Relocation Policy for Staff and Faculty

Policy

The University may reimburse moving and relocation expenses of new faculty and staff members who are employed in difficult to recruit occupations. The decision to offer relocation assistance to a candidate is determined by the hiring manager with the approval of Senior Staff or the President. In general, only positions that are either tenure track faculty or Director level mission critical and above in staff positions are eligible for consideration. Exceptions will be granted with the approval of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer (SVPFA) or the Provost.

The Moving Expense Form and all relevant expense documentation should be provided to the appropriate Dean or Vice President related to your hire. It should detail a summary of your moving and relocation expenses. Any approved amounts will be processed via payroll and as such will be subject to federal and state taxation.

View the Moving Expenses form [XLSX]

Approvals

Prior to issuing a commitment to reimburse expenses for faculty, approval of the Dean of the respective school and the Provost is required. For staff members, approval by the Senior Staff member of the unit in which the staff member will be employed and the SVPFA is required prior to offer of relocation assistance. SVPFA and Provost will approve all relocation expenses for administrative staff and faculty, respectively.

Eligibility

To be eligible for relocation and moving expense reimbursement, the employee’s relocation must meet the following conditions:

  1. Availability of Qualified Applicants – The employing department must determine that the employee is the best qualified applicant available for the position.
  2. Full-time Position – The employee must be assigned to a full-time, salaried position and must have agreed to work on a full-time basis for at least one year.
  3. Distance – The distance between the employee’s new work location and the former residence must be at least fifty (50) miles greater than the distance between the employee’s old work location and the former residence.
  4. Time – The IRS regulations state the employee must work full-time at least thirty-nine (39) weeks during the first twelve (12) months after relocating.

To be reimbursed for moving and relocation expenses, the employee must accept the Letter of Offer prior to incurring any expenses. No University obligation exists, nor may any reimbursements be processed, until the offer letter has been signed and returned to the Human Resources Office.

Reimbursement Amount

The amount of relocation reimbursement paid to employee or faculty can range from $3,000 to $10,000. Payments are made as a one-time payment through Payroll after employee hire date and require receipts of moving expenses. It is at the discretion of senior management to amend the amount offered to staff for relocation.

Tax Considerations

All relocation and moving expenses will be reimbursed net of employment taxes in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code. The gross reimbursed amount will be included as compensation on the employee’s Form W-2.

Voluntary Termination and Re-payment

If employee leaves voluntarily prior to completing six months of service, the employee would be required to pay back the full amount they had received of the relocation costs incurred. If employee leaves after six months and prior to a year, the employee would be required to pay back 50% of the amount that they received. After one year of service, the employee would not be required to reimburse the University if they terminate voluntarily. Utilization of this policy confirms acceptance of the above terms. It is the department’s responsibility to notify the Human Resources Office of the voluntary termination. Once a repayment is made, the individual will receive a corrected W-2 to remove the income reported. This may result in a need to file an amended tax return.

Covered Expenses

  • Moving expenses are the costs of packing, shipping, and storing household goods.  Movers must be a professionally licensed moving company.
  • Relocation expenses are the costs of: travel for the faculty or staff member and family enroute to the position assigned, including transportation, food, and lodging; travel for trips necessary to secure living quarters; and temporary lodging or transportation to and from the designated work site when the appointment date precedes the date when permanent living quarters are available.
  • Taxable expenses - All other relocation and moving expenses must be reimbursed as taxable income in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and corresponding Treasury Regulations and will be reported on the faculty or staff member’s Form W-2. This includes the costs incurred on behalf of the employee.

The following expenses are among those not covered:

  • Costs to move a boat, automobiles, animals (except for household pets consisting of domesticated animals normally kept or permitted in a residence) or the costs associated with kenneling of pets or other non-household items.
  • Costs of cleaning a new or former residence.
  • Payments to non-professional movers (e.g. friends or family members) who assist with a move.

Nothing in this policy should be construed as a contract for employment for any period of time or as altering the at-will nature of the employment relationship. The University has the right to terminate employees for any or no reason at all, at any time.

Exceptions will be granted with the approval of the SVPFA or Provost.