Adjunct Faculty Benefit and Leave Information

Adjunct faculty eligibility for health insurance and retirement benefits is determined on a quarterly basis. This quarter, benefits eligibility determinations will be made about one month after the start of the quarter. Here are the associated timelines for notifications:

  • Late July/summer quarter: Notification of eligibility status changes
  • October/fall quarter: Notification of eligibility status changes
  • February/winter quarter: Notification of eligibility status changes
  • May/Spring quarter: Notification of eligibility status changes + Notification of eligibility for Summer/Off-Quarter Coverage for the following academic year + Notification of eligibility for 2-Year Averaging for the following academic year.

For more detailed information, please review these important points:

Stacking Notification Form

Complete the form on the intranet (requires a login) 

The purpose of the Stacking Notification Form is to inform Pierce College that you are working as faculty at more than one institution of higher education (stacking or combining hours worked) for the purposes of establishing or maintaining eligibility for health insurance and retirement benefits. This form does not need to be completed if you are teaching only at Pierce College.

*Acceptable institutions of higher education that can be used to stack hours are on the WaTech website.

Eligibility Decisions

For any benefit eligibility decisions made after you are hired, you’ll ONLY be notified if your eligibility status changes (e.g., become newly eligible for benefits, lose eligibility if you were once eligible). You also have the right to ask Human Resources to re-evaluate your eligibility at any time. Please do so in writing.

In determining eligibility for health insurance and retirement benefits, Pierce College follows the following regulations (click on the links for more information):

If you become newly eligible for health insurance, coverage usually starts the first day of the month after the quarter begins. In some instances, coverage will start the first day of the month the quarter begins. You’ll be notified in your eligibility notice when your coverage will begin. You are responsible at this point to complete and return to Human Resources enrollment paperwork indicating your choice (including waiving coverage). Failure to do so results in your being automatically enrolled in medical and dental coverage according to PEBB regulations.

If you lose eligibility for health insurance, coverage usually ends the last day of the month a premium was deducted from your paycheck. Once benefit decisions are made, a notice will be sent to you and it will let you know exactly what the termination date is. Afterwards, you’ll receive information regarding the ability to continue your insurance through COBRA. Note that if you have the ability to join another health plan (spouse, parents, etc.), losing coverage is usually considered a life event and could enable a special open enrollment period for you. Contact your other plan’s HR department to see if your event qualifies.

Maintaining Eligibility

There are three ways to maintain eligibility for health insurance:

There are two ways to maintain eligibility for retirement benefits:

  • Work any percentage per quarter. Stack hours from other public education institutions.

  • Use an available Summer/Off-Quarter Coverage protection.

Sick Leave

Adjunct faculty who have not worked for Pierce College for the last three quarters will have their accumulated sick leave deleted according to the Faculty Negotiated Agreement Section 11.12(c) which states:

Sick Leave Accrual. Sick leave is accumulated until there is a break in service for more than two (2) consecutive quarters (terms). Summer quarter (term) is not considered a break in service. A break in service results in loss of all accumulated sick leave.

If you would like to transfer your leave to another accepting agency, please notify Human Resources in writing.