Employee Benefits and Retirement

Printable benefits document

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program is a professional, confidential counseling service available to assist employees and their immediate family members in resolving personal issues and problems before they affect health, family relationships, and/or job performance.

Durham Tech recognizes that a wide range of personal problems can affect an employee’s job performance. Examples of such personal problems include alcohol and/or drug dependence, marital or family stresses, or any problems that cause emotional distress. These problems may result in deterioration of job efficiency. In most instances, the employee will overcome such personal problems independently and the effect on job performance will be negligible. In some instances, normal supervisory assistance will serve either as motivation or guidance by which such problems can be resolved so the employee’s job performance will return to an acceptable level. In some cases, however, neither the efforts of the employee nor supervisor have the desired effect on resolving the employee’s problems. In addition, unsatisfactory performance may persist over a period of time, either consistently or intermittently.

The intent of the Employee Assistance Program is to help the employee overcome the problem so that job performance meets expectations. The program is designed to identify the problem at the earliest possible stage, motivate the employee to seek help, and direct the employee to appropriate assistance.

Durham Tech believes it is in the interest of the employee, the employee’s family, and the educational institution to provide a service which deals with such persistent problems. For the Employee Assistance Program to be successful, the following must be acknowledged or implemented:

  • Personal problems which affect work performance and attendance are legitimate concerns of management; management recognizes that these problems can be successfully treated provided they are identified early and referral is made to the appropriate resource;

  • Personal problems requiring assistance include alcohol dependence or abuse, drug dependence or abuse, marital issues, or other problems that cause emotional distress;

  • The purpose of the Employee Assistance Program is to assure employees that, if such personal problems are the cause of unsatisfactory job performance, they will receive an offer of assistance to help resolve such problems in an effective and confidential manner;

  • Employees will not have their job security or promotional opportunities jeopardized because of participation in the program;

  • Strict confidentiality is essential and will be maintained;

  • Employees are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program voluntarily when they need professional help or guidance;

  • If an employee has not sought help independently for a personal problem, it will be the responsibility of the Supervisor and/or Department Head to follow a procedure which will ensure that no employee with a behavioral disorder will fail to have the benefit of diagnosis and treatment;

  • Any expenses incurred in seeking assistance, beyond that which is covered by medical insurance, will be the employee’s responsibility;

  • It is the employee’s responsibility to cooperate in the designated treatment or rehabilitation plan; after a reasonable opportunity for progress, normal disciplinary procedures, up to and including job dismissal, will apply unless there is noticeable improvement in job performance;

  • The program is also available to an employee’s immediate family members;

  • Time off for participating in the Employee Assistance Program will be granted in accordance with the existing policy on leave for doctor appointments; and

  • Implementation of this policy will not require or result in any special regulations, privileges, or exemptions from the standard personnel policies applicable to job performance.


Full-time and continuing part-time employees may use the Employee Assistance Program on a self-referral basis by calling the Employee Assistance Program Counselor directly or by contacting their Supervisor. When an employee’s job performance begins to decline, the Supervisor and/or Department Head will:

  • Be alert to continued changes in work and behavior patterns;

  • Not attempt to counsel with employees relative to personal problems;

  • Document particular instances in which an employee’s job performance fails to meet minimum standards or in which individual behavior patterns seem to be changing or deteriorating (i.e., an employee whose attendance and productivity have been good suddenly begins to miss time from work or his/her productivity slips for unexplained reasons);

  • Conduct normal corrective disciplinary interviews when the documented record of unsatisfactory performance calls for it; and at the conclusion of the interview, inform the employee that the Employee Assistance Program is available if a personal problem exists including the following:

    • Review all recorded instances of performance problems with the employee;

    • Explain precisely why the level of job performance is considered unsatisfactory;

    • Allow the employee to give reasons for his/her actions or failures;

    • Make suggestions for corrections as they apply to job performance; and

    • Document the corrective disciplinary interview(s) and inform the employee that the Employee Assistance Program is available if a personal problem exists.

  • If the employee’s performance continues to be unsatisfactory, conduct another interview and issue a written warning; conclude again with a recommendation to utilize the Employee Assistance Program;

  • Inform the employee that failure to improve job performance will result in other disciplinary action, including possible job dismissal;

  • Review all aspects of the situation with the Department Head or Dean;

  • Confirm the significant points of the interview to the employee in writing using the normal disciplinary procedures;

  • If deterioration of performance continues, conduct another interview with the Department Head present and conclude again by offering the employee the service of the Employee Assistance Program or accepting the prescribed disciplinary action for continued unsatisfactory performance;

  • If the employee refuses assistance, normal disciplinary procedures will apply; and

  • Employees participating in the Employee Assistance Program whose performance either does not improve or continues to deteriorate are subject to normal disciplinary procedures.

To contact the Employee Assistance Program Counselor, call 1-800-327-2255 or visit nexgeneap.com. Use the Durham Tech company code "9098" to register online. This call and Employee Assistance Program visits are confidential. Numbers of college employees and family members using the services are reported annually to the Human Resources Department for determining continuation of this benefit.

Fair Labor Standards Act

See Time-Off Plan for Overtime Compensation in the Leave Regulations section.

Insurance Benefits

Durham Tech provides several insurance plans and voluntary supplemental plans for full-time employees. The College also provides medical, dental, and life insurance for full-time employees. Employees must enroll within 30 days of their starting date in order to be eligible to participate in any insurance benefits Durham Tech provides. All insurance becomes effective on the first day of the month after the employee receives his/her first paycheck. There is no waiting period for the employee's dependents if they are enrolled within the first 30 days of employment. For enrollment after the first 30 days of employment, refer to the insurance provider's handbook or contact the Accounting and Payroll Services Director in the Business Office.

Various insurance plans are available as follows:

Cancer/Dread Disease Insurance

Cancer/dread disease insurance is available as an optional plan covering cancer and 30 specified diseases with hospital intensive care. A return of premium is available after five years.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance coverage is through Interactive Medical Systems. The college pays the cost of the employee’s coverage. Family coverage is available to each participating employee and must be paid by the employee. Coverage includes exams, cleaning, and X-rays at 100 percent. Other procedures are covered at 80 percent for preventive service and 50 percent for restorative procedures. Limited assistance is provided for orthodontic care.

Disability Insurance

The Teachers’ and State Employees’ Disability Income Plan provides an equitable replacement income for eligible employees who are temporarily or permanently disabled and unable to perform the duties required of their usual occupation prior to retirement. Short-term disability benefits are payable on the sixty-first day of a disability. Employees must have at least one year of contributing membership service in the Retirement System earned within 36 calendar months preceding the disability. Benefits for short-term disability are equal to 50 percent of 1/12 of the employee’s annual base rate of compensation. At the conclusion of the short-term eligibility period, an employee whose disability is likely to be permanent is eligible to apply for long-term disability benefits if the employee has five years of contributing membership service earned within 96 calendar months prior to the end of the short-term disability (available to employees participating in the Retirement System).

Disability insurance options are also available as follows:

  • Colonial Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan beginning on the eighth day an illness (including pregnancy) and the first day of an accident. This insurance is portable.

  • Symetra Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan beginning after 6 months of disability and providing monthly benefits for up to 60 months (available to full-time employees).

Liability Insurance

All employees are covered through Durham Tech's general and professional liability insurance. This insurance provides coverage arising from any alleged wrongful act, error, omission or neglect, or breach of duty that occurs when acting as a representative of Durham Tech.

Life Insurance

Durham Tech provides life insurance benefits and additional options as follows:

  • Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System of North Carolina – Provides a group plan equal to the employee&’s annual salary, not to exceed $50,000, after one year of employment;

  • Colonial Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan offering term and cash value permanent life insurance as well as an accidental death benefit. This insurance is portable;

  • Symetra Life Insurance Company – Provides a group plan equal to the employee’s last annual salary (provided to full-time employees);

  • Symetra Life Insurance Company – Provides a voluntary group plan offering employees the opportunity to supplement the basic group life insurance through the purchase of additional life insurance equal to their last annual salary at reduced group rates (available to full-time employees).

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care benefits are available to Durham Tech employees on a voluntary, self-pay basis. These benefits are intended to supplement benefits provided through the employee's health plan. Coverage is available to employees and their spouse, children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandparents-in-law.

Medical Insurance

Health insurance is provided by the North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Comprehensive Major Medical Plan. The college pays for the cost of the employee’s coverage on the basic coverage plan; employees pay a portion of the standard coverage plan. Children and family coverage is available to each participating employee and must be paid by the employee. For additional information about this insurance, visit the State Health Plan website at http://www.shpnc.org/, or contact the college’s Accounting and Payroll Director who also serves as the college's Health Benefits Representative.

Pet Insurance

Nationwide offers medical coverage and wellness coverage for pets. Medical coverage includes accidents, illnesses, surgeries, and prescriptions. Wellness coverage includes vaccinations, checkups, and flea/heartworm prevention. Employees can enroll and receive a quote from PetsNationwide.com or 1-877-738-7874.

Vision Insurance

Vision insurance is available as an optional benefit through the Community Eye Care provider network of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and optical companies. Employees may select a plan for an annual exam and materials or a plan for materials only. Discounts are available for prescription eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, disposable contact lenses, and all other prescription materials. Because this is an optional benefit, all costs related to participation are paid by participants.

Longevity Pay

Regular contract full-time employees are eligible for longevity pay after the date the employee has completed 10 years of aggregate service to the State of North Carolina. Prior State of North Carolina service may count toward calculation of longevity for pay purposes if necessary records are provided by the employee at the time of employment.

Longevity pay amounts are computed by multiplying the employee's annual base salary rate as of the eligibility date by the appropriate percentage in accordance with the following table:

Years of Aggregate State Service

Longevity Pay Rate

10 but less than 15 years


15 but less than 20 years


20 but less than 25 years


25 or more years


Annual payment is made in a lump sum, subject to all statutory deductions, during the monthly pay period in which the employee has satisfied all eligibility requirements.

National College Savings Program (529 Plan)

Full-time and continuing part-time employees are eligible to participate in the National College Savings Program. The National College Program, which is officially known as the North Carolina Savings and Investment Program, has been established by the State Education Assistance Authority, a political subdivision of the State of North Carolina, to enable residents of any state to invest funds to pay the qualified higher education expenses of their designated beneficiaries on a flexible basis that achieves certain tax savings in accordance with federal tax law and North Carolina law. As part of the program, the General Assembly has established the Parental Savings Trust Fund of which the Authority is trustee, to hold all assets of the program. The Trust Fund assets are not the property of the State of North Carolina.


Full-time employees and continuing part-time employees working 30 hours or more per week are enrolled in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, and six percent is deducted monthly from all wages earned to contribute to this retirement benefit. The state contributes a percentage of all wages paid as the employer’s contribution to the employee’s retirement account.

As of July 1, 1982, employees’ contributions were placed into a State employee tax-sheltered annuity account. These contributions are deferred from State and Federal income taxes until the employee retires or withdraws the funds.

For additional retirement information, see Separation from the College and Re-Employment of Retired Persons in this Employee Handbook.

Section 125 Flexible Benefits Plan (Cafeteria Plan)

The Flexible Benefits Plan allows employees to elect (by estimating expected expenses) the amount of out-of-pocket medical and/or dependent/child care expenses they anticipate incurring during the annual benefit period. The law allows for that same amount of income not to be taxed. The portion elected for eligible expenses is set aside each pay period and later reimbursed when the expense is incurred (available to full-time employees and continuing part-time employees working 30 hours or more per week).

Special Offers and Discounts

Some restaurants, stores, and businesses give discounts, coupons, or special offers to state and local government public employees.

  • The college participates in the “WeSave” program. Discounts to theme parks, dining, and more.

  • The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) offers a discount to Broadway shows.

  • TicketsatWork.com offers savings on movie tickets, theme parks, hotels, tours, Broadway and Vegas shows, and more. Use code DTCCF18

  • McDuffie Dentistry located at 6104 Fayetteville Road, Suite 107, offers free teeth whitening for new patients. Phone: 919-484-7478.

  • The State Employees Credit Union offers discounts to theme parks including Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Wet'n Wild, Tweetsie Railroad, and Dollywood, among others.

  • The American Dance Festival Performances offer a 20% discount to ADF performances at Durham Performing Arts Center and Reynolds Industries Theater on Duke University's Campus. Purchase tickets online using the code: UNI17ADF or in person at either box office with a Durham Tech ID. The discount is not available for the Children’s Matinee performances, Savion Glover& Jack DeJohnnette at Page Auditorium, Sara Juli at Motorco, Trajal Harrell at Shaefer Theater, or Koma at 21c.

  • Performance Automall – The Performance Automall VIP Program is an exclusive network of companies, restaurants, educational institutions, and other organizations based in the Triangle. As a member of this program, you’ll have access to special offers and other benefits at every Performance dealership as well as at each of the VIP partners (listed on the right-hand side of the page). Enjoy the best of entertainment, design, housecleaning, and more in the area with these exclusive offers available only to Performance Automall VIP members.

  • STAYMOBILE provides convenient repair service, the latest accessories, and protection plans for cell phones, tablets, iPads, and laptops. $15 off of regular repair pricing and $5 off the purchase of any accessory. Employees can simply show their Durham Tech badge to receive the priority pricing.

  • Spiffy On-Demand Car Care provides mobile car wash and detailing services at Durham Tech every Wednesday and Thursday. Book with the Spiffy app and receive $10 off for an oil change or car wash/detailing services. Book online or over the phone using promo code DURHAMTECH.

Student Clinics

Cosmetology Clinic

Open to the public, Cosmetology program students provide hair, nail, and makeup services at reduced prices. The Cosmetology Clinic is located at the Duke Street North campus. Call 919-536-7222, ext. 4313, for an appointment.

Esthetician Spa

Students of the Esthetician Technology program provide Durham Tech employees, current students 18 or older, and members of the public with free facials, waxing, and specialty services. The Esthetician spa is located at the Duke Street North campus. Call 919-536-7222, ext. 4313, for an appointment.

Massage Therapy Clinic

The Durham Tech Massage Therapy Clinic provides full body massages at a reduced price to anyone 18 and older. The clinic is staffed by Durham Tech Massage Therapy students and is located at the Duke Street North campus. Call 919-536-7222, ext. 4313, for an appointment.

Optical Shop

As part of the Opticianry program’s laboratory instruction, students can fabricate employees’ and students’ eyeglasses on request according to their prescription. This service, provided under supervision of the instructor, is available through the Durham Tech Optical Shop. A competitive fee is charged for the fabrication of eyeglasses. Free adjustments and minor eyeglass repairs are also available. The shop accepts Community Eye Care insurance. However the services are considered out of network, but forms for reimbursement can be obtained on the Community Eye Care website. You may also use your FSA card to purchase eyeglasses or contacts from the shop through the College’s Business Office.

Real Estate and Relocation Program

Employees of Durham Tech have access to a real estate and relocation incentive program called SMARTMOVE. SMARTMOVE helps homebuyers and sellers identify qualified real estate professionals to navigate the total home ownership experience. The program assigns a personal move coordinator who provides a network of skilled real estate agents, household good movers, mortgage lenders, and other vendors related to buying, selling, or owning real estate. Registering in the program also qualifies participants for cash rewards. For more information, contact Fonville Morrissey Relocation Services at 1-800-846-7356 or visit the website.

State Employee's Credit Union

Employees are eligible to join the State Employees' Credit Union. The credit union is a cooperative savings and loan association organized to promote thrift among its members and to provide a source of credit for worthwhile purposes at the least possible cost. Banking services include but may not be limited to savings, checking, loans, and direct payroll deposit. Financial advisement is also available. Contact the Accounting and Payroll Services Department in the Business Office for information.

Coastal Credit Union

Full-time employees are eligible to join the Coastal Credit Union. As a credit union, it is owned by its members. Transactions provide donations back to the community. Minimum deposit to join is $25.

Tax-Deferred Annuity Plans (Supplemental Retirement Plans)

Tax-deferred annuity programs are available to full-time and continuing part-time employees. Under these programs, the employee designates specific salary funds to be deposited in an annuity fund. These funds are deferred from taxes until the employee retires or withdraws the funds. These additional funds at retirement may serve to supplement an employee’s retirement income. Contact the Business Manager about voluntary programs under section 403-B and 401-K of the federal tax code.

Workers' Compensation

All employees are covered through the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Liability under Workers’ Compensation applies to on-the-job injuries or death caused by an accident arising in the course of employment. In case of an accident covered through Workers’ Compensation Insurance, individuals may obtain the necessary forms to report such accidents from the Business Office located in the White Building.

Other Benefits

College Bookstore Discount

The College Bookstore provides a discount to employees on purchases on clothing, gifts, and supplies that are imprinted with Durham Tech. 

Free Durham Tech Course

Full-time employees may take one Durham Tech course each fall, spring, and summer term at no charge up to the amount of tuition and fees for a five-credit-hour course. These courses may include credit, noncredit, and self-support offerings. The free course request must be made through a process requiring all approved signatures by required deadlines. Contact your Human Resources department for this form.

Tuition Reimubursement

Full-time employees who have been employed for at least one year can apply for tuition reimbursement up to $2000 per fiscal academic year (subject to fund availability). Additional requirements for continued service at the College after reimbursement may apply. Employees should refer to the Tuition Reimbursement Application (available on the Employees shared folder) and contact Human Resources for additional information.

Professional Development

Funding may be available to improve the faculty and staff through conferences, workshops, and return-to-­industry experiences when appropriate. Activities must be related to an employee’s work requirements or courses taught. Employees should see their supervisor for additional information. See additional benefits and educational opportunities detailed in the Professional Development section.