(columbiatribune.com)- Moberly Area Community College's Board of Trustees approved a proposal during its monthly meeting Monday to expand benefits to domestic partners for all full-time MACC employees.
This proposal has been under consideration for "numerous years," and came from faculty forums the college has hosted, MACC President Jeff Lashley said in a statement.
"MACC wants to provide equal access to benefits and compensation for all full-time employees," Lashley said in the statement. "We believe this policy will be helpful for retention and recruiting purposes."
Lashley said extending benefits, including insurance coverage, to domestic partners is becoming more common in Fortune 500 companies and higher education, with several in-state institutions adopting the extension as well, including the University of Missouri and Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City.
The policy that MACC adopted is similar to policies from other institutions that MACC reviewed during the decision-making process. An affidavit process is used to establish domestic partnership, Lashley said. "Since the insurance premium is the responsibility of the employee, we anticipate minimal cost to the institution," he said.
Additional changes made during Monday's meeting included adding domestic partners to the educational development policy, meaning partners can attend up to nine hours of MACC developmental and college classes each semester with a waiver of tuition and fees. Domestic partners were also added as a member of an immediate family for sick leave policy purposes.
The policy change is effective July 1.
Scott McGarvey, director of marketing and public relations, said there are about 20 full-time employees at the Columbia MACC campus.
McGarvey said the school defines domestic partners as two partners sharing the same regular and permanent address for at least 12 months before applying for domestic partnership status, having a financially interdependent relationship sharing financial responsibilities like food, shelter and household maintenance. The definition excludes those in a relationship solely to obtain benefits. There is no mandate under the eight MACC points that define domestic partnership that require partners to be married to one another.