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Facts for Your First Day of Work -- Boulder, Colorado

The following information will prepare you for your first day of work at NIST. Prior to entering on duty, you must complete all forms on the Enter on Duty forms web page and bring them with you on your first day of work. Also, you must bring two forms of identification with you in order to receive a badge and access to the facility (Click here for a list of acceptable forms of identification.)

Location:
NIST is located on 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO. Please click here for a map of the NIST site and directions.

Reporting for Work:

On your first day, please report to NIST at 8:00 a.m. Please plan to arrive approximately 15 minutes early. When you arrive at the main gate of the NIST campus, you must proceed to the Visitor's Center to obtain a temporary site badge. After receiving your badge, you will then be meeting with a Division representative to submit your completed Enter on Duty forms and conduct the oath of office. For further instructions, please refer to your official offer letter.

Parking:

There is ample parking for employees.  If you plan to park at the Boulder site, you MUST obtain a parking permit from the Visitor’s Center located at the main entrance.  You may do this on or after your first day of duty by providing your vehicle registration, proof of insurance, valid driver’s license and providing the color, make, and model of your vehicle.

Official Hours of Duty:

Employees must work with their immediate supervisors to arrange their official work schedule.

Salaries:

The Federal Government issues pay checks on the 2nd Thursday after the close of each biweekly pay period.  Thus, you will not receive your first pay check until 3 to 4 weeks after you have entered on duty.  The "pay lag" as it is commonly referred to, is offset by the receipt of a pay check 2 weeks following the close of the pay period which covers the date of separation.  The Federal Credit Union, described below, may be able to help new employees with a loan upon approved credit during the period of the pay lag.

Pay checks are electronically transmitted to a financial institution.  The U.S. Government will no longer allow employees to receive salary checks at a home address or P.O. Box.  Employees receive their pay checks through direct deposit on the 2nd Monday after the close of each biweekly pay period (the “official” pay date is on the 2nd Thursday).

Federal Income Tax:

Upon entering on duty, every employee completes a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate.  The number of exemptions claimed on this certificate will determine the amount of money which will be withheld from pay for Federal Income Tax.  Usually, you should claim exactly the number of exemptions to which entitled.  Taxes are automatically computed based on current Internal Revenue tables which will cover the taxes due.  You may claim fewer exemptions if you have income other than salary from NIST and this income is not taxed.  If necessary, in addition to claiming zero exemptions, you may have additional amounts withheld from your pay check in multiples of $1.

State Income Tax:

Colorado does not have an equivalent state form to the Federal W-4. This is because the state income tax is based on the taxpayer's federal taxable income. NIST will use the information from the federal W-4 Form to calculate the state wage withholding amounts.

Occasionally an employee will have a unique tax situation that requires different W-4 information to be used to accurately determine the amount of Colorado withholding. In this case, please give your servicing HR Assistant a separate W-4 Form with "Colorado Copy" written on top for use in computing the state withholding.

Leave:

Employees on permanent appointments or temporary appointments of 90 days or more are eligible to earn leave (vacation and sick time).  Part-time employees earn annual and sick leave on a prorated basis, based on the number of hours per pay period they work.  Full-time and part-time employees accrue Annual Leave based on length of creditable civilian and/or military service as follows:

Annual Leave Accrual Rates:

Length of Service

Biweekly

Yearly

Up to 3

4 hours

13 days

3 to 15

6 hours

20 days

15 and over

8 hours

26 days

 

Sick Leave:
Sick leave is accrued at the rate of 4 hours per pay period for full-time employees and is prorated for part-time employees based on the number of hours they work per pay period. Former Government employees returning to Federal service, who did not forfeit their sick leave upon reemployment in the Federal Government before December 2, 1994, will be eligible for a re-credit of their sick leave.

Click here for more detailed information about annual, sick, and other types of leave for NIST employees.

Government Employees Health Benefits Program:

All full-time and part-time career and career-conditional employees are eligible for health benefits coverage under one of the various approved health plans.  These plans provide hospital and medical benefits for you and your family with the Government sharing a part of the cost.  If eligible, you will be given an opportunity to select a plan and register after you enter on duty at NIST.  There are several plans to choose from including the traditional fee for service plans to HMO’s and the costs to you vary depending on the plan you choose.   Your coverage will begin at the beginning of the next pay period in which you submit your election form.  Election to enroll in Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program must be made within 60 days of appointment.  If you are currently covered by the FEHB program your previous plan will transfer in with you and continue without any interruption in coverage.  Please contact your servicing Benefits Specialist to discuss any matters regarding your benefits.  Extensive information regarding your health insurance benefits, including brochures are available on line at:  http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance:

All full-time and part-­time employees on appointments not limited to one year or less are automatically covered by basic life insurance (your salary plus $2,000) at low cost without medical examination.  If you DO NOT want coverage, you must complete a special waiver form provided by the OWM Office.  Additional options are also available to employees who elect Basic Life Insurance coverage.  If you need additional information concerning life insurance options, you may contact your servicing Benefits Specialist or access Life Insurance information on line at:   http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/

Retirement:

You will be covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).  Employee contributions are made through payroll deduction.  For additional information concerning your retirement plan, please contact your servicing Benefits Specialist.

Medical Services:

A full-time nursing staff is available on site in the David Skaggs Research Center located at the same 325 Broadway site at (303) 497-3801.  For on-site emergencies call extension 7777.

Elevations Credit Union:

You are eligible to become a member at the Elevations Credit Union which offers a variety of services to its members.  The Elevations Credit Union is at 4760 Baseline Road; Boulder, CO 80303; telephone: (303) 443-4672.  Website:   www.ElevationsCU.com

Boulder Municipal Employee Federal Credit Union:

You are eligible to become a member at the BME Federal Credit Union which offers a variety of services to its members.   The BME Credit Union is at 2800 Arapahoe Avenue; Boulder, CO 80303; telephone: (303) 441-3065.  Website:   www.bmecu.org 

Boulder Laboratories Employee Association (BLEA):

All employees of NIST are eligible to become members of BLEA when they are appointed.  BLEA, which is an employee-operated activity, sponsors various welfare, recreation, and entertainment activities throughout the year.  See the Weekly Bulletin for schedule of events and additional information.

Cafeterias, Food, and Beverages:

Cafeterias are located near the Lobby of NIST Building 1 and in the Garden Level of the David Skaggs Federal Building.  Vending machines are located throughout the site.

NIST Office of Human Resources Management:

To learn more about the NIST Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM), please visit our home page on the NIST internal website.