101: Introduction

Purpose of the Manual 

This manual is published and maintained as a guide for supervisors and managers in order that human resources matters can be handled more consistently and equitably throughout the University.  An important effort has been made to recognize the differences present in the various campuses and areas of the University; however, these policies were developed by focusing on the rules and responsibilities our one organization has in common.  If a campus or area of the University wishes to issue its own memoranda or other statements related to Human Resources policies, they must be consistent with this manual unless approval is granted by the Vice President for Human Resources.  This manual supersedes all inconsistent memoranda and statements as well as prior personnel policies and procedures.

The Human Resources Manual is designed to be the primary reference document for communicating and interpreting human resources policies, programs, and procedures to people at Georgetown University.  Separate memoranda or pamphlets with respect to the operation or administration of human resources-related functions and programs may be distributed to augment the provisions of this manual.

Additionally, the manual will be updated periodically to reflect changes in University policy and changes in the law.  However, no provisions in this manual, or in separate memoranda or pamphlets are, or should be construed as, an implied or expressed contract or guarantee of employment or contractual obligation of the University.

The University reserves the right to interpret, change, modify, add, delete or not apply all or part of the provisions of this manual at any time.

Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action 

It is the policy of Georgetown University to provide equal opportunity in all aspects of employment for all persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment because of age, citizenship, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status or other unlawful factors; to prohibit sexual, racial and other forms of unlawful harassment; and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a positive, continuing, result-oriented program of affirmative action throughout the University.

The University’s position on affirmative action reflects the requirements of Executive Order 11246 (as amended by Executive Order 11375), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 38 US Code 2012 (formerly known as Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 11974) and all other applicable laws.


As a large and diverse organization, Georgetown University offers these policies as a framework within which to make human resources decisions in a Jesuit/Catholic institution and competitive environment.  Although progressive and flexible, the policies provide sufficient framework in a climate where our best employees can excel and we can address the deficiencies of those who cannot meet legitimate job performance standards.

The policies give supervisors and managers the ability to make decisions within a framework that promotes consistency and objectivity.  With decision making comes responsibility.  In each policy there is a statement of the philosophy within which related decisions are made and a statement of where responsibility belongs.  Many of the policies emphasize and articulate the two-way responsibility of the employer and the employee.


This manual applies to all campuses and areas of the University. Policies in the 100 through 1000 series apply to staff and academic and administrative professional employees.  Faculty are also covered by the policies in the 1000 series and the Faculty Handbook.

Within the 100 through 900 series, certain policies pertain only to specific categories of employees.  A matrix included in the Employment Categories Policy provides an overview of employment categories and applicability.  Specific eligibility requirements are also noted within some of the policies. 

Employees who are members of a union are covered by the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the University and the Union. To the extent that University policies have applied to Union employees by practice or by contract, these policies shall also apply to Union employees.

Employment at Will 

Employment at the University may be terminated at the will of the employee or the University at any time without notice or cause.  No representative of the University has the authority to enter into a contrary agreement except the President or his or her designee and the employee.  Any such contrary agreement must be in writing and signed by the President or his/her designee and the employee. 


The University offers several employee benefit programs that are not detailed in this manual and that may be changed from time to time.  They include retirement benefits, tax-deferred savings, health care, disability benefits, life insurance, tuition assistance, long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts.  For details about these benefit programs, refer to your summary plan descriptions, the Human Resources web site or contact the Faculty and Staff Benefits Office.  Specific questions about your benefit programs can be answered by Faculty and Staff Benefits Office staff.

Distribution and Interpretation 

The Georgetown University’s Human Resources Manual is available on the Human Resources web site and a copy is to be maintained in every department, location, center or major organizational entity of the University.  The master copy of the manual will be maintained in the Department of Human Resources.

This manual should be made available to and used for reference by all employees within the University upon request.

Questions concerning the applicability and interpretation of the policies in this manual should be discussed with and resolved by the Department of Human Resources.  The Vice President for Human Resources has the authority to review and grant requests for exceptions to policies in this manual. 

Other Manuals

The University issues and maintains policies in other areas that affect employment such as financial, safety, affirmative action, technology and other like areas. Employees should consult the University web site and other appropriate offices for additional applicable policies.