Penn Faculty Benefits News

Penn Faculty Benefits News: October 20, 2016

Get on Track to Wellness with Be in the Know 2016-2017


Penn’s Be in the Know wellness campaign, part of Penn Healthy You, makes it easier to bring greater health awareness and more fitness activities into your life. Be in the Know gives faculty and staff the opportunity to improve their wellbeing while earning up to $200.*

This year, Be in the Know runs through August 2017. Register today at

Get Started with Core Actions

Participation begins with the Core Actions: a Biometric Screening and Online Health Assessment.** Complete both required Core Actions to earn your first 100 points and $100.*

On-Campus Biometric Screenings
The free, confidential screenings provide you with key indicators of your health status, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. Over the past four years, more than 8,500 Penn faculty and staff have taken advantage of this campaign.

Online Health Assessment
This brief questionnaire gives you a personalized report on your current health and recommendations on how to maintain or improve your health and wellbeing. The online health assessment will be available on Penn’s wellness portal,, on a rolling basis beginning in October 2016 for those who have completed their biometric screening.

Earn More with Bonus Actions

Bonus Actions are opportunities to go beyond the biometric screening and online health assessment to improve your health—and earn more cash. They’re available on campus and online at Penn’s wellness portal, Complete Bonus Actions to earn points and an extra $50 or $100 in additional incentives.* Bonus Actions may be completed and points earned at any time during the Be in the Know campaign (September 2016 – August 2017). However, cash incentives will not be awarded until you complete the two Core Actions.

What’s New This Year

More Points, More Cash, More Often!
Earn up to 200 points for $200!* Incentive payments will go out as soon as November 2016 and will be made every other month this campaign year.  

Three Tracks to Fit Your Goals
We’ve made things simple this year with three tracks to choose from: Core Track, Easy Choice Track, and Custom Track. So you can just do the basics, choose a package of activities, or totally customize your Be in the Know experience.

Campus Recreation Partnership
This year, you can choose to apply all of your incentive dollars toward a first-time Penn Campus Recreation membership and exciting recreational services.

New Mindfulness Bonus Actions
We’ve built on Penn’s popular mindfulness program options to include new online meditation programs and mindfulness workshops.

Physical Activity Credit
Earn Bonus Action points for staying active this year!

Year-Round Campaign
On-campus biometric screenings will be offered each semester, letting you join the Be in the Know campaign any time during the year.

Check the Be in the Know webpage at for key dates and more information.

*All cash incentives are less applicable payroll taxes. Incentives will be included in November 2016, January 2017, March 2017, May 2017, July 2017, and September 2017 paychecks, or in Campus Recreation accounts. Payment times depend on when you complete the Core Actions and qualifying Bonus Actions. On the Health Assessment, Question 6 “How would you like to receive the full amount of your Be in the Know earned incentive(s)?” is a required question. If the question is not completed, the employee will automatically receive the incentive(s) on their paycheck. 

**Your privacy is strictly protected. Penn will never know your questionnaire answers, what your screening results were, or your personal health goals.


Email and Telephone Scam Awareness

phishing-200pxThe University of Pennsylvania urges Penn faculty and staff to be aware of fraudulent email messages or telephone scams seeking your personal information. Several attempts have impacted our community recently. Your awareness is key in protecting yourself from fraud.

Payroll Advice and Salary Increase Email Scams

Fraudulent emails have been circulating throughout the Schools and Centers disguised as official Penn Human Resources or Payroll office communications about salary increases or online pay advices. These emails contain links requesting personal information such as your Social Security number, or PennKey and password. 

If you receive this type of email, please disregard it and delete it immediately. This email did not come from Human Resources or the Payroll Department. It is a “phishing” email designed to steal your personal information. Penn will never ask for your Social Security number in an email.

While these recent phishing emails have focused on salary increase and payroll advice, fraudulent emails can take many forms. Here are some steps to help protect yourself:

  • Be wary of emails with strong warnings or threats that create a sense of urgency or alarm, or sound too good to be true.
  • If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, do not click a link, open an attachment, or respond. Contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) for assistance (LSP contact information at

If you believe you have mistakenly clicked a malicious link or shared private information, immediately change your email and PennKey passwords, contact your LSP, and notify Penn’s Office of Information Security by emailing

IRS Phone Scam

Some students and staff, predominantly nonresident aliens, have received threatening phone calls from people claiming to work for the IRS. These people may demand money and try to trick you into sharing private information. These phone calls are scams. Hang up on these callers immediately.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill or giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to contact the police or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

For more information about these scams, visit: If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Tax and Internal Operations office at

Academic Work-Life Balance


Are you expecting a baby? Is your family facing health issues? Penn offers family-friendly benefits and policies to help faculty members manage their academic careers and care for their families.

Faculty on the tenure, clinician educator and research tracks who are still in their probationary periods are entitled to one-year extensions of their probationary periods when certain events occur. These events include:

  • A new child in the home.
  • A child, parent, or spouse becomes seriously ill.
  • The faculty member becomes seriously ill.
  • The faculty member experiences catastrophic disruption in research due to the loss of lab space or research materials.
  • The faculty member is required to perform military service. 

Faculty members may also qualify for a 50% reduction in their teaching loads, without a reduction in pay, in the year after the birth or adoption of a child. If both parents are Penn faculty members, both may be eligible for teaching relief and extension of the review clock. 

Faculty members are also covered by University policies on short-term disability and Family and Medical Leave. For instance, a faculty member who gives birth is entitled to eight weeks of paid time off, or longer if certified by a physician, under the Short-Term Disability policy. Family and Medical Leave provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for both new parents.

If you or a family member face health issues, the Family and Medical Leave policy may also apply. Time away from work is covered under this policy in situations involving your own serious health condition; extended care of a dependent, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition; qualifying circumstances related to active duty in the armed forces; or care for the serious illness or injury of a family member in the armed forces.

For more information about these policies and guidelines, consult the Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, your dean, or your department chair. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty is also available to answer questions about when and how to obtain extensions. More family-friendly resources are also available from the Division of Human Resources.

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