Check out the August 2018 HR Connect!
August 2018
Welcome to the State of Vermont
Where You and Your Work Matter 
Commissioner's Message

As you continue to enjoy our state’s many water recreation activities this summer, please be mindful of how you can contribute to the protection of this vital resource.  Be safe, have fun, and promote clean water by example! 

Don’t forget to exercise your rights and responsibilities by being an active voting citizen.  Our state’s primary election day is on August 14, 2018. 


M. Beth Fastiggi

Commissioner of Human Resources

In this Issue:

Safety Tips!
Working in the Summer Heat
As summer heat is in full swing, the dangers of working outside during hot weather increases. Knowing how to work safely in hot weather can help prevent heat stress injuries and heat stroke. 

Heat stroke occurs when the body no longer sweats and body temperature can reach dangerous levels within 10-15 mins. Untreated, this can lead to death or permanent disability. Symptoms include:
  • Dry, hot reddish skin and lack of sweating
  • High body temperature
  • Strong, rapid pulse
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to the loss of water and salt, typically through sweating. Symptoms include:
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness and/or confusion
  • Clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Flushed complexion
Other heat-related disorders include heat cramps and heat rash.

Ten Hot Weather Safety Tips:
  1. Stay hydrated. Drink about 16 ounces before starting  the day and 5 to 7 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes.
  2. Avoid dehydrating liquids. Alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks can hurt more than help.
  3. Wear protective clothing. Go for lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Change clothing if it gets completely saturated.
  4. Pace yourself. Slow down and work at an even pace. Know your own limits and ability to work safely in heat.
  5. Schedule frequent breaks. Take time for rest periods and water breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area.
  6. Use a damp rag. Wipe your face or put it around your neck.
  7. Avoid sunburns. Use sunscreen and reapply as directed. Wear a hat if working outside. 
  8. Be alert to signs of heat-related illness. Know what to look for and check on other workers who might be at high risk.
  9. Avoid direct sun. Find shade or block out the sun if possible.
  10. Eat smaller meals. Eat fruits high in fiber and natural juice. Avoid high protein foods.
For further information regarding working safety in hot weather, check out the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or contact Scott Ptak, Senior Loss Control Specialist for PMA Companies at 802-857-8871 or by email at: 
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Free Training  8/17
Vermont Online Library
The Department of Libraries is pleased to offer a training opportunity for State Employees to learn more about the Vermont Online Library!

In this hands-on workshop, we’ll show off access to thousands of scholarly journals and magazines you can apply to day-to-day work and increase your knowledge as well as cover resources that can be a great help at home – finding a great book to read, helping with homework, car repair, and more!

All of this is available at no cost to you through the Vermont Online Library at
Friday, August 17, 2018
9:00-11:00 am
Vermont Department of Libraries
60 Washington St.
Barre, VT 05641
Please RSVP to April Shaw at or
(802) 636-0035) by Wednesday, August 8th.

Check out the July Newsletter on their website as well!
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Payroll Update
Important Tax Info for 2018!

Check your Federal Tax Withholding Status for 2018
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, tax reform legislation passed last December, made major changes to tax law for 2018 that will affect individuals tax filing for this year such as increasing the standard deduction, removing personal exemptions, increasing the Child Tax Credit, limiting or discontinuing certain deductions and changing tax rates and brackets. 
For many of you, this meant an increase in your net pay in February, but too little withheld can mean an unexpected tax bill or potential penalty in 2019 when filing your return.  IRS recommends checking and adjusting withholding now by performing a “Paycheck Checkup”.
The following new features have been made available by IRS to help taxpayers understand the implications of these changes and check withholding:

*Please note that this information is being shared from recent IRS communications. DHR is not able to provide individual assistance. Please contact a tax professional or the IRS with questions.
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How Do You Live WELL?
Summer Photo Contest

How Do YOU #LiveWell?

These State of Vermont Employees show how they LiveWell by playing on the "Capitol Critters" softball team! This photo was taken after a victory! Go Critters!

Don't let the summer go by without telling or showing us how YOU "LiveWell!"

August is the last chance to win!! 
Take a picture and upload it to Instagram or Facebook! Photos should be submitted by August 22nd. If you are uploading to Instagram, please make sure your account is not private. 

You are then eligible to win:
Two Vermont State Park Passes or a Farmers' Market Coupon!

Tag us on Instagram (@VTLIVEWELL) or Facebook (LiveWell Vermont)
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Classification News!
Class Action Reviews

DHR’s Classification Division accepts class action classification reviews for positions in the executive branch during July and August, per the Collective Bargaining Agreements.
A class review or action is when 2 or more positions in a job class are reviewed, or 2 or more positions are reclassed into one job class. Click Class Reviews for information, deadline dates and step-by-step instructions.
You can now print or fill online a Class Action Submission Form to initiate the process and ensure the RFR is complete.
Managers and supervisors can work with appropriate HR Field representatives to gather necessary information. 
Email or call 802-461-9903 or your HR Field representative with questions. 
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Trimester 3: SERENE
kicked off July 29th
Wellness: Your Way Trimester 3: SERENE kicked off on July 29th
SERENE focuses on self-care and has a brand new menu to choose from to earn your 100 points/$50. 

 In order to be eligible for incentives:
  1. Be sure to have your employee ID # as your username,
  2. Complete your online Health Assessment* AND
  3. Complete your Wellness Score Survey*
*These are required to be completed only once in 2018 to be eligible for incentives. In addition to the 100 points you get for these, you need an additional 100 points for the trimester payout..
To learn more, visit the LiveWell Vermont Incentive Page.
To participate, access the LiveWell Vermont portal

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LiveWell Vermont
Keep Calm and Stretch On! Challenge
Registration is open from August 6- August 26th
Registration Instructions at: 
Challenge runs August 20th-September 9th 

COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS:  1) GET 8,000 or 12,000 steps for a minimum of 15 days
2) Complete all weekly tasks by 9/9

Sign up Individually or with a Team! 
Registering solo? 
Join the LiveWell Vermont Team! 

Keep in mind: ANY ACTIVITY will count towards your daily steps!

Successful completion earns you 60 points toward Serene in the 2018 Wellness: Your Way Incentive Program,
FREE InvestEAP Services
Stress Management Workshops!
Is stress impacting your work life and health?  Is conflict causing problems in your life? LiveWell Vermont has partnered with InvestEAP to offer FREE 1-hour workshops to help! 

Managing Stress &
Building Resiliency

Learn stress management strategies to use in your daily life.
Barre- August 1st 
11:30 AM-12:30 PM

  The following workshops are scheduled from 12 Noon-1:00 PM

St. Johnsbury- August 9th
St. Albans- August 24th
Springfield- September 12th
Morrisville- September 14th
Register for a slot on the
LiveWell Verrmont portal 
or call 802-828-7308 

These workshops are worth 30 points in the 2018 Wellness: Your Way Incentive Program.

InvestEAP offers short-term counseling, info and resources 24/7 for all permanent State employees AND any of their household members
1-888- 834-2830  
Password: vteap
BCBSVT Community Events
FREE For All!

Be healthy, get outside and enjoy the summer with BCBSVT!

BCBSVT Night at the

July 31
Elm Street/ Rt. 12 
Doors 5:30 p.m./ Game 6:30 p.m

August 5
Races begin 8:30 a.m.
Cheer on participants as they race 41-foot long dragon boats. Teams compete for glory while honoring cancer survivors and their supporters.

August 11 
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
August 18 
11 a.m.-3 p.m.

BCBSVT provides FREE use of bikes, kayaks and paddleboards (on a first come, first served basis) or bring your own. Enjoy snacks and smoothies from our smoothie bike! FREE T-shirts to the first 50 participants!

BCBSVT Night at the
Aug 17, 2018 
6 pm Doors/ 7:05 pm Game
Check out our calendar for future events
For more information email
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ADS Tip of the Month!
August, 2018

Locked out of your Voicemail?
(instructions for new Cisco VoIP phones)

If you lock yourself out of your voicemail, there is no need to worry, your account will automatically unlock in 30 minutes. When you have typed your PIN incorrectly, the system will then ask you for an ID; this ID is your 7-digit phone number.

If you don’t have the time to wait or you can’t remember your PIN, you can always call the Service Desk at 802-828-6620, option 1 to either unlock the account or reset the PIN for you.

The parameters for setting up your PIN can be found on our website site here:
New Recruitment & Hiring System Update!
Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
August Newsletter!

Check out the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets' August edition of Agriview!
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Department of Health
2018 Summer Newsletter!

Check out the Department of Health's 2018 Summer Newsletter!
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