Human Resources and Payroll

Home Page Announcement Archive


Interested in seeing archived announcements more than 2 years old? Please contact Human Resources and Payroll

Posted December 18, 2018

End-of-Year Newsletter

To wrap up this year and to plan for 2019, we hope you will take a moment to explore all the helpful resources in our end-of-year newsletter.

Look closely, because in this end-of-year newsletter you may find two hidden mittens that could lead you to win one of three Mason prize packs including a Mason fleece blanket, Mason t-shirts, and Mason swag!


Posted December 18, 2018

FLEX Holiday Reminder

If it applies to you, don’t forget to use your flex holidays!

Senior leadership provided 16 hours of flex holiday leave in 2018 for benefited faculty and staff hired before February 1, 2018. With supervisor approval, qualifying benefited faculty and staff can use these flex holiday hours anytime during the 2018 calendar year. Part-time faculty and staff were given leave proportionately.

Be sure to use your flex holiday hours! They expire at the end of the 2018 calendar year and are not eligible for payout. Enter the number of flex holiday hours used on your timesheet under "Special Flex Holiday."


Posted December 3, 2018

Extra Support for Your Extra-Busy Season

As the end of the year gets closer, you might be facing a seemingly endless to-do list. And when you’ve got work, family, and everything in between competing for your time during the busy holiday season, life can feel a bit overwhelming. 

Call on Bright Horizons®.

Take advantage of your helpful benefits, including:


Get Started! Visit

Questions? Call: 877-242-2737


Posted November 26, 2018

Winter Break Timesheet Guidance

The winter break is closer than you think!  Please review the Winter Break Timesheet Guidance for information on: 

• Holiday hours

• Requirements to receive holiday pay

• Rate of holiday pay

• How the holiday may affect alternative work schedules


Posted November 14, 2018

Inclement Weather Resources

Winter weather is fast approaching! Utilize the resources below to prepare.

Staying Updated

Stay updated on university closings, late openings, or other weather-related changes in the university's schedule through Mason's switchboard at 703-993-1000, Mason Alert, the university's homepage, as well as local media outlets.


Telework and Inclement Weather

Having telework agreements and technology in place in advance can come in handy if Mason experiences an extended weather event or other emergency. Teleworkers (if it is their scheduled telework day) and remote workers continue to work even if:

• Classes are canceled and administrative offices are closed

• The university is on a modified schedule

Employees working from home during a university closing are expected to continue working unless it is not possible due to power outages or other conditions that prevent them from working. For more details, visit


Inclement Weather/Emergency Guidance

With winter fast approaching, now is a great time to review the Inclement Weather/Emergency Closing Policy


Posted November 8, 2018

IRS Limits

The IRS announced adjustments affecting retirement plan contribution limits for the 2019 tax year. Participants under age 50 can contribute up to $19,000 (a $500 increase from 2018) to their Supplemental 403(b) Retirement Plan and to their Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. Participants age 50 and over can contribute $25,000 (a $500 increase from 2018) to their Supplemental 403(b) Retirement Plan and to their Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. 

How to Increase Contributions

 403(b) contribution:

457 contribution:

Please contact with any questions.

Posted October 1, 2018

Flu Shot Clinic

The Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinics will be held at Mason on the following dates:




For questions, email


Posted September 19, 2018

Annual Member Benefit Profiles

Annual Member Benefit Profiles (MBPs) are now available for faculty and staff who are enrolled in Plan 1 and Plan 2 of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). You can view your profiles by logging in to your account at


MBPs provide information about your retirement and other benefits you have as a member of VRS.


MBPs are currently not available for Hybrid Retirement Plan members. However, these employees can look up their current defined benefit and defined contribution account balances and other information through the Hybrid Retirement Plan site

Posted September 6, 2018

9-Month Faculty Open Enrollment Changes

Nine-month faculty who made changes during the Open Enrollment period in May 2018 may see adjustments to their first fall paycheck on September 14, 2018.


Posted September 6, 2018

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Reimbursement Claims

If you were enrolled in flexible spending accounts (FSA) during the 2017-2018 plan year, you have until September 30, 2018, to send reimbursement claims and any necessary documentation to Anthem. These claims are for eligible expenses that were incurred between July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.


You may file reimbursement claims by:


Reimbursement Forms:


Health FSA Participants:


Posted August 29, 2018

Changes to Maryland Taxpayer Paycheck

Details: September 11, Fairfax, Merten Hall 1202, 12 – 1 p.m.


As part of the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Human Resources

& Payroll is offering a well-being series focusing on mental health topics.


September’s topic is Creating a Positive Work Environment. This seminar

will address:

·         Ways to build trust

·         Positive communication

·         How to set expectations and needs

·         Creative ideas for recognition and rewards

·         How to build teamwork

·         Finding meaning in your work

·         Finding humor in the workplace


All employees are welcome to attend. To register, visit

Posted August 22, 2018

Financial Well-being Seminar - Building a Better Budget

Details: Merten Hall Room 2001, September 19, 12-1 p.m.


Learn how to build a better budget by attending the financial well-being seminar, “Building a Better Budget,” led by Dawn Davis from Apple Federal Credit Union.


After identifying short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, participants will learn:

To register, visit


The seminar will be video conferenced to Arlington and SciTech. If you have questions, please contact

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:

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:

Posted June 4, 2018

Important Biweekly Time Sheet Information

We want to make sure you receive your paycheck on time! Due to the fiscal year-end roll process, biweekly payroll for the pay period June 10 to June 23, (pay date June 29), will be processed one (1) week earlier.

Action Items:

Important notes:

Posted May 15, 2018

New Benefits Summary Page

View a complete summary of your benefits on Patriot Web! This benefits summary displays a snapshot of all your current benefit elections. It enables our benefits team to assist you even better by allowing them to see your benefits summary when you call.

On this page, you can view:

To access your summary:

  • Visit
  • Click “Employee Services”
  • Click “Benefits and Deductions”
  • Click “Benefits Summary”
  • Click “Select”

    Posted May 3, 2018

    Open Enrollment Drop-In Sessions

    The Benefits team will hold Open Enrollment drop-in sessions for faculty and staff to stop by and ask questions or turn in forms. The sessions are:


    Posted April 26, 2018

    Open Enrollment Details

    Open Enrollment for health benefits and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) is from May 1 - May 15, 2018!

    How Do I Make Changes?

    The state’s EmployeeDirect (eDirect) system is not available this year; therefore, all enrollments/changes must be made on a paper enrollment form.

    Please complete the State Active Employee Enrollment Form and return it to benefits:

    Please make sure to put your Mason email address on the form so we may send you a confirmation email. 

    Where Can I Find More Information?

    If you have questions leading up to open enrollment, feel free to email


    Posted April 5, 2018

    Test Your Financial IQ

    Test your financial know-how! HR & Payroll teamed up with TIAA to bring you the What's Your Financial IQ? challenge. From now to May 02, 2018, take this educational challenge to have fun and learn information about financial planning. Each day five new questions are added to the challenge.


    Test your financial savvy and learn something new each time you play at

    Posted March 26, 2018

    HR & Payroll Benefits Fair

    For Spring into Well-Being, HR & Payroll invites you to the Benefits Fair to chat with some of Mason’s financial and health vendors in Merten 1201 on Thursday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2p.m.

    Many of the vendors will offer 30 minute “mini” financial well-being presentations on the half hour from 10 a.m.  – 1 p.m. in Merten 1202. 

    No need to register! Stop by anytime for helpful information and the chance to win prizes. Click here to view a flyer for more information!

    Posted March 9, 2018

    Stay Cyber Secure! Please Update Your Phone Number

    We want to make sure you always have access to your W-2’s, course final grades,

    your and your staffs’ timesheets, and paystubs!


    ITS and HR & Payroll are collaborating to ensure your Patriot Web account is secure.


    Please click here for information about the addition of the second layer of security to Patriot Web.


    Be proactive about your security! Please double check you have a correct cell phone or work phone number in Patriot Web before the end of March.


    Visit here to learn how to update your phone number in Patriot Web.

    Posted February 15, 2018

    America Saves Week

    Are you ready to become a savings superhero? America Saves Week is the perfect time to make sure you are on track to reach your long-term savings goals. Make the most of America Saves Week and think about increasing your contributions to your retirement account. Keep an eye out for informative materials that show why saving a little more now can have such a big impact on your future. For some helpful financial well-being information visit

    Posted January 24, 2018

    Exemption from Federal Tax Withholding

    Not everyone can claim exemption from federal income tax withholding. Employees must meet specific qualifications to be exempt. Employees can claim exemption if both of the following situations apply:

    1. In the previous year, the employee had the right to a refund of ALL federal income tax withheld from their wages because they had no tax liability.

    2. In the current year, the employee expects a refund of ALL federal income tax withheld because they plan to have no tax liability.

    There are also some other factors that help decide if an employee can be exempt from federal income taxes. For help determining if you are exempt from taxes, refer to IRS Publication 505.

    Those employees who claim exempt must submit a new Form W-4 by February 15 each year if they wish to claim exempt for the current tax year. If the employee does not submit a new form by that date, Payroll will withhold at the single filing status with no allowances.


    NOTE: Please remember you can update your Form W-4 online in Patriot Web Self Service.


    Posted January 16, 2018

    W-2s are Online!

     Your 2017 W-2 is available online! Retrieving your electronic copy is easy and immediate. 

     We highly recommend you retrieve your W-2 online.

     If you have never accessed your electronic W-2, please access it before January 27, 2018.

     How to Access Your Electronic W-2: 

     If You Do Not Access Your Electronic W-2:

    More Information:

    Posted December 19, 2017

    Prize Pack in the End-Of-Year Newsletter

    It’s a busy time of the year… but we hope you’ll take some time to read our end-of-year newsletter and enter for a chance to WIN a MASON PRIZE PACK!


    Posted September 10, 2017

    Save the Dates: Winter Wellness Days Flu Shot Clinics

    Flu shots are part of your wellness benefit through COVA Care, COVA HDHP, COVA HealthAware, and Kaiser Permanente. There are multiple ways to get a flu shot this season, including at on-site clinics. For details about the on-site clinics and other options, please visit Flu Shot Information 2017. A summary flyer is also available. If you have any questions, please call the Life/Work Connections team at 3.2600.


    Posted August 14, 2017

    Need some extra hands?

    Talent Acquisition is happy to provide Mason Talent Temps, an alternative to recruiting wage or seasonal employees through eWork and available at a reduced cost compared to external temp agencies. Talent Acquisition manages a vetted and on boarded (yes, that means no EPAFs) pool of ready employees with skill sets ranging from reception and administrative support to financial and technology professionals.  Mason Temps can provide temporary help for a few days, or up to 40 hours per week for up to 9 months. 

    Have questions? Please take a look at our Q&A

    To request a Mason Talent Temp, please complete the electronic form.

    Posted July 28, 2017

    Reward and Recognition Enhancements

    In response to feedback from surveys and focus groups, Reward & Recognition is making some exciting changes to help enhance the recognition culture in schools and units.  You will see enhancements in the following areas:

    There are now four tiers of impact awards – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  The tiers are based on project size and length and provide guidance and structure for departments looking to award their high performing faculty and staff. 


    The survey and focus groups said that Mason’s faculty and staff want recognition that’s free, fast, and easy, and we’ve got it for you in the form of eCards. Recognize a colleague or team member on their birthday, to say thank you, extend congratualtions, and more!

    We’re empowering units to recognize their own teams for cross-functional and cross-departmental collaboration by showing us your Team Spirit

    If you have any questions about any of the Reward and Recognition enhancements, please contact Beth Baroody at 3-2739 or  


    Posted June 23, 2017

    Social Well-Being: Mason Kids Club

    Wondering what to do with your school-age child between the ages of 6-11 once camp ends and school hasn’t started? Sign up for Mason Kids Club, managed by the George Mason University Child Development Center, from August 14-August 25. Two one-week sessions will be offered with fun, hands-on activities and engaging campus field trips. For details and registration, please visit  If you have any questions, please call the Child Development Center at 703.993.5960.




    Posted June 21, 2017

    Non-Exempt Employees Can Choose Leave or Pay for Their Overtime Hours

    Effective August 1 , non-exempt employees (i.e. overtime eligible for all hours over 40 worked in a week) can initiate or change their election regarding how their overtime is to be handled by the Payroll Department. All non-exempt employees have the option of being paid for their overtime (which is the default) or to accumulate their overtime as leave.

    If a non-exempt employee has made an election in the past and does not want to change their election, they do not have to do anything. If they want to continue to receive pay for any overtime earned, they also do not have to complete a form.  However, if the non-exempt employee would like to change their election from receiving pay to receiving leave or receiving leave to receiving pay, they need to complete an Overtime Leave Agreement Form and submit it to the Payroll Department no later than Friday, September 8.

    Unfortunately this deadline is firm and we cannot accept forms after that date.

    Please remember that an election commits the employee to their choice for one year until the next open enrollment period. This means that if the non-exempt employee elects leave accumulation he or she will receive leave and not pay for any overtime worked during the next academic year.

    Please contact Catalina Wheat at 3.2751 if you have any questions.

    Posted May 31, 2017

    Flexible Summer @ Mason

    Summer is here! Time to prepare for “Flexible Summer @ Mason” which runs from June 18 – August 12, 2017. While the use of flexible schedules like telework, flextime and compressed schedules is encouraged throughout the year, it is strongly suggested that departments make a concerted effort to integrate some type(s) of flexwork into their daily operations, if and when possible, over the summer.

    For information on flexible work at Mason including compressed schedulesflextimetelework, and more, please visit

    Posted May 17, 2017

    Important Changes to Fiscal Year End Biweekly Payroll Processing

    Because of the fiscal year end roll process, it will be necessary to make a change to the biweekly payroll processing schedule. The biweekly payroll, for the pay period June 11 to June 24, pay date June 30, 2017 will be processed one (1) week earlier.

    In order to meet this schedule: 

    Timesheets must be submitted by midnight Sunday June 18th.

    Approvals must be completed by 1pm on Monday June 19th.

    This means that you will be submitting/approving timesheets prior to the end of the pay period. Please submit estimated hours for the work days of June 19th through June 24th. If actual hours worked differ, a corrected timesheet must be completed, approved and faxed to payroll (703.993.2601) no later than Friday June 30th.   

    This situation only impacts timesheet submission and approval; there is no change in the actual pay date which remains June 30. Because of the limited time for processing, late timesheets will be held and paid on the next biweekly payrun (pay date July 14, 2017)


    Posted May 15, 2017

    2017 Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship

    Mason is offering a competitive $250 book scholarship for faculty and staff enrolled in a degree or graduate certificate program at Mason, and the application dealine is Friday, June 16.  For details and the application, please visit the Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship web page.

    Questions?  Please contact Beth Baroody at 3-2739.

    Posted May 8, 2017

    Flexible Summer @ Mason

    Summer is right around the corner. Time to prepare for “Flexible Summer @ Mason” which runs from June 18 – August 12, 2017. While the use of flexible schedules like telework, flextime and compressed schedules is encouraged throughout the year, it is strongly suggested that departments make a concerted effort to integrate some type(s) of flexwork into their daily operations, if and when possible, over the summer.

    What is “flexwork”?

    Go to for specific examples of compressed schedules, flextime, telework, and more.


    Looking for suggestions on how best to supervise or manage flexworkers at Mason?

    Join us for a supervisor/manager -specific training on Thursday, May 18 from 12-1pm in Merten Hall, Room 2001. The session will focus on  leadership techniques, measuring and evaluating performance, and clearly defining expectations. At the conclusion of the training session, managers will be able to more effectively supervise and support flexworkers. Register today at


    Want to stop by to speak with an HR and Payroll flexwork representative?

    The Life/Work Connections Team will host two drop in sessions on the Fairfax Campus to answer questions about flexible work and offer suggestions on how to have a more flexible summer at Mason:

    ·         Tuesday, May 16th from 10:00am – 11:00am

    ·         Tuesday, May 23rd from 11:30-1:00pm

    All sessions will be in the conference room 4102 in Merten Hall. 

    Please remember to take office coverage into consideration when implementing flexwork in your office. For your convenience, a special abbreviated “Flexible Summer @ Mason” agreement form can be found at Please contact Wendi Carroll at with any questions.

    Posted April 21, 2017

    Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

    Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is on Thursday, April 27. If you plan to bring your child to work, make sure to complete a release form. Although there is no formal on-campus programming this year, there are several events occurring around campus, including the annual Victims’ Rights Run and Walk. For a complete list of events and activities, visit Today @ Mason. And don’t forget, kids under 10 eat free at Southside, Ike’s, and the Globe.

    If you are interested in helping plan a more formal program for the next academic school year, email Heather Aleknavage at  

    The release form should be sent to Human Resources and Payroll at or faxed to 703-993-2601. For questions, contact Mason's Life/Work Connections Team at or 703-993-2600.

    Posted April 5, 2017

    Get Your Competition On: Square Up Your Savings Challenge from TIAA

    Enhance your financial well-being from April 5 - May 5 by participating in "Square Up Your Savings" - Ten Financial Missions with two purposes - learning and fun!  Complete ten financial missions on a range of financial topics.  It’s a great way to pick up some financial information while having a little fun. Faculty and staff who play will be entered into a drawing for one of three $25 gift checks from TIAA. For more information please visit Information on Square Up Your Savings.  To play, visit  Square Up Your Savings.



    You don't have to be a TIAA member to play.  Log-in as a guest, or if you are a TIAA member, you can log-in as a guest or by using your TIAA username and password.

    Posted March 29, 2017

    Health Care and Flex Open Enrollment Dates Announced

    Health Care and Flexible Spending Account (FSAs) Open Enrollment is scheduled for May 1-15, 2017. Please check back for additional details as they're available.

    Posted March 24, 2017

    Spring into Well-Being at the HR & Payroll Benefits Fair

    As part of Spring into Well-Being, HR & Payroll invites you to join us in Merten 1201 on Wednesday, April 12 from 10am-2pm to chat with some of Mason’s financial and health vendors.  There will also be 30 minute “mini” financial well-being presentations on the half hour from 10:30-1:00 in Merten 1202.  No need to register, stop by anytime.  For details on who will be at the fair, please see the Benefits Fair flyer.

    Posted February 27, 2017

    Save the Date - Spring Telework Week at Mason, March 13-17

    Have you ever contemplated teleworking? Now’s the time to try it out! From March 13-17, Mason will be celebrating its own Telework Week over the university’s Spring Break. An abbreviated, 1 page agreement is  available here.

    Please note that those who participate in Telework Week are doing so under the Flexible Work Policy, #2202. Signing the abbreviated agreement binds the employee/supervisor to the terms and conditions of the complete telework agreement.