period not to exceed six (6) months. The six (6) month time limit shall not be extended.
    4. Limited Term: an employee who is grant-funded or hired to meet a business need for a specific period of time that is six (6) months in duration or longer.
    5. Casual: an employee who is hired on an intermittent basis for an indefinite period of time not to exceed 519 hours per year.
  3. Student Employees are categorized as follows:
    1. Work-study student employee: a student hired to work in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Financial Aid Office.
    2. Non work-study student employee: 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 Central New Mexico Community College (“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 Definitions

Effective Date: 6/12/18

  1. Regular
    Staff positions that are appointed for an indefinite period of time subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability. Regular full-time staff are scheduled to work at least 40 hours per week and regular part-time staff are scheduled to work less than 40 hours per week. Part-time employees may be classified as .75 FTE (30 hours per week) or less. The College may terminate the employment of regular employees pursuant to Employee Handbook Section 3.08(A) or for just cause as defined in Section 9.03(D).
  2. Instructional Support
    Staff positions that are defined in the Instructional Support CBA.
  3. Contract
    Employees who are hired into specified or specialized positions designated by the President of the College. The terms and conditions of employment will be stipulated in the employment contract. There is no commitment expressed or implied by CNM to renew or extend a contract employee’s employment beyond the terms of their contract. Contract terms typically run July 1 through June 30. The President’s decision not to renew or extend a contract employee’s contract is binding and final and not subject to any grievance procedure. The employee will be notified in writing if the contract will end before June 30.
  4. Limited Term
    Limited term employees are hired for a specific duration needed to meet a business need and/or a contract or grant program. These positions may work a full or part-time schedule and may be eligible for benefits based on the same criteria of a regular full or part-time employee. Employees hired for a limited term appointment are considered at-will and may be separated from employment as of the specified appointment end date. At the completion of the limited term, the employee is not able to grieve their separation from employment as a result of the end of the limited term.
  5. Temporary
    Temporary employees are considered at-will for the entire duration of the appointment. Temporary employees are not eligible for CNM benefits. However, temporary employees may be subject to Educational Retirement Act (ERA) contributions. If a position is being filled with the knowledge that it likely will exceed the six (6) month time limit, the position should be created as a limited term position rather than a temporary position. Temporary employees may not be extended beyond the six (6) month time limit. 
  6. Casual
    An employee who works on an “as needed” basis. Casual employees are at-will for the duration of the appointment. Casual employees are limited to 519 hours each fiscal year and are not benefits eligible.

3.03 Employment Groups

Effective Date: 6/12/18

  1. Non-Exempt
    An employee who is subject to all federal Fair Labor Standards Act provisions including the payment of overtime.
  2. Exempt
    Exempt employees are employees who, because of their positional duties and responsibilities, weekly salary amount, and level of decision-making authority, are exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

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3.04 Employment 

Effective Date: 6/12/18

This policy describes recruitment and hiring policies and employment restrictions for all CNM employees.

  1. Employment Rules
    Employment shall be subject to the College’s sole discretion with regard to program needs, funding limitations, job assignments, and determinations of reductions in force and other terms and conditions of employment. Terms and conditions of employment and reduction in force covered by the applicable collective bargaining agreement will supersede this paragraph.
  2. CNM will post openings competitively (except as noted in Employee Handbook Section 3.05).
  3. An offer of part-time employment shall not be presumed or construed as indicating any commitment to full-time employment.
  4. 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.
  5. Non-exempt employees may not hold more than one full-time College job (40 hours per week) or part-time jobs equaling more than one full-time, non-exempt job at the College.
  6. Work-study student employees may not hold any other full-time or part-time staff or faculty positions at the College.
  7. Exempt employees may work in a secondary capacity at the College if the duties of the position are not similar and the work is occasional and sporadic. Each job is treated separately and not subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  8. Application materials submitted by candidates for employment at CNM are public records and subject to public inspection in accordance with New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act (NMSA 1978, §§ 14-2-1 to 14-2-12). Certain information provided
    by candidates that is not subject to public disclosure under the Act will be redacted before such application materials are produced for inspection.

3.05 Non-Competitive Hires

Effective Date: 6/12/18

CNM strives to fill positions through a competitive process. However, there are times when hiring officials need to fill a vacant position without utilizing the competitive process. The reason for non-competitive hires are described below. The hiring official must certify that the conditions of the appointment meets the criteria defined in this policy and that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications of the position.

  1. Rehire: CNM retirees or former employees may be hired into a position similar to the position previously held, but may not be hired into a higher graded position. Employees hired under this category may be hired into on-call, temporary, or regular positions where it would be beneficial to the College to have requisite skills, training, or knowledge of the department’s/school’s operations.
  2. Recall from reduction in force: Priority rehire of an individual who has been laid off may take place under these alternative appointment procedures.
  3. Temporary: A temporary employee may be hired where there is critical, immediate, and temporary need. An employee hired as a temporary employee may fill a position for six (6) months or less. Hiring under this non-competitive reason will allow the department to have an employee working while the competitive process takes place. Employees hired under this non-competitive reason cannot be extended and the employee cannot be converted to a regular employee without a competitive process.
  4. Part-time to full-time: Staff employees can be changed from part-time to full-time and full-time to part-time. An FTE change may be approved at the discretion of the Dean or Director of the department and submitted to the Human Resources Department for final approval Faculty changes from part-time to full-time are covered in the Collective Bargaining Agreements.
  5. Add job: At the discretion of the Dean, a current faculty member can teach an additional course in another department/discipline. Assigning additional courses to faculty members can be done by processing in Faculty Load and Compensation (FLAC).
  6. Lateral Transfer: A hiring official may fill a new or vacant position with a lateral transfer. A lateral transfer is the movement of an employee to another job within the same pay grade as his or her present job and accomplished without an increase in salary. A lateral transfer can only occur if the receiving department agrees to the lateral transfer.

3.06 Voluntary Termination

Effective Date: 6/12/18

  1. Exempt employees, faculty and contract employees period shall provide the College a 30 day notice of plans to resign from a position at the College.
    1. The College 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.
  2. Non-exempt employees who have completed their trial period shall provide the College with no fewer than 2 weeks’ notice of resignation.
  3. The College reserves the right to accept an employee’s voluntary resignation at the time given, to be effective immediately.

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3.07 Involuntary Termination (Non- Disciplinary)

Effective Date: 6/12/18

  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. Individuals retained as employees will be selected according to competencies and skills needed to best perform the current and prospective functions of the job description. When management determines that the competencies and skills of employees necessary to meet current and prospective performance requirements are equal, seniority will be considered in determining whether any employees are retained.
  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

Effective Date: 1/13/15
Revision Date: 6/12/18

  1. Purpose and Scope

    To ensure that employees are well qualified and that 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 the Human Resources Department. Reports are kept confidential and are only viewed by individuals involved in the hiring process.

  2. 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; and
    6. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. Current Employees
    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.
  5. Disclosure
    This policy will be referenced in all CNM position announcements or job advertisements as appropriate.

3.09 Trial Periods

Effective Date: 6/12/18
Revision Date: 12/13/22

  1. All full- and part-time non-exempt employees shall serve a six (6) month trial period.
  2. All full- and part-time exempt, non-represented employees shall serve a twelve (12) month trial period, effective January 1, 2023, except as noted in Section 3.02(C).
  3. Time spent as part-time or full-time faculty is not counted toward any staff position trial period. Trial periods for employees covered by a bargaining unit are defined in the respective collective bargaining agreement.
  4. The trial period for non-exempt employees may be extended for an additional period not to exceed six (6) months. Whether such an extension is made shall be entirely at the discretion of the College.
  5. There shall not be any extension to an exempt employee's initial 12-month trial period except as provided in Section F below.
  6. Leave eligible employees may be allowed to take leave during their trial period in accordance with Section VIII of this handbook. Trial periods will be extended on a day-for-day basis for time spent on leave. The exception will be leave taken under the Domestic Abuse Leave policy.
  7. The trial periods for employees hired into vacant positions are as follows:
    1. When a non-exempt or exempt employee transfers to a new job they are subject to a new trial period as referenced in Section 3.09 (A and B):
      1. Limited term, temporary, casual, and student employees are considered at-will employees. The College may terminate an at-will employee at any time, for any reason, with or without notice or cause. At-will employees may also choose to separate employment with the College at any time. The College’s termination of at-will employees is final and binding, and not subject to any grievance procedure. Nothing in this handbook or any other policy or procedure of the College may be interpreted to alter an employee’s at-will status in any way.

3.10 Performance Evaluations

Effective Date: 6/12/18
Revision Date: 1/11/23

Supervisors evaluate employee performance annually or as otherwise stated in the applicable Collective Bargaining Unit. New employees in a trial period are formally evaluated prior to the completion of the employee's trial period (Section 3.09). A performance evaluation, signed or electronically acknowledged 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. Criteria for performance evaluation will be established by the Human Resources Department in conjunction with the appropriate department supervisor and any other applicable employees.

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