Facebook Live Recap: Dot Benefits

In case you missed it: Dot Transportation (DTI) hosted a Facebook Live event last week to answer any questions you had about Dot’s benefits package. So we wanted to compile all of the questions and answers in one place so you can continue to reference it.

All questions were answered by Driver Trainer Jeremy Flood, Corporate Benefits Manager Gina Ruffcorn, and HR Coordinator Megan Greening.

For more information regarding all things Dot benefits, please visit our Drive for Dot benefits page.

1. When does Dot’s benefits package kick in for drivers?

The first day of the month following 60 days of full-time employment.

2. How much does Dot remove from each paycheck?

It depends and is different for every single person. Depending on which benefits plan you choose, if you sign up for some of our extra benefits, etc., your cost of insurance will go up or down.

3. Does Dot offer a 401(k) or a company match?

We do! Dot offers a 401(k) and a company match that is 50 cents on the dollar up to five percent that you put in. The company match begins after a year of employment, but you can start your own contributions after your first 60 days are up.

The amount Dot matches for every $1 you put into your 401(k)

4. Can you tell me a little bit more about profit sharing?

After you’ve been with Dot for one year, you’re eligible for the profit sharing. If you are a full-time or a part-time employee who works at least 1,000 hours, you are eligible for profit sharing.

Historically, Dot’s profit sharing has been five percent of your annual income. Though that five percent is not guaranteed, Ruffcorn said, “I’ve been with Dot for 25 years, and it has been five percent for as long as I can remember; so we’ve got a good track record.”

5. Who is eligible for Dot’s retirement plan?

Full-time employees on any one of our different driver schedule types, and part-time employees who work at least 1,000 hours annually.

6. Do you have any other retirement plan options aside from a 401(k)?

Aside from a 401(k), we also offer a Roth 401(k). With a Roth account, you are putting after-tax dollars into the account, whereas with a regular 401(k) you are contributing pre-tax dollars.

“With a Roth, you are only taxed on any growth that you received so there may be some tax advantages there,” said Flood. “There are quite a few investment options in both plans that they offer, as well.”

7. Can you tell me a bit more about health benefits and what kinds of options drivers have?

We have a Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) and a traditional plan. About 90 percent of Dot employees are on our CDHP, as it is becoming more and more popular.

CDHPs traditionally come with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Dot usually makes contributions to those HSAs to help pay for medical costs each year.

“We know it’s kind of complicated, so we’ll go through that process with you.”

“We’ll go through it step by step before you’re hired on and after you’re hired on, as well. During orientation, we’ll sit down with you and get you set up with your benefits, so you know exactly what you’re getting into!” said Greening.

“From a full-time driver perspective, I can say that while it is going to be different for every driver, Dot pays quite a healthy amount into that HSA program. It’s very attractive. Definitely way better than what I expected to see when I started here,” said Flood.

8. Can you tell me a little bit about the time off that Dot offers to drivers?

After you’re with us for a year, you get one week of vacation. Once you are with us for five years and longer, you get more vacation time:

  • Three weeks at the five-year anniversary
  • Four weeks at the 12-year anniversary
  • Five weeks at the 25-year anniversary

“The way you utilize [your vacation time] is you give your dispatcher a written notice two weeks or more before the date you need. I’ve never had any time-off requests be denied. My dispatcher has really bent over backward to make sure I get the time off I’ve requested. They’re very flexible, as long as you communicate,” said Flood.

9. What about short-term and long-term disability?

We do offer short-term and long-term disability for our full-time employees starting on the first of the month following 90 days of employment. Dot does cover the premiums for both of those bits of coverage.

If you’re out on short-term disability, the pay is 60 percent of your usual pay. Long-term disability would kick in after 26 weeks of absence, and you would receive 50 percent of your average salary.

10. What about benefits enrollment? What does that process look like?

During orientation is when we will sit down with you and get you set up. Plus, during the hiring process, we will talk to you about all of our benefits offerings, so you know what options you have.

“We can sit down and figure out exactly what your costs are going to be,” said Greening.

After your initial benefits enrollment, you will re-enroll online every fall.

11. I heard that Dot has an experienced driver program. What exactly does that entail?

If you have 200,000 miles or more, you are considered an experienced driver. As far as benefits, we make sure you are covered on day one with Dot. So you’re not going to be on Dot’s insurance on day one, but we make sure you are covered by paying for your COBRA costs. We also try to match any vacation time you have with your current employer on day one. We want to be sure you aren’t losing that valuable time if you decide to come to Dot.

12. How easy is it to get in contact with someone from HR?

“[My family] had a major issue to handle through some insurance coverage and I was able to get in touch with the people I needed… to get it all worked out. Within the same day, in a matter of maybe 90 minutes, HR was returning my call,” said Flood.

13. What are Family Health Centers? What do they cover?

Family Health Centers are an on-site clinic or very close to our facilities that are run by a third party. It provides you with unique coverage. They are easier to get into. If you have a cold, you can see them. If you need your D.O.T. physical, you can see them. Anything in regards to occupational health or biometric screenings can also be covered there. You can go there and use the resource any time as long as you are a full-time employee on Dot’s healthcare plan.

14. How much does a Family Health Center visit cost?

It varies depending on the procedure you’re needing. But if you’re having any lab work done, they can do that for much cheaper than the average laboratory. You can also have the charges deducted directly through your paycheck, or you can use your HSA to pay for it.

15. Will Dot pay me back for my CDL schooling? And are there any stipulations that come along with that?

We do have tuition reimbursement. The cap is $7,000. We make sure that is covered for you.

The tuition is paid back to you over three years. So you would have to work at Dot for three years to be fully reimbursed. You also have to attend a Dot-certified driving school to qualify for the reimbursement program.

Maximum amount Dot will reimburse for truck driving school

16. How can I get pre-approval to become a driver if I haven’t obtained my CDL yet?

It’s going to depend on where you’re located. We have a couple of locations where we do have scholarships available. Otherwise, there are some other options in other locations.

“I would recommend contacting us, and we can go through the different options with you,” said Greening.  

17. Are there any incentives you offer drivers for maintaining their overall health and wellness?

We have an annual incentive that is based on the results of a biometric screening. You can have this done by your own physician or through our Family Health Centers if you have one at your location. Then, depending on your numbers and the goals you set from those numbers, there will be an incentive you can receive.

“The incentive can change every year, but we do typically have something each year,” said Ruffcorn.

18. What about maternity and paternity leave?

We offer parental leave for all full-time employees.

For maternity leave, you get 40 hours of paid time off that Dot sponsors. Then you are eligible for up to six weeks of maternity leave through short-term disability. It is also common for employees to use some or all of their vacation time to add on to their time off.

Once it is time for you to come back from maternity leave, Dot offers a gradual return to work program that allows you to work part-time hours for the first few weeks, but still get paid for full-time hours.

For paternity leave, Dot gives you 40 hours of paid leave. After those 40 hours, you are welcome to use your own vacation time to cover a more extended leave.

Hours of paid parental leave Dot provides before short-term disability and vacation time

19. Does Dot offer life insurance?

Yes, we do offer life insurance. You would be eligible on the first of the month following 90 days of full-time employment.

We cover the premiums on 1x your annual salary, and then we do offer higher premiums on additional life insurance. You can also get life insurance for your spouse and your children through Dot.

20. What is MDLIVE and why does Dot offer it?

MDLIVE is a virtual doctor visit through Blue Cross Blue Shield. You can call in if you have a non-emergency health issue that you would like to talk through with a doctor. They can call in prescriptions for you, and they can write notes for you if you need to get off of work or for your children if they need to be out of school. It is $44 per visit.

Cost of an MDLIVE appointment

“If you’re a driver and you’re out on the road, it prevents you from having to make a trip [to the doctor’s office] and from having to take any time off,” said Greening.

21. What is the Dot Cares Fund?

The Dot Cares Fund is for our employees who have had a crisis of some sort.

“We’ve had a lot of flooding in Illinois. So, I just got my first request from someone whose house is flooded, and right now, they are living in a hotel for a while,” said Ruffcorn. “It offers up to $2,000… that can be given to the employee. You don’t have to pay it back. It’s a gift.”

22. Is it possible to have weekends off?

“Every location is going to be different depending on what Dot’s needs are for servicing the customers,” said Flood. “Your position within the company will also cause a variable… and every location is going to be a little bit different. But, they don’t offer a spot that allows you to be home all day on Saturday and all day on Sunday because we have some customers who need servicing on Monday morning.”

23. Will Dot hire someone who is already on Social Security and wants to drive part time?

We have part-time positions open in every location right now. We also hire drivers of all ages over 21 with all different experience levels, so we encourage everyone to apply.

24. Do all Dot drivers have to throw freight?

“No,” said Flood. “I enjoy throwing freight because it helps me stay in shape—and, of course, there is a pay incentive, too. Out of the six drivers from my terminal lot, I am the only one who throws freight. Everyone else is no touch.

25. What is it that each one of you thinks separates Dot from other benefits packages in the transportation industry?

Megan: I think our paid time off is huge. You’ve got your vacation time, but you also have personal days and sick days you can use as soon as you start. And there are also eight paid holidays.

Jeremy: You never know how good a benefit is until you need to use it. And our health insurance is so good. I have a member of my family who visits the doctor a lot… and it tests the quality of our benefits quite frequently. And every time we go into a place, we hear repeatedly ‘oh we’ll have to see if the insurance company is going to cover this.’ and then they look and see what we have, and they’ll be like, ‘oh no, you’re fine. You’ll be covered.’ The quality of the benefits is way better than what they tell you on paper.

Gina: Just our culture overall. We all have lots of respect for each other and have hallmarks that we all live by every day. Just our culture in general [is one of the greatest benefits].

For more information about Dot benefits or general hiring questions, please call 217-773-7054.

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