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Operating Policies and Procedures Manual is under revision.

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3.350 Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date Adopted/Most Recent Revision: 05/15/2009


A.   Purpose

      Establish a Worksite Wellness Program to foster the adoption of a wellness culture in order to promote the benefits of improved health, reduced medical expenses, heightened personal performance, reduced absenteeism, and improved employee satisfaction.

B.   Eligibility for Leave-Time.

      This policy applies to all employees who are eligible to participate in a health benefits program administered under Chapter 1551, Insurance Code.

C.   Responsibility

      The Department of Recreational Sports/Wellness Center is the office with primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy.

D.   General

      Chapter 664 of the Government Code acknowledges the benefit of worksite wellness programs to effective state administration and provides that public money spent for these programs serves important public purposes.

E.   Eligibility for Participation in Wellness Programs

      All Midwestern State University employees are eligible for voluntary participation in the Worksite Wellness Program.  Domestic partners may participate in selected activities provided through the program as long as their participation does not preclude participation by an agency employee, and they pay any applicable wellness fees associated with their participation.  All persons who intend to participate in a Worksite Wellness Program activity involving physical exertion or exercise are encouraged to complete a Physical Fitness Readiness Questionnaire provided by the Department of Recreational Sports/Wellness Center and consult with a physician before beginning physical activity as needed.  The questionnaire is retained by the employee, and will not be reviewed or retained by Midwestern State University. All persons must complete a Release of Liability prior to participation in any Worksite Wellness Program activity. Releases will be kept in a file maintained by the Coordinator of Wellness Programs.

F.   Program Content

      The Worksite Wellness Program may consist of, but not be limited to, activities that raise awareness, promote lifestyle changes and provide assistance and support to employees participating in the program.  Generally, wellness programs target major risk factors for chronic disease and factors that contribute to diminished quality of life.  Wellness activities include, but are not limited to:

1.               nutritious eating seminars;

2.               increasing physical activity;

3.               on-site preventative screenings;

4.               a tobacco-free campus (see policy 4.163);

5.               tobacco cessation assistance;

6.               stress reduction initiatives; and,

7.               supporting healthy choices such as the prevention/reduction of substance dependency.

G.   Program Scheduling

      Worksite Wellness Program activities may be scheduled before, during, between, or after normal working hours as deemed appropriate and authorized by the Dean of University Wellness / Director of Recreational Sports. 

H.   Exercise During Working Hours

      Pursuant to Texas Government Code § 664.061(1), Midwestern State University grants each eligible employee who participates in a health benefits program administered under Chapter 1551 (Insurance Code) 30 minutes to exercise, three times per week, during normal working hours.  Employees are not required to make-up this time or use leave.  Exercise time may only be used in 30 minute increments.  Exercise time does not accumulate and may not be carried forward for use at another time.  Exercise time may be used at any time during the work day, or combined with lunch to give the employee more time for wellness activities.  Employees must coordinate with their supervisor and schedule exercise time so that it does not conflict with their job duties or division priorities.  Employees must submit a monthly report to their supervisor to document their use of exercise time.  The scheduling of exercise time is at the discretion of the supervisor and will ensure that the operations of the department are not impacted.

I.    Wellness Leave

      Pursuant to Texas Government Code § 664.061(3), the agency may award eight hours of additional leave time each 12 month period to eligible employees who participate in a health benefits program administered under Chapter 1551, Insurance Code and who receive a physical examination and complete the Health Risk Assessment designated by Midwestern State University.  Supporting documentation required by the university must be submitted to the Coordinator of Wellness Programs. Wellness Leave must be scheduled in advance with the approval of the employee's supervisor.  Wellness Leave expires if not used within 12 months from the date it is earned, and will not be paid to the employee upon separation from employment.

J.   Injury

      Employees injured by participating in the Worksite Wellness Program are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits unless their participation in the Worksite Wellness Program event was in the course and scope of their job duties and employment.

K.   Funds and Facilities for Wellness Programs

      Midwestern State University may provide funds each fiscal year to supplement health fitness education and activities for employees, or for other costs related to the Worksite Wellness Program.  Available facilities may be used for the Worksite Wellness Program, including available conference or meeting rooms, auditoria and outdoor areas suitable for instruction or fitness activities

L.   Providers of Instruction

      Providers of instruction or services for the Worksite Wellness Program may include local, state, or federal agencies; hospital or medical care professionals; health educators; nutritionists; dietitians; physiologists; community organizations; consultants; or other individuals or groups with expertise in a particular health or fitness area.  Only persons with accepted degrees, certification, or recognized training will be selected as providers of instruction or services. Midwestern State University may contract with qualified providers of instruction and services related to the program.