Human Resources and Payroll


HR Liaisons


Posted August 10, 2018

Tax withholding Reminder- Avoid a Surprise in 2019

In 2018, there were major changes to the federal tax code, which will impact your 2018 tax return. To assist taxpayers, the IRS released an updated Withholding Calculator https:/ which can be used to determine if you are having the correct amount of tax withholding. If withholding changes are needed, you can update your federal withholding through Patriot Web.


What Does This Mean?

Due to changes in the federal tax rates and tax code, you may wish to use the updated tax withholding calculator to review your personal tax situation and ensure you are having sufficient amounts withheld from future paychecks. For more information on the changes under the new tax law and how to use the withholding calculator, visit the IRS website https:/


Do I have to complete a new Form W-4?

No. If you do not want to make any changes to your withholding for future paychecks, no action is necessary.


How do I make changes to my withholding?

To update your individual federal withholding, log in to the Patriot Web Self-Service page at:


As always, consult with your tax advisor as necessary.

Posted July 23, 2018

New Paid Parental Leave for Benefited Classified Employees

On June 26, 2018, Executive Order #12 was signed to provide paid parental leave for eligible state employees.  This policy is intended to give parents time to bond with a child after birth or placement in adoption, foster, and custodial care.

Who is eligible?

Classified employees working full-time and part-time may take parental leave provided they are eligible for FMLA coverage (must have been employed at George Mason University for a year and worked for 1,250 hours during that year).

The university currently offers parental leave for 9-month instructional faculty and is looking into creating a policy for 12-month faculty. Wage employees and adjuncts are not eligible for paid leave but may be able to take time off at the discretion of the department.

I am a 12-month Administrative/Professional, Instructional, or Research Faculty. Am I eligible?

The Executive Order was a very high-level introduction to the policy; the state has subsequently provided a policy with more detail and definitions. Given that the Executive Order #12 does not include paid parental leave for faculty, we understand that this expansion of benefits for classified staff raises questions as to what might be done to similarly address the parental leave needs of 12 month instructional, research, and administrative professional faculty.

We are currently having those conversations and working to identify ways in which we might better meet this need. Please keep in mind, any new faculty policy does require the approval from the Board of Visitors and will become effective as of that date.  Retroactivity will then be addressed as part of the policy implementation.  We will update impacted employees as more information becomes available as well as our website. 

When can I take the leave?

Parental leave can be used starting from the date of birth/placement of the child. Employees have six (6) months from that date to take the leave. Any unused hours after six (6) months will be forfeited. Holidays and weekends cannot be used to extend the parental leave period. For example, an employee whose baby was born on July 10, 2018 has until January 10, 2019 to use up their parental leave allotment.

Employees may use parental leave as long as they are FMLA-eligible and have not previously used parental leave in the past 12 months. Parental leave can only be used once per child. If both parents are employed at the university, each employee can use their allotment of parental leave for the same child.

Parental leave is to be used in a continuous period of time with only one break permitted. It may not be used in place of flexible work arrangements or to reduce the work schedule.


How much leave is available?

Up to 320 hours of paid parental leave are available for full-time employees. Those working part-time will be allocated a prorated amount as appropriate.

The birthing parent may use parental leave to supplement Virginia Sickness & Disability Program benefits attributable to a delivery and recovery following the birth of a newborn.

Paid parental leave runs concurrently with the FMLA period. It may be used in conjunction with other paid and unpaid leave for the full FMLA period.


Who can I contact to take parental leave?

Employees should contact a Benefits Administrator at least 30 days in advance of the leave period to begin the parental leave process. Proof of birth or legal custody documentation will be required.

Employees who recently experienced the birth or placement of a child between December 26, 2017 and June 26, 2018 may be able to utilize parental leave retroactively. We are contacting all those we have worked with that are impacted by this benefit. If you did not work with our office but believe this policy applies to you, please reach out to us as soon as possible.


For more information, please see DHRM policy 4.21 regarding the use of parental leave.

Posted July 10, 2018

Well-Being Seminar: Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Details: August 16, Fairfax, Merten Hall 1202, 12 – 1 p.m.

As part of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Human Resources & Payroll is offering a Well-being Series focusing on mental health topics.

August’s topic is Alcohol and Substance Abuse. This seminar will address:

  • The basics of alcohol and substance abuse
  •  How to identify if someone has a problem
  • The difference between substance abuse and dependence
  • How drugs affect the body
  • The basic family and social problems that arise from substance abuse and how to get help

To Register, visit:


Posted June 25, 2018

Well-Being Seminar: Stress Reduction Tool Bag


Details: Fairfax Campus, Merten Hall 1202 on July 12 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

As part of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Human Resources & Payroll is offering a Well-being Lunch and Learn Series focusing on mental health topics.

July’s topic is Stress Reduction Tool Bag. This seminar will discuss good and bad stress. Participants will explore how to recognize the symptoms of stress and gain tools to manage stress, including mindful communication.


To Register, visit:




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