Working at Washington and Lee

Office of Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources provides leadership, guidance and expertise on human-resource issues for the development, motivation and support of an exceptional workforce. HR provides quality service and, through teamwork and collaboration, promotes a climate of mutual trust, confidence and respect. Key functional areas of HR include recruitment, salary and benefits administration, employee relations, workforce development and work-life programming.

Recruitment and Job Postings

To fulfill its mission, Washington and Lee University must have a staff of the highest caliber, one that strives for excellence and is committed to the ideals and goals of the University. The University is committed to a vigorous program of faculty, staff and student recruitment that will create a diverse community of serious and competent people devoted to furthering the educational aims of the institution. Announcements of vacant positions are placed on the Web site of the Human Resources Office at

Internal promotions of highly qualified individuals whose careers at Washington and Lee have prepared them for specific vacancies will be permitted without a search when the head of the administrative department or division identifies a current employee whose specific skills qualify him or her for the promotion. Such promotions will require the review of the executive director of Human Resources, the appropriate vice president or dean and the vice president for Finance and Administration.

Human Resources confirms by letter all appointments as well as all promotions, job transfers and changes in employee status. Before being placed on the payroll, new employees must complete the necessary tax and payroll forms at the Human Resources Office.

Employment Categories

  • Full-time: Employees who work in established positions that are approved for 35 hours per week or more for at least nine months of the year (a minimum of 1,365 hours per year), employees that have reduced their hours as part of an approved phased retirement arrangement or employees who are hired to specifically share an approved full-time position. Full-time undergraduate faculty members teach at least five courses per academic year and have other administrative responsibilities such as advising. Full-time law faculty members teach an average of 10 credit hours per academic year, plus devote substantial time to one or more of the following responsibilities (as appropriate for their tenured, tenure-track or visiting status): student engagement outside of class; legal scholarship; faculty governance; legal clinic, immersion program, or other administrative duties; service to the law school, University, legal profession, and the public.
  • Part-time with partial benefits: Employees who work in established positions that have been approved for less than full time, but at least 1,000 hours per year.  Faculty who teach at least four courses per year fall into this category. Law faculty who teach at least seven credit hours per academic year, plus devote substantial time to one or more of the following responsibilities: legal clinics, immersion program, or other administrative duties; service to the law school, University, legal profession, and the public fall into this category. Only certain benefits are provided for employees in these positions. These are defined in the employee handbook.
  • Part-time: Employees who work in ongoing positions. Employees in this category cannot exceed 999 hours in their anniversary year and cannot exceed 29 hours of work per week. Only those benefits mandated by law are provided (FICA, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance). Employees in this category who are regularly scheduled to work at least 10 hours/week, 9-12 months per year will also receive a parking tag and university I.D. card.
  • On-Call: Employees who work only when needed by the University. This occurs mostly in dining services and catering. Employees in this category cannot exceed 999 hours in their anniversary year and cannot exceed 29 hours of work per week. Only those benefits mandated by law are provided (FICA, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance).
  • Temporary: Employees with short-term assignments (generally no longer than six months). Employees in this category cannot exceed 999 hours in their anniversary year and cannot exceed 29 hours of work per week. Only those benefits mandated by law are provided (FICA, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance).
  • Seasonal: Employees who are hired to work for less than six months only at certain times of the year in annually recurring work. For example, employees who are hired to work in the University Store during book rush or in Facilities to work on the summer grounds crew are seasonal employees. Only those benefits mandated by law are provided (FICA, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance).


A benefits and payroll orientation takes place every Monday to assist new employees in completing required employment paperwork and to enroll in benefit programs for which they are eligible. Faculty and staff members are then invited to attend a day-long, new-hire orientation hosted by Human Resources. This session is designed to introduce new employees to Washington and Lee, to review University policies, and to acquaint new employees with the mission, values and culture of the University. At this session, new hires will also meet senior administrators and leaders of various departments on campus.

University Identification Cards

A Washington and Lee University Card is issued to each new benefit-eligible employee and to part-time employees who meet the required 780 hour annual threshold. This card allows access to the athletic facilities and the libraries and opens some doors on campus. In addition, employees may use their University Card to make purchases across campus, including the Dining Services locations and the University Store, where employees receive a 10% discount on select items. The University card is not an official identification document outside of the university community.

Work Hours and Meals

Most full-time employees are scheduled to work either a 35-hour or 40-hour week. These hours may vary, but the standard schedule for administrative offices is 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with an unpaid hour for lunch. Schedules in other areas of the University vary according to the support function performed. Exempt employees are expected to work all hours necessary to complete their assignments.

Lunch or meal periods will vary by department and will range from a half hour to a full hour. Bona fide meal periods are not paid time unless the non-exempt employee is required to work and remain at the work site.

The University reserves the right to determine the hours of employment when shift work is necessary. Although the University attempts to minimize the disruption of changing shifts, it may need to change shifts from time to time to meet operational needs.

It is also expected that employees be willing to work additional hours and/or overtime when needed. Supervisors will provide this notification as far in advance as possible and will limit recurring overtime requests.

Flexible Work Schedules

With supervisory approval, some flexibility in the starting time of work and lunch breaks is permitted, provided that the business needs of the office and University are met. Supervisors may also provide flexibility in the work week upon consultation with the executive director of Human Resources as long as offices remain open during the standard workday (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) and as long as the business needs of the office and University are met. For example, some departments may wish to permit employees to work their 35 or 40 hours in four days instead of five during the summer. Some departments may be able to offer a reduced work schedule during the summer, in which case, salary and benefits would also be prorated during the reduced schedule.

Attendance, Punctuality and Dependability

To maintain a productive work environment, W&L expects all employees to be reliable and punctual in reporting for work and remaining in the office throughout the scheduled workday. When you know about an expected absence, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible prior to your absence. When you are unable to report to work due to an illness or injury, you must notify your supervisor as early as possible, each day of your absence. Excessive tardiness, absenteeism or unauthorized absence may result in disciplinary action.

Length of Service and Reemployment

An employee's length of service is defined as the period of continuous employment in a continuing position beginning with the current period of work, plus any qualified previous service. Such employment is the basis upon which eligibility for benefits is normally determined, although specific programs may impose additional restrictions and waiting periods.

Authorized absences such as combined time off, sick leave, extended sick leave, personal leave, military leave and so forth do not constitute a break in continuous employment. A break in employment occurs when the employee is removed from the active employment records of the University.
Reemployment. If an employee has five years of previous service in a full-time or part-time benefit-eligible position, leaves employment voluntarily, and returns to University employment within two years of the previous termination date, the employee will be reinstated with an adjusted date of hire reflecting the number of years of previous service. Re-hired employees should inform Human Resources immediately upon reemployment of any prior service at Washington and Lee University.

Reporting Convictions

University employees must notify the Office of Human Resources within five days of a conviction for any misdemeanor or felony offense, including but not limited to any drug, alcohol or sex-related offense. Failure to report such conviction is grounds for disciplinary action. Supervisors should notify Human Resources immediately upon being informed of any such conviction.

Emergency Closing

There is a need to continue essential services and provide for the University's residential students even in case of extreme adverse weather. Therefore, every effort will be made to maintain the University's normal operations. When there is a closing or delay, the University will use the following communication outlets:

  • Emergency Hot-line: 462-5277 or x5277 (on-campus)
  • University Web Site
  • Broadcast e-mail and/or voicemail
  • Radio: WLUR (91.5FM) WREL (1450 AM), WWZW (96.7 FM), WMRA  (89.9 FM), WKDW (900 AM)
  • Television: WDBJ (Roanoke), WSLS (Roanoke), WSET (Lynchburg)

Please note that the University may operate on schedule even when area schools and businesses are closed or delayed. Therefore, always check the hotline or Website for the latest update or to verify any TV/radio cancellation announcements, because the public media announcements are sometimes erroneous. In remaining open, the University does not advise anyone to travel who feels that he/she cannot do so safely. Employees should exercise their best personal judgment with regard to their own local road conditions and other safety concerns.

University Status

Closed with Essential Employees Reporting. This status may apply when severe weather conditions or other emergencies interfere with normal operations. Classes will be canceled. Essential employees will be expected to report, unless told not to do so by a supervisor. Under certain circumstances, a limited number of non-essential employees may also be asked to report based on the type of emergency and the specific needs of the campus. A supervisor must have the approval of the appropriate Vice President or Dean before asking non-essential employees to report.

Delayed Opening: This status may apply when severe weather conditions may interfere with campus safety or employee travel but conditions are expected to improve. Classes usually will be held on a published modified schedule. Essential employees will be expected to report as regularly scheduled; non-essential will be expected to report when the University opens. If conditions do not improve, a decision may later be made to close the university.

Early Release: This status may apply when severe weather conditions interfere with employee travel or with normal operations after the workday has begun. Classes may or may not be cancelled, and some offices may need to continue to operate. As a result, some staff may be asked to remain or, in the case of second or third shift employees, to report to work by the supervisor. An official early release announcement and time will be communicated to all employees via the university communications channels described in this policy. Essential employees will be expected to remain until relieved or notified by their supervisors to leave. Employees must make individual decisions about whether to travel between the university and home based on local conditions.

Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)

The University seeks to employ and promote the most highly qualified and competent candidates. The University will not prohibit employment of spouses, close relatives or domestic partners in the same department or unit, provided that neither employee participates in making recommendations or decisions specifically affecting the appointment, retention, promotion, demotion, salary or work assignments of the other, and that one family member does not directly supervise another.

It is not appropriate for departments to directly hire children or other relatives of their employees. Employees' relatives should apply for employment through the Office of Human Resources. Relatives of employees will not normally be placed in the same department in which the employee works.

Health and Safety

Washington and Lee University is committed to the health and safety of its students, employees and visitors. It is essential that the entire campus community accept responsibility for developing and practicing safety awareness. Every employee is responsible for complying with University and governmental safety and health standards in the work area, using protective equipment and promptly reporting hazardous conditions and job-related injuries.

To promote applicable health and safety standards, Washington and Lee has the Safety Committee to assist in the review of University policies, procedures and physical plant issues related to the safety of University employees, students and the public. The committee is principally charged with promoting safety on the campus and fostering an environment in which the risk of accidental injury to individuals is minimized.

Immigration Reform and Control Act

The University, in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, is committed to employing only those applicants authorized to work in the United States. As a condition of employment, all new and rehired employees must fully complete, sign and date the first section of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-9 when the employee begins work and must complete Section 2 within three business days of hire. A newly rehired employee must complete the form within three days of starting work if the employee's previous I-9 is more than three years old, or if his/her previous I-9 is no longer valid. An employee who does not properly complete the I-9 form within the legally required time frame will not be permitted to continue to work until the form is completed. If your immigration status changes, and therefore impacts your employability, you must notify Human Resources.

Outside Employment

The University does not prohibit outside employment. However, assuming an employee is employed full time, the employee's job at the University is expected to be the primary one. Employees are expected to meet the University's legitimate attendance and performance expectations.

Personnel and Insurance Records

Official employee personnel files are maintained in the Office of Human Resources. Additional information on faculty may be located in the relevant dean's office. Personnel files may contain, but are not limited to, the following types of information:

  • Employment letters or contracts
  • Payroll data
  • Employment application or résumé
  • Performance planning and review documents
  • Letters of commendation or discipline
  • Employee benefit and medical records are maintained separately from personnel files in accordance with applicable laws

Each employee may review the contents of his or her personnel file in the Office of Human Resources by appointment during normal working hours.

There are a number of records that employees should remember to keep current. Please notify the Office of Human Resources if any of the following situations occurs:

  • Address or telephone number change
  • Legal name change
  • Change of marital status
  • Change of tax exemptions
  • Change of insurance beneficiary
  • Change in dependents on health insurance coverage (including additions and deletions because of age, graduation from college, marital status or employment).

Use of Recording Devices

Employees are prohibited from recording job-related conversations with other employees (including their supervisors) without the express consent of all parties to the conversation.