Choose Well is UC Merced's wellness program for faculty and staff. Working in partnership with Human Resources, Student Health Center, Dining Services, Facilities, the Department of Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, and Recreation and Athletics, Choose Well strives to build a campus culture that encourages healthy lifestyle choices that improve the overall health and well being of its faculty and staff. This is accomplished through the delivery of incentive programs and services designed to reduce injury, illness and stress, increase stamina, create a healthy lifestyle both on and off the job, and foster a healthy work environment.
Wellness is not just the absence of disease but a state of being healthy in body and mind. Choose Well is an incentive program that promotes responsibility of one's health through daily choices of proper nutrition, exercise, and overall habits that promote healthfulness. By making small, simple changes to your daily eating and activity choices, you can start building habits that will positively affect your health.
For more information visit the Choose Well website.
Resources for Babysitting, Elder Care and More
The University of California has contracted with SelectPlus to aid faculty and staff in meeting their caregiver needs. SelectPlus is a web-based resource to help employees find and select pre-screened, in-home care for children, adults and even pets. SelectPlus also offers access to tutors, housekeepers and other care providers. Employees can select the local caregiver that is right for them.
Upon registering for SelectPlus online, eligible faculty and staff can search for caregivers using a direct search based on employee specified criteria, post jobs for caregivers, read caregiver profiles and reviews, rate caregivers, check caregiver references, and view background checks for their preferred caregivers.
Most faculty and staff who are eligible for UC benefits are also eligible to access SelectPlus. Eligibility for SelectPlus begins on the first day an employee becomes eligible for UC sponsored benefits. However, new employees will not be able to register online until approximately four weeks after they become eligible. For those newly hired employees who need to find a caregiver immediately, they may contact SelectPlus customer service. For our represented employees, the SelectPlus benefit is subject to collective bargaining. Some unions have already entered into agreement with the University to offer this benefit to its members. Information on which unions have entered into such agreements is available on the UCOP At Your Service website.
Access to SelectPlus is free to all eligible faculty and staff. Employees work directly with their caregivers of choice regarding price and payment for care services.
For more information on childcare resources, please visit:
Congratulations on your upcoming or recent arrival! The University is committed to promoting a family-friendly work environment by providing programs and services to help employees achieve success at work and in their personal lives. To that effect, employees and management are encouraged to be accepting of nursing mothers, and departments will provide a location and a reasonable amount of time to accommodate their lactation needs pursuant to state laws.
Research continues to affirm the health and wellness benefits of providing human breast milk to babies, these benefits include:
Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act - effective January 1, 2013, UC's medical plans will be providing breastfeeding support, supplies (including breast pumps) and counseling at no cost. For more information on how this measure will affect you, please contact your medical plan.
For more information on available plans click here.
Effective March 23, 2010 the Federal Health Care Reform Act requires the following:
These are private, clean, and safe areas for the purpose of expressing breast milk and/or breastfeeding. The space will be in close proximity to the nursing mother’s work area, generally not more than a 5-7 minute walk.
For questions about the Lactation Rooms, please contact Kahil Morales in the Academic Personnel Office at (209) 228-4615.
Responding to a Request for Time Away from Work to Express Milk
Supervisors are encouraged to work within University policies hours of work to accommodate employees who wish to express milk during work hours. Generally, nursing mothers need 2-3 lactation breaks during an 8-hour work period. A reasonable amount of time for a lactation break generally will not exceed 30 minutes per break and includes the time associated with travel to and from the lactation space, expressing milk, clean up, and storage.
Decisions should therefore be made on a case by case basis. Consider schedule options that would accommodate this leave time, and still allow for business needs to be accomplished. A variety of flexible work arrangements can be used for the purpose of accommodating lactation time, such as alternate start/stop times to the workday, rearranging break periods, etc.
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