Human Resources Policies

HR97 Layoff Provisions for Staff Employees

Policy Status: 

Active

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources

POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: May 1, 2011
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: May 1, 2011

Contents:

PURPOSE:

This policy outlines the layoff provisions for employees classified as either Standing or Fixed-Term I staff. It is expected that, where practicable, work units will eliminate nonregular positions prior to enacting this policy.

OVERVIEW:

A layoff of an employee can occur because of a lack of either work or funds, a reduction of the operating staff of the University, or an emergency that curtails normal operations, all of which shall be determined by the University in its sole discretion.

A department faced with the need to reduce staff must contact their Human Resources Representative and the Employee Relations Division before any actions are taken or discussions are held with employees. Consultation with the Affirmative Action Office and the Office of General Counsel will be sought as appropriate.

It is presumed that individuals who receive layoff notices are valuable contributing members of the University community whose employment cannot be continued due to the above listed conditions.

The position formerly held by a laid off employee must remain vacant for at least one year following the layoff, except in unusual situations where funding is unexpectedly restored and with the prior approval of the Vice President for Human Resources or a designee.

DECISION CRITERIA:

The decision to lay off an employee is made by the work unit's dean or administrative officer with the prior approval of the central Office of Human Resources. The following criteria shall be considered when identifying an employee for layoff: ability to perform the work needed, prior documented performance, and length of University employment.

Length of University employment is measured in months of continuous employment in a Standing or Fixed-Term I appointment from the date of last hire and includes leaves of absence. Employment ceases to be measured when an employee quits, resigns, or is dismissed.

A new employee is not granted credit for length of University employment during his or her probationary period. However, after the completion of his or her probation, credit will date from the first day of employment in a Standing or Fixed-Term I position. As a general principle, probationary employees will be laid off prior to employees that have completed their probationary periods.

Layoffs shall be made within job groups in a work unit. (See "Definition of Work Unit" in HR34, Employment Conditions for Staff Employees.) A job group is defined as those jobs in a work unit with the same job title and level. It may also include jobs in the work unit in the same job title at lower levels and/or different job titles but which are in the same or lower salary band. This latter type of job group is established by a dean or administrative officer at his/her discretion.

Fixed-Term I Appointments:

An employee on a Fixed-Term I appointment whose employment terminates at the completion of the appointment is not eligible for the layoff provisions; however, if the employee is terminated from employment prior to the completion of the Fixed-Term I appointment, for reasons other than disciplinary dismissal, the section of this policy entitled Layoff Provisions shall be applicable, but in no event shall they be applicable beyond the Anticipated Ending Date of the appointment.

NOTICE OF LAYOFF:

Written notice of layoff shall be provided to an employee by the work unit's Human Resources Representative, or a designee, four (4) weeks prior to the date of termination. The employee may work during the notice period at the discretion of the work unit. Any time paid, but not worked, during the four-week notice period will be deducted from the severance payment, as outlined in policy HR98, Severance Payment Provisions for Staff Employees.

LAYOFF PROVISIONS:

A laid off employee:

  1. is eligible to continue all group insurance coverages in which enrolled, during the first 120 calendar days of the layoff, by the employee's payment of contributions due during the layoff.
  2. has educational privileges for the first 120 calendar days of the layoff.
  3. is eligible to use the Employee Assistance Program during the first 120 calendar days of the layoff.
  4. does not contribute to any retirement system in effect at the University unless paid for any days during the layoff, or unless the employee is a member of and makes private arrangements to contribute to TIAA-CREF.
  5. is paid for University holidays occurring during the first 30 days of the layoff.
  6. does not accumulate vacation and sick leave unless the employee is paid for enough days in any calendar month to qualify under the "Vacation" and "Sick Leave" sections.
  7. will be paid the cash equivalent of all accumulated vacation and holiday compensatory time as of the layoff. Accumulated vacation and holiday compensatory time paid under this section will not be credited toward earning accumulated vacation or sick leave.
  8. is responsible for notifying the University of any change of address.

EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES:

The Office of Human Resources will provide information and be available to employees for employment consultation as may be requested and deemed appropriate.

SHORT-TERM CLOSEDOWN PROVISIONS:

In areas where employees are laid off during brief closedown periods, the following conditions apply:

  1. Notices of recall to work will be sent out in the reverse order of the layoff — last laid off, first recalled — provided that the employee is qualified to perform the work that is available.
  2. A notice of recall will be sent to an employee at his or her last known address at least 10 calendar days prior to the date on which the employee is to report back to work.
  3. If an employee does not return to work on the date given in the notice of recall, his or her employment is terminated. If rehired at a later date, he or she will be considered as a new employee. In any case of a personal emergency which prevents an employee from returning to work on the date given, the employee must contact his or her supervisor prior to the date indicated for return to work and the supervisor will determine if special arrangements can be made.
  4. Temporary Assignment - if an employee subject to layoff under this section is assigned to another job on a temporary basis, such employee will not be placed on layoff. During the period the employee is working in the temporary assignment the following apply:
    1. The employee will continue as an employee of the employee's normal work unit, except that time involved on the temporary assignment will not be counted toward the completion of a training period of the employee's normal job, and accumulated vacation will be scheduled in accordance with the procedures of the work unit of the temporary assignment.
    2. The employee will be eligible for consideration for promotion in accordance with HR74, Staff Vacancy Announcement Procedure.
    3. Except as modified above, all other terms and conditions of staff policies will be applicable to an employee on such temporary assignment.
    4. If an employee is offered a temporary assignment in the employee's own work unit in lieu of layoff, and the employee does not accept such temporary assignment, the employee shall request a leave of absence without pay.

CROSS REFERENCES:

HR05 - "Regular" and "Nonregular" University Employees 

HR06 - Types of Appointments

HR34 - Employment Conditions for Staff Employees

HR98 - Severance Payment Provisions for Staff Employees