Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 4/1/1980

Revised: 7/1/2013

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SPP 1011: Involuntary Termination

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Purpose

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To define the process for involuntary termination

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Sources

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Arizona Revised Statutes § 23–353
University policy

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Applicability

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Classified employees. Note: This policy does not apply to university staff.

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Policy

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Termination of Probationary ASU Police Officers Below Commander Level

Regular classified employees may be terminated within the probationary period with no right to a hearing, an appeal, or reasons for the termination. It is recommended that classified employees who are in their promotion/transfer probationary period be provided with a three-month performance evaluation and an opportunity to improve performance prior to termination.

If the decision is made to terminate a probationary employee within the probationary period, it is recommended that the supervisor provide the employee with a two weeks’ notice before termination. However, advance notice is not required and the two weeks’ notice must not extend the employee’s employment past the probationary date. Two weeks’ pay may be given in lieu of notice. In many cases, the employee will be expected to work during the two-week notice period. However, an employee may, at the administrative official’s discretion, be placed on leave with pay for the two-week period.

Initial probationary classified staff terminated during the probationary period who are placed on leave or paid in lieu of notice will first be compensated for accrued vacation as part of their notice period before being compensated in the form of administrative paid leave. Promotion/transfer probationary classified staff terminated during the probationary period who are placed on leave or paid in lieu of notice will be compensated in the form of administrative paid leave as a part of their notice period and will receive their accrued vacation, not to exceed the amount earned for one year of service, determined by length of service and FTE, on their final paycheck.

ASU police officers below commander level who successfully completed their initial one-year probation period and are consequently serving a promotional probation following promotion to corporal or sergeant may return to their former classification if requested or if the promotional probation is not satisfactorily completed.


Termination of Classified Staff Employees

Classified staff employees in a non-regular or short-term temporary appointment, may be terminated at any time during their appointment period with no right to a hearing, an appeal, or reasons for the termination. No advance written notice is required, but departments are recommended to provide the employee with a written notification.

Employees who were eligible to accrue vacation leave will be compensated for their accrued vacation, not to exceed the amount earned for one year of service, determined by length of service and FTE, on their final paycheck.


Involuntary Termination for Cause

Nonprobationary, regular classified employees may be terminated for cause. Cause is defined as:

  1. failure to possess a valid and current driver’s license, if required as a job qualification and/or as a condition of employment
  2. failure to maintain professional licensure, if required as a job qualification and/or as a condition of employment
  3. falsification of résumé or application materials or omission of material factual information
  4. cases of a grave offense
  5. discriminatory conduct including harassment that has been substantiated by the Office of Equity & Inclusion, Office of Human Resources,

    or

  6. failure of classified employees to respond to progressive discipline.

An employee will be given two weeks’ termination notice. The employee usually will be expected to work during these two weeks. However, an employee may, at the administrative official’s discretion, be placed on administrative leave with pay during this period.

A classified staff employee being terminated for cause has a right to a pre-termination hearing before the effective date of termination. The supervisor should coordinate the intended termination with OHR and schedule a pre-termination hearing (see “Pre-Termination Hearing” below). The supervisor will notify the employee in writing of the proposed involuntary termination, its effective date, and the employee’s right to a pre-termination hearing.


Involuntary Termination for Position Abandonment

Administrative officials may terminate a classified employee who has abandoned his or her position. A position will be considered abandoned when an employee has not reported for work for three or more consecutive working days and is not on or has exhausted all approved leave. An employee who is terminated involuntarily because of position abandonment is not entitled to two weeks’ pay.

If a classified employee has not reported to work for three consecutive working days, the administrative official will notify the employee in writing by sending a letter, to the address on record, or hand deliver a letter stating that within two working days of receipt of the letter, the employee must:

  1. report to work

    or

  2. request a leave of absence (if eligible)

    or

  3. attend the pre-termination hearing if he or she is a classified staff employee (or waive his or her right to a pre-termination hearing).
Note: The letter also must state that failure to return to work or request leave will result in termination and must state the effective date of termination.

If the classified employee requests a leave of absence, the administrative official may approve, modify, or disapprove the leave request. Refer to SPP 705–01, “Extended Leave of Absence.” Prior to disapproval of a leave request, the administrative official shall confer with OHR.


Involuntary Termination for Reduction in Force

Classified employees may be laid off or terminated in accordance with SPP 213, “Reduction in Force.” All proposed reductions in force require prior approval by the Procedural Review Board and the appropriate vice president/vice provost.


Resignation in Lieu of Involuntary Termination

Eligible classified employees being terminated may have the option of resigning in lieu of being involuntarily terminated, at the discretion of the administrative official.

If the resignation is accepted, it should be submitted and accepted in writing. However, an employee who resigns in lieu of termination will not be considered eligible for rehire, absent an administrative determination by OHR in consultation with the terminating department.


Pre-Termination Hearing

A pre-termination hearing is afforded to regular classified staff employees whose supervisor has recommended:

  1. involuntary termination for cause
  2. involuntary termination for position abandonment

    or

  3. termination when there is an inability to perform the essential functions of the position and an attempt to identify an alternate position has been unsuccessful per ACD 405, “Individuals with Disabilities.”

The pre-termination hearing will be held before the recommended termination date. It will consist of only the employee, a department representative, and the hearing officer. The department representative and the employee will present their facts and documentation to the hearing officer. The hearing officer will then make a recommendation to the department representative based on the facts and documentation presented by both parties. The proceedings will be audiorecorded and kept for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of the pre-termination hearing.

Note:An employee may waive the right to a hearing by so indicating on the pre-termination hearing notification letter. Failure to appear at the pre-termination hearing will also constitute a waiver of the right to a pre-termination hearing. If this right is waived, the decision of the supervisor will take effect as stated.

Under SPP 901, “Grievance Process,” a classified employee also may have a right to a grievance hearing, which may occur after the effective date of termination.


Payment of Wages of Discharged Employees

Employees who are involuntarily terminated will be paid wages due within seven working days or the end of the next regular pay period, whichever is sooner.

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Cross-References

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For related information, see SPP 705–01, “Extended Leave of Absence.”

For further information about termination, see:

  1. SPP 213, “Reduction in Force”
  2. SPP 809, “Discipline”
  3. SPP 901, “Grievance Process”

    and

  4. SPP 1007, “Processing Terminations of Employment.”

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