Supervisors must interview reduction-in-workforce candidates
Reduction in workforce (RIF), or layoff, is never a term anyone wants to hear. It is heard most frequently at the University when the funds for a position are exhausted. RIF can also happen because of a lack of work or through a department, school, or college reorganization -- all reasons outside the employeeï¿½s control.
Purdue University has a strong commitment to job security. In support of this commitment, the Reduction in Workforce Policy was created to help employees who are losing their jobs through no fault of their own. RIF individuals are employees who are successfully performing the duties of their jobs. They have the knowledge and skills to be successful in other parts of the University.
Human Resource Services works with departments and supervisors to assist them when there is potential for a RIF. The RIF process is not used to remove an unsuccessful employee who is not meeting expectations of his or her position. Using the RIF policy to remove an unsuccessful performer could be wrongful discharge and used by the employee through the grievance procedure or outside the University. Unacceptable performance or behavior issues are addressed through performance review and progressive discipline. Employee Relations consultants are always available to provide counsel on these issues.
The RIF policy guarantees the RIF employee an interview with the hiring supervisor for any position in which the RIF employee expresses interest and meets the minimum qualifications. (The employee must have been notified in writing of his or her RIF status.) RIF employees have the knowledge and skills to perform the duties of the job, with the added bonus that they already know the University rules and regulations and have demonstrated success in their past positions. Of the individuals who are placed in RIF status, most find another job at the University before the end of their 120-day layoff period.
When a RIF candidate is referred to a supervisor, Employment notifies the supervisor of the requirement to interview the candidate. The supervisor may interview other candidates, but offers of employment cannot be made to other individuals until the RIF candidate has been interviewed.
If the RIF employee is not the successful candidate, the supervisor must document the reason(s) for not hiring the RIF person and provide this information to the Employment consultant. The Employment team will use this information to help the RIF employee focus on positions for which he or she is most competitive.
As a university community, it makes sense to retain those individuals who can best meet the needs of the organization. The RIF policy helps accomplish this goal. Understanding your role as a supervisor also helps. If you have questions about the RIF policy, please contact Employment at 49-67459 or Employee Relations at 49-41679 in Human Resource Services.
- Sharon Williams, Manager of Employee Relations/Senior Consultant
Human Resource Services
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