Article 19 -- Relocation Allowances 2017-19 contract

A. Eligibility. Eligibility for reimbursement of relocation expenses shall be limited to those moves where the new work location is at least thirty-five (35) miles or more from the employee's current work location or changes in residence required by an Appointing Authority as a condition of employment. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to employees who currently commute thirty-five (35) miles or more to their work location unless the employee is transferred or reassigned to a new work location which is thirty-five (35) miles or more from the employee's current work station. Employees who return to a former position during the trial period, as provided for in Article 16, Section 7, are not eligible for reimbursement of any relocation expenses.

No reimbursement for relocation expenses shall be allowed unless the employee makes a good faith effort to complete the change of residence within six (6) months. When the employee has not been able to complete the move, despite a good faith effort, the Appointing Authority shall grant the employee a six (6) month extension. The Appointing Authority and the employee may mutually agree to a further time extension.

B. Required Reimbursement. The Appointing Authority shall reimburse relocation expenses, consistent with Section 2, to eligible employees who:

  1. are required by an Appointing Authority to change residence as a condition of employment.

  2. must accept a layoff option beyond thirty-five (35) miles because no vacancy or bumping option is available within thirty-five (35) miles.

  3. accept a promotion.

C. Partial Reimbursement Required. The Appointing Authority shall reimburse relocation expenses, except realtor’s fees, to eligible employees who have a layoff option within thirty-five (35) miles of their work location but choose an option beyond thirty-five (35) miles to either maintain or take the least reduction in the hourly rate of pay.

The Appointing Authority shall reimburse moving expenses and miscellaneous expenses, as provided in Section 2(D) and (E), to eligible employees who demote during the probationary period but after the trial period. Such employees are not eligible for reimbursement under Section 2(A), (B) and (C).

D. Discretionary Reimbursement. The sending or receiving Appointing Authority may, at its sole discretion, reimburse relocation expenses and may limit the type and/or amount of reimbursement not to exceed the provisions of Section 2, to eligible employees who:

  • claim a vacant position in another Seniority Unit, as provided in Article 16, Section 4(B),

  • are recalled to a new work location from a Seniority Unit or Bargaining Unit Layoff List,

  • request a voluntary transfer, demotion or reassignment,

  • move to a new position as a result of a bid/expression of interest, as provided in Article 16, Section 3.

Section 2. Covered Expenses. Employees must have received prior authorization from their Appointing Authority before incurring any expenses authorized by this Article.

A. Travel Status. An employee eligible for relocation expenses pursuant to Section 1 shall be considered to be in travel status up to a maximum of ninety (90) calendar days or until the date of the move to the new permanent residence, whichever comes first, and shall be allowed standard travel expenses to return to his/her permanent residence, once a week while being lodged at his/her new station, or, by mutual agreement between the employee and the Appointing Authority the employee may travel between his/her permanent residence, and his/her new work station on a daily basis. If the first option is used, standard travel expenses for the employee's spouse shall be borne by the Appointing Authority for a maximum of two (2) trips not to exceed a total of seven (7) calendar days during the ninety (90) calendar day period. Employees shall not receive mileage reimbursement for daily commuting to work from the temporary residence.

B. Temporary Living Expenses. An employee may be reimbursed for the short-term rental of an apartment, house or other residence instead of being reimbursed for hotel or motel room rental, with the written approval of the Appointing Authority, provided that the rental rate for the alternative housing is less than or comparable to hotel or motel rates and provided that the rental residence is available to all potential renters. When reviewing requests for rental of alternative short-term housing, Appointing Authorities may take into account the lower cost of groceries for the employee compared to reimbursement for restaurant meals.

C. Realtor's Fees. Realtor's fees for the sale of the employee's domicile, not to exceed ten-thousand dollars ($10,000) shall be paid by the Appointing Authority.

D. Moving Expenses. The Appointing Authority shall pay the cost of moving and packing the employee's household goods. The employee shall obtain no less than two (2) bids for packing and/or moving household goods and approval must be obtained from the Appointing Authority prior to any commitment to a mover to either pack or ship the employee's household goods.

The Appointing Authority shall pay for the moving of mobile homes if the trailer is the employee's domicile; and such reimbursement shall include the cost of transporting support blocks, skirts, and/or other attached fixtures.

E. Documented Miscellaneous Expenses. The employee shall be reimbursed up to a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for the necessary miscellaneous expenses directly related to the move. At their sole discretion, Appointing Authorities may authorize payment of additional relocation expenses up to the amount of seven hundred eighty-five dollars ($785.00). These expenses may include, but are not limited to, fees involved in the purchase of housing in the new location, disconnecting and connecting appliances and/or utilities, the cost of insurance for property damage during the move, the reasonable transportation costs of the employee's family to the new work location at the time the move is made including meals and lodging (such expenses shall be consistent with the provisions of Article 18, Expense Allowances), or other direct costs associated with rental, purchase, or sale of a residence, including, but not limited to, attorney fees, loan origination fees, abstract fees, title insurance premiums, appraisal fees, credit report fees and government recording and transfer fees; fees for inspections or other services required by law or local ordinances.

Reimbursable miscellaneous expenses do not include, among others, rental of the employee’s permanent residence, costs for improvements to either the old or new home or reimbursable deposits required in connection with the purchase or rental of the residence, real estate taxes, mortgage interest differentials, points, assessments, homeowner association fees, homeowners or renters insurance, mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, automobile or driver’s license reissue fees, utility or other refundable deposits, boarding of pets, and the purchase of new furnishings or personal effects.

Neither the State of Minnesota nor any of its agencies shall be responsible for any loss or damage to any of the employee's household goods or personal effects as a result of such a transfer.