Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 7/1/2013

Revised: 8/15/2013

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SPP 216: Layoff for University Staff

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Purpose

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To describe the university’s policy on layoffs resulting from budget constraints, funding reductions, program or function reorganization, modification, elimination, or redirection.

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Sources

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–510
University policy

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Applicability

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All regular university staff and non-faculty administrators, including those employed in sponsored, grant-funded positions, unless funding has ended

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Advisory Notice

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The benefits explained in this policy do not apply to employees dismissed for reasons other than a layoff. (See SPP 808, “Performance Management for University Staff.”)

Nothing stated in policy or verbally by any supervisor is intended to create an employment contract or to modify the at-will employment status.

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Policy

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Layoff

Budget constraints, funding reductions, and/or reorganization may necessitate a department or academic unit to eliminate positions and thus layoff employees. Positions may only be eliminated for reason of a layoff if the department or academic unit has no need for that position for at least six months.

Employees receive advance notice of layoff based on length of continuous university employment and are entitled to other benefits described below.

Determining Affected Employees

Designated administrative officials work with the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to identify which employees in the positions identified for layoffs will be affected, based upon:

  • comparison of skill sets of all employees in the position that is being eliminated
  • comparison of recent performance evaluations
  • and

  • other business-related and nondiscriminatory criteria, depending on the current operational needs.

Dean, vice president, or designee-level approval is always required for a layoff recommendation, and OHR must be consulted in the layoff decision prior to any notification to identified employees.

Layoff Notice Periods

University staff or non-faculty administrators identified for layoff will receive a written notice of that determination and will receive a layoff notice period based on continuous employment as follows:D

Years of Service Length of Notice
less than 3 years 1 month
3–5 years 2 months
more than 5 years 3 months
endtable
Note: University staff or non-faculty administrators who were employed as service professionals or non-faculty administrators on or prior to 6/30/2013 are eligible for a 90-day notice period regardless of years of service.

Reemployment Program

The purpose of the reemployment program is to give employees who have been notified or laid off priority consideration for comparable university vacant positions during the layoff notice period and layoff period. The laid-off employee should not expect to retain his or her current salary or current campus location. Employees who are laid off under this policy will be referred for comparable positions on all campuses. However, if an employee wishes to be considered only for specific campus(es), the employee must make this decision during the initial reemployment meeting with OHR. Once the decision is made, it cannot be changed. An employee who limits the campus(es) for job referrals should recognize that she or he may be reducing opportunities for reemployment. Salary offers are established in accordance with SPP 403–02, “Establishing Rates of Pay,” and the hiring department’s funding.

Laid-off employees with level 3 (performance expectations fulfilled) performance evaluations or above are eligible for the reemployment program. The reemployment program extends from the notice of layoff to three months after the actual layoff or until another position is accepted, whichever occurs first. Within 15 working days after receiving notice of layoff, the employee must meet with OHR to identify positions comparable to the employee’s minimum qualifications. Once positions and locations have been identified for the reemployment process, they cannot be modified.

An employee on the reemployment list is given priority consideration for positions that become vacant after the person is notified of layoff and during the reemployment period. These positions are identified prior to the position being advertised. The employee must notify OHR Recruitment & Selection a week in advance if they are not going to be available to interview for positions. Failure to provide appropriate notice may impact an employee’s participation in the reemployment program. A laid-off employee who meets the minimum qualifications and other relevant or desired qualifications listed in the job posting must be interviewed. If the employee from the reemployment list is not selected, the hiring official must submit written justification for the nonselection to OHR Recruitment & Selection for approval or disapproval before advertising the position.

A laid-off employee who refuses two interviews and/or job offers or a combination of an interview and a job offer for comparable positions is removed from the reemployment list as of the date of the second refusal. The employee is notified of his or her removal from the reemployment list. As a result of the two refusals, the employee forfeits all the reemployment opportunities afforded to them by the university staff layoff policy.


Post-layoff Benefits

Tuition Waiver

Laid-off university staff or non-faculty administrators, along with their spouses and eligible dependent children, may continue to receive a tuition waiver for any semester or summer session when registration for classes has occurred at least one day before the layoff effective date or when classes start during the employee’s layoff notice period.

Laid-off university staff or non-faculty administrators who were employed at least five consecutive years at the university immediately prior to their layoff effective date and who received level 3 (performance expectations fulfilled) performance evaluations or above, along with their spouses and eligible dependent children, may continue to receive a tuition waiver for a period not to exceed 12 months from the layoff effective date.

Insurance Benefits

Laid-off university staff or non-faculty administrators may continue group health insurance for up to18 months under federal COBRA regulations at the end of their layoff notice period if they are not reemployed by the university (see SPP 504–01, “Insurance Coverage”).

Vacation and Sick Leave

Laid-off university staff or non-faculty administrators do not accrue vacation or sick leave during the layoff period. Sick leave benefits accrued prior to layoff are retained during the layoff period, but may not be used during the layoff period. Affected employees are paid for accrued vacation on the effective date of layoff consistent with SPP 702–01, “Vacation Leave Benefits.”

Retirement Status/Withdrawal of Employee Contributions

Laid-off employees should consult OHR staff regarding their retirement rights and benefits.

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Cross-References

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For more information, refer to:

  1. SPP 403–02, “Establishing Rates of Pay”
  2. SPP 504–01, “Insurance Coverage”
  3. SPP 702–01, “Vacation Leave Benefits”

    and

  4. SPP 808, “Performance Management for University Staff.”

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