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Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you are an employee of the University of South Carolina, you may have questions about your job, benefits or University policies. This page covers many of the questions that are often asked by employees.
How is my job classified?

We are part of the state classification system. When positions are classified, they are assigned at a pay band that determines the salary range. Positions are classified by responsibility of the job and by education, training, and skills required.

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How will I know if I'm doing a good job in my new position?

Your performance will be evaluated using the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS). Soon after you begin your job, you and your supervisor will develop a plan that is specifically designed for your job. At the end of your first year, your supervisor will evaluate your performance. After your initial review, you will be evaluated on an annual basis.

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How do I get a raise?

The South Carolina Legislature may appropriate money for state employee salary increases each fiscal year. If money is allocated, employees are given a cost of living increase. A cost of living increase is an across-the-board increase given to all employees in covered positions.

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How can I get a promotion?

Normally, USC employees get promotions by applying for promotion transfers. You can find out about higher paying positions in the same way you found out about your present job. Vacant positions are listed on USC Jobs, the Human Resources online job site, and posted on the job boards located in the University's Employment Office at 1600 Hampton Street.

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How do I apply for a transfer?

You apply for the opening on USC Jobs (Human Resources online job site), much like you did when you were initially hired. Go to USC Jobs to search for openings.

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If I transfer to a better job, how much will I make?

If you transfer into a position from the one you currently hold, you may receive a 0% to 15% increase or the advertised salary, not to exceed the maximum of the pay band.

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What is the TERI program?

TERI is a deferred retirement plan that allows eligible members of the S.C. Retirement System to retire for purposes of the S.C. Retirement System and escrow their monthly retirement checks while continuing to work in their current positions for up to five years. For more information, see Teacher and Employment Retention Incentive (TERI).

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Will I be paid when I am sick?

As a benefits eligible University employee, you will accrue 1-1/4 days of sick leave each month that you work. You may use sick leave for qualified reasons as soon as it has been accrued. Sick leave may be used for your illness or medical appointments. You may also use up to 10 days of your sick leave per year for the illness of an immediate family, as defined in the HR 1.06 Sick Leave Policy.

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What if I use all of my sick leave and am still unable to work?

Disability leave of more than 10 days, whether with or without pay, must be requested on Form P-75 (Application for Disability Leave). When certified by your doctor, you may be on disability leave for up to 180 days. If you exhaust your sick leave during a period of disability, you may begin using your annual leave. If you choose not to use annual leave, or if both sick leave and annual leave are exhausted, you may go on disability leave without pay. Disability leave of over 10 days may also qualify as Family Medical Leave (FMLA).

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What is FMLA leave?

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires employers to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to employees for a serious health condition of either the employee, employee's spouse, children under the age of 18 (or older if certified as incapable of slef care because of a mental or physical diability), or parents, but not parent "in-law". The FMLA also provides for 12 to 26 weeks of unpaid leave for military families. To be eligible, you must have been employed for at least one year and have worked for 1250 hours over the past 12 months.

You may elect to use your available annual leave or sick leave during a period of FMLA leave. During the FMLA leave the University will continue its normal contributions toward your benefits, provided you continue your share. At the end of the FMLA leave, you have the right to be restored to your original position or a position with equal employment terms, pay, and benefits.

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Does USC grant maternity/paternity leave?

Maternity is considered the same as other disabilities. An employee is eligible to use available sick leave for periods of disability certified by a physician. Beyond the period of physician certified disability, the employee may request to use available annual leave or go on leave without pay. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth.

As to paternity leave, male employees may request up to 10 days of available sick leave as family sick leave for the birth of a child; or up to six weeks of available sick leave for the adoption of a child, if the father will be the primary care giver. Additional time may be requested under the Family Medical Leave Act and taken as available annual leave or leave without pay, up to a maximum total period of 12 weeks.

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When will I get a vacation?

Personal time off, including vacations, is normally reported as annual leave. You will earn 1-1/4 days of annual leave for each month that you work. After 10 years of combined service with a S.C. State agency or school district, you will earn an additional 1-1/4 days of annual leave each year up to a maximum accrual of 30 days a year. You may use annual leave as soon as it is earned, subject to your supervisor's approval. When possible, annual leave requests should be submitted in advance. See the HR 1.03 Annual Leave Policy for more information.

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Can I be off whenever I want as long as I have annual leave to cover my absence?

The use of annual leave is subject to your supervisor's approval. Your request can be denied, or you may be asked to schedule annual leave at a different time if the time you have requested would create a hardship for your department.

You may not use more than 30 days of annual leave in a calendar year, unless the leave is used during a period of disability when you have used all available sick leave.

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Will I lose my annual leave and sick leave if I don't use it?

Up to 45 days of annual leave and up to 180 days of sick leave can be carried over into a new calendar year. Any leave in excess of that allowed is deleted at the end of the calendar year.

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Will I be paid for my unused annual leave and sick leave when I leave USC employment?

At separation from employment, you will be paid for unused annual leave up to 45 days. Your annual leave payment will increase the amount of your retirement check. If you are paid from grant funds, payment for annual leave will depend on the terms of your grant. Sick leave is forfeited at separation from employment. However, you will receive retirement service credit for up to 90 days of unused sick leave at retirement.

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What happens to my annual leave and sick leave if I transfer to another state agency?

If you transfer from one state agency to another with less than a 15-day break, both your sick leave and annual leave will be transferred, unless you are transferring to an academic position where you are not eligible to accrue annual leave. In that case, you will be paid for annual leave subject to the HR 1.03 Annual Leave Policy and your sick leave will be transferred. If there is more than a 15-day break, or if you are paid for your annual leave for any reason other than transfer to a position where you are not eligible to earn annual leave, it will be considered a break in service and your sick leave will be forfeited.

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Will I be paid for holidays?

Benefits eligible employees are eligible for paid holidays. There are 13 paid holidays in a year. As state employees we receive the same number of holidays as other state agencies, but most of our holidays are taken at Christmas when the students are off. A holiday schedule is posted on the Human Resources website. For more information, view the HR 1.15 Holiday Leave Policy for more information.

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Will I be paid if I am called for jury duty?

You may be paid when you are summoned to serve on a jury or as a witness for other than personal litigation. See HR 1.09 Other Leave With Pay Policy for more information.

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If there is a death in my family, am I paid and how do I know if it is considered "immediate" family?

You may be paid other leave for up to three consecutive days for the death of an immediate family member. Immediate family is defined as the spouse, parent, child, spouse of child, brother, spouse of brother, sister, spouse of sister, grandparent, great-grandparent, grandchild, great-grandchild, or legal guardian of either the employee or the employee's spouse. See HR 1.09 Other Leave With Pay Policy for more information.

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What should I do if I am injured on the job?

You should immediately report the injury to your supervisor and go to the Thomson Student Health Center for medical care. If you work at the School of Medicine, you should go to the USC Family Practice. If your injury occurs after hours or is serious enough to warrant emergency care, go to the emergency room at Palmetto Health Richland; any and all medical follow-up must be with the Thomson Student Health Center (or if from the School of Medicine, USC Family Practice). All employee-related injuries must be seen by a physician or medical specialist approved by the University. You must provide all doctor's statements to your supervisor concerning your return to work status and copies of all other medical reports should be sent to the USC Benefits Office.

As soon as possible, you must complete an Employee Injury Report (HR-81B) and forward it through your supervisor to the Benefits Office.

Visit our Workers' Compensation webpages for more information about Workers' Compensation and work-related injuries at the University.

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Will I be required to use my leave time if I miss work because of a work related injury?

State Workers' Compensation laws require that a person must choose between using paid leave or receiving Workers' Compensation benefits. You must make this election in writing, at the bottom of the Employee Injury Report (HR-81B). Once you begin using the leave or receiving Workers' Compensation benefits, your election may not be changed. A number of factors should be considered in making your decision. All absences from work, including work related injuries, are subject to University leave policies and procedures. Visit our Workers' Compensation webpages for more information or contact the Workers' Compensation Coordinator in the Benefits Office.

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Will I be paid if I am called for military duty?

Yes. Time off for service with the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve is provided. You will receive your USC pay in addition to your military pay for up to 15 working days. Military leave is not counted against your annual leave balances. Military orders need to be presented to your supervisor in advance. For more information on military leave, see the HR 1.09 Other Leave With Pay Policy or contact the Benefits Office at 803-777-6650.

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Are there other types of leave with pay?

The HR 1.09 Other Leave With Pay Policy gives specific information concerning other types of leave with pay. Some of the other leave types are bone marrow donations, American Red Cross certified disaster service leave, and organ donation leave.

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Are staff members who enroll in classes at USC given a discount?

Staff members who have been employed at least 30 hours a week in a benefits eligible position for at least six months are eligible to take one three-hour credit course (four hours in the case of a lab course) per academic term at no charge, on a space available basis. Staff must be admitted to the University through the appropriate admissions process. For more information, refer to the Tuition Assistance website.

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Facilities, Entertainment, and Services

Now that you are an employee of the University of South Carolina, we hope you will enjoy Carolina life. USC offers many services and educational and recreational opportunities for staff. Brochures for some of these facilities are enclosed in your orientation packet. Many of the services and facilities available to you and your family are listed below with phone numbers and e-mail links.

Service or Facility Phone Number
Libraries 777-4866
McKissick Museum 777-7251
P.E. Center 777-5261
University Bookstore 777-4160
Carolina Center 576-9181
Koger Center 777-7500
Russell House Movies 777-7500
USC Theater and Dance Productions 777-2551
Continuing Education 777-9444
Credit Union 251-8474
Calendar of Events 777-0169

There are several places on campus where employees can eat. At the Russell House there is a cafeteria as well as several specialized eateries.

Many upcoming events on campus are publicized in the USC Times and USC Day Times which are circulated to USC faculty and staff. The Daily Gamecock is the campus newspaper published by USC students and it can be picked up in many buildings on campus, including the Russell House.