Human Resources Policies

HR97 Layoff and Severance Provisions for Staff Employees

Policy Status: 

Active

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources

POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: May 1, 2011

THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2022

Contents:

PURPOSE:

This policy outlines the layoff provisions for employees classified as either Regular or Limited-Term staff. This policy also establishes the criteria for severance eligibility and the schedule for calculating severance payment for eligible staff employees. 

Employees who have not completed their probationary period are not eligible for layoff and severance provisions. 

OVERVIEW:

A layoff is any reduction in the University's workforce. The University has the sole discretion to determine if and when a layoff occurs. 

A department faced with the need to reduce staff must contact their work unit Human Resources’ Office and Labor and Employee Relations 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 expected that where practicable, work units will eliminate part-time positions prior to enacting this policy. 

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

DECISION CRITERIA:

The decision to layoff an employee is made by the work unit's dean or administrative officer with the prior approval of Labor and Employee Relations. The following criteria shall be considered when identifying an employee for layoff:

  • Ability to perform the work needed,
  • Prior documented performance,
  • Length of University employment.

For Regular Staff positions, length of University employment is measured in months of continuous employment from the most recent date of hire and includes leaves of absence. Employment ceases to be measured when an employee separates from University employment due to retirement, resignation, or termination. 

A new employee is not granted credit for length of University employment during their probationary period. However, after the completion of their probation, credit will date from the first day of employment in a Regular position or Limited-Term appointment, based on the most recent full-time date of hire.

Layoffs shall be made within job groups in a work unit. 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 their discretion.

NOTICE OF LAYOFF:

Written notice of layoff will be provided to an employee by the work unit's Human Resources' Office, 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.

LAYOFF PROVISIONS:

A laid off employee:

  1. Is eligible to elect continuation of medical, dental, and vision insurance coverages in which the employee is enrolled for 120 calendar days following the date of termination.  The employee is responsible for payment of contributions, at the employee rate, during this 120 calendar day period.
  2. Is eligible for the tuition discount, as outlined in University Policies HR36 and HR37 for 120 calendar days following the date of termination.
  3. Is eligible to use the Employee Assistance Program during the 120 calendar days following the date of termination.
  4. Is paid for University holidays which occur within 30 days following the date of termination.
  5. Does not accrue 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 in University Policy HR34. 
  6. Will be paid the cash equivalent of all earned vacation, personal holiday, and holiday compensatory time as of the date of termination, up to the maximums stated in policy.

  7. Is responsible for notifying the University of any change of address.

SEVERANCE PROVISIONS:

Regular Staff Positions: 

A full-time Regular staff employee, who has completed their probationary period, may receive a maximum of 26 weeks of base pay as severance; such payment is reduced by all applicable deductions. For purposes of this policy, base pay includes temporary increases (where applicable).

The University and employee must execute an Agreement and General Release memoralizing the terms and conditions of the lump sum severance payment for severance to be paid. 

A one-time, lump sum, severance payment will be calculated in accordance with the following schedule:

Length of Service Severance Pay
Less than 1 year (probationary) None
1 to 22 years 4 weeks* plus 1 week's base pay for each year of service
Greater than 22 years 26* weeks of base pay

*Any time paid, but not worked, during the four-week notice period will be deducted from the severance payment. 

 

Limited-Term Appointments:

A Limited-Term employee, who has completed their probationary period, may receive a maximum of 4 weeks of base pay as severance; such payment is reduced by all appliable deductions. For purposes of this policy, base pay includes temporary increases (where applicable). 

The University and employee must execute an Agreement and General Release memoralizing the terms and conditions of the lump sum severance payment for severance to be paid. 

A one-time, lump sum, severance payment will be calculated in accordance with the following schedule:

Length of Service Severance Pay
Less than 1 year (Probationary) None
Length of Appointment Term Remaining in Current Contract Severance Pay
Less than 1 month None - contract will be satisfied 
More than 1 month 4 weeks*

*Any time paid, but not worked, during the four-week notice period will be deducted from the severance payment. 

An employee on a Limited-Term appointment whose employment terminates at the completion of the appointment is not eligible for the Layoff Provisions outlined in this policy. If the employee is terminated from employment prior to the completion of the Limited-Term appointment, for reasons other than disciplinary dismissal, Layoff Provisions shall be applicable, but in no event shall they be applicable beyond the anticipated ending date of the appointment.

REDUCED FULL-TIME EQUIVALENCY (FTE) SCHEDULES:

The weekly pay rate for base pay provisions or lump-sum severance payments, for eligible Reduced FTE Schedule employees, will be calculated by dividing the actual annual salary by 52 weeks. See University Policy HR105

EMPLOYEES COVERED UNDER A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (CBA):

Employees covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement are not subject to the provisions identified in these guidelines These employees should consult their CBA for further guidance. 

CROSS REFERENCES:

HR06 - Types of Appointments

HR34 - Employment Conditions for Staff Employees

HR74 - Staff Vacancy Announcement Procedure

HR105 - Reduced Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) Schedules 

 

Date Approved: 

July 1, 2022

Date Published: 

July 1, 2022

Effective Date: 

July 1, 2022