Member Suspension, Exit and Payroll Policy
AmeriCorps members may be exited from [the program] for a variety of reasons. Each can impact other aspects of the member’s term, including the education award, the final living allowance received and whether someone is eligible to serve another AmeriCorps term. This policy outlines the types of exits and the common impacts to a member’s terms of service and living allowance. Other impacts may occur depending upon the specific situation.
Member Exit – Successful Completion
Successful On-Time Exit - Members that serve the complete term of service (as stipulated in the member service agreement) AND complete the minimum number of hours required for their term are eligible for a successful exit. Members who fulfill these requirements, serving satisfactorily, are eligible to be exited from the program with a full education award and are also be eligible for future service (subject to term limits).
Members who exit successfully, on-time receive their full living allowance.
Member Exit – Successful Completion Ahead of Schedule
Successful, Early Exit (two weeks or more earlier than expected) - Members who complete assignments, were serving satisfactorily, and reach the service agreement hour requirement in advance of the originally agreed upon end date may seek approval to exit early. Although not encouraged, the member service agreement may be amended to allow such members to exit as successfully completed, if the member, site supervisor, program director and Volunteer Iowa all agree to the new end date.
Members who are approved to exit two weeks or more early, could be exiting one pay period or more prior to their anticipated end date, depending upon the frequency of payroll. Thus, their living allowance will cease in accordance with their new end date, and the member will receive a reduced living allowance as compared to that noted in their original Member Service Agreement. They will, however, be eligible for a full education award.
Early Termination or Suspension for Compelling Personal Circumstances (CPC)
Compelling Personal Circumstances (CPC) Suspension and Exit - Members may be suspended or exited for a Compelling Personal Circumstance if they meet specific criteria. If approved, a CPC suspension allows a member additional time to complete the term of service (within the program’s extended grant end date) and if exited for CPC and the member has served at least 15% of the term, the member may receive a pro-rated education award. Ultimately this is contingent on the review and approval of both [AMERICORPS PROGRAM] Staff and Volunteer Iowa.
A. The Program may suspend or release the member from the term of service for compelling personal circumstances if the member demonstrates that:
- The member has a disability or serious illness that makes completing the term impossible.
- There is a serious injury, illness, or death of a family member which makes completing the term unreasonably difficult or impossible for the member.
- The member has military service obligations.
- The member has accepted an opportunity to make the transition from welfare to work. (Member must have been on welfare prior to enrolling in AmeriCorps.)
- Some other unforeseeable circumstance beyond the member’s control makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the member to complete the term of service, such as a natural disaster, a strike, relocation of a spouse, or the non-renewal or premature closing of a project or the Program.
B. Compelling personal circumstances do not include leaving the Program:
- To enroll in school.
- To obtain employment, other than moving from welfare to work.
- Because of dissatisfaction with the Program.
C. Steps needed for a Compelling Personal Circumstance suspension or exit:
- Notify the [AMERICORPS PROGRAM] staff and Site Supervisor as soon as possible with information regarding the circumstances.
- Develop a plan of communication with [AMERICORPS PROGRAM] staff. Have check points established (for suspension), and an exit meeting scheduled (for exit).
- Provide required documentation at the beginning of the suspension or prior to the exit meeting date so this can be reviewed by [AMERICORPS PROGRAM] Staff and Volunteer Iowa.
- [AMERICORPS PROGRAM] staff must document expectations for the member’s communication, information regarding living allowance payments, education award eligibility and return to service process (if applicable) in writing as this information becomes available based on circumstances.
D. Information is needed to verify the nature of the compelling circumstances and may be collected by the program from a third party. All information and documentation collected about the Compelling Personal Circumstance will be kept confidential and secured in the locked AmeriCorps member file. If Third party verification is not available, it will be handled on a case by case basis and the [AMERICORPS PROGRAM] staff and/or Volunteer Iowa could deny the request. Documentation that may be required, but is not limited to the following:
- Doctors notes/ Medical Release forms of the AmeriCorps member or the AmeriCorps member’s family.
- Military service letter detailing obligations and dates required.
- Any appropriate documentation that details why it is impossible or unreasonably difficult for the member to complete the term of service.
E. Additional considerations for approval of CPC suspension and early successful exit may include but are not limited to the following:
- If the member is in good standing with the site and has previously demonstrated a commitment to service through maintaining a consistent schedule and completing required assignments and tasks.
- If the member is approved for a CPC exit but then fails to provide appropriate documentation the partial education award option included with the Compelling Personal Circumstance may be revoked.
- If required documents are not completed, for example time sheets, exit evaluation and/or exit form is not completed, the Compelling Personal Circumstance exit may be revoked.
Members who are suspended for Compelling Personal Circumstances will have their living allowance suspended during the same period. Healthcare benefits will continue during the suspension. Childcare benefits can also continue if the member intends to return to service. Members who are exited for Compelling Personal Circumstances will receive the full amount of their living allowance for the final pay period in which they served hours, regardless of how many days in that pay period they served hours.
Early Termination / Unsuccessful Completion or Suspension for Cause
For Cause, Suspension and Exit – Members who exit the program unsuccessfully and that do not qualify for a compelling personal circumstance exit, will exit for cause. All members who complete less than 15% of service will also exit for cause. Members exiting for cause will receive full amount of their living allowance for the final pay period in which they served hours, regardless of how many days in that pay period they served hours. Members that exit for cause are not eligible for an education award.
- Suspension for Cause, Disciplinary Reasons – In accordance with the [AMERICORPS PROGRAM]’s policies outlined in the Member Service Agreement, members may be suspended for disciplinary reasons during their term. Members suspended for disciplinary reasons will have their living allowance and benefits suspended.
- Exit for Cause, Disciplinary Reasons – Members that exit the program for cause due to a disciplinary reason, including but not limited to tardiness, misuse of agency of resources, or stealing may result in the inability of the member to serve any further AmeriCorps terms. If this is the case, the member must be notified by the Program Director or designee prior to exiting the program (or at the time of exit from the program).