Operating Procedures for Administration of Reductions in Workforce

These operating procedures supplement the policy on Reductions in Workforce (VI.F.2). Refer to the policy for related definitions and contacts.

Effective Date: January 15, 2020

Implementing a Reduction in Workforce

The employing department will give written notice of a RIF to the affected Staff members. The notice should include:

  1. Reason for the Layoff (for example: lack of funds or lack of work);
  2. Employee's last day of active work;
  3. Date the Layoff will begin;
  4. Date the Layoff will end;
  5. Amount of all accumulated and unused vacation to be paid;
  6. Instructions for the Staff member to contact Human Resources for information about Staff benefits continuation, counseling, and placement in a Suitable Position; and
  7. A copy of the policy on Reduction in Workforce (VI.F.2).

Employing departments and their HR business partners will ensure that copies of the notice are provided to the appropriate areas of their campus Human Resources department.

The employing department must initiate the process to place the Staff member in Layoff status. Human Resources will notify the employing department if the Staff member returns to active work status in another department.

If the Staff member returns to active work status in a regular position, the hiring department will initiate the process for a return to work. The position may be a higher or lower classification or the same classification as the one from which the employee was laid off. In any case, the new appointment will be considered a transfer.

Placement in a temporary position does not suspend the 120-day Layoff period.

If the Staff member exhausts the 120-day Layoff period without securing regular employment with the University, the department that laid off the employee will initiate the process for termination and notify the Staff member accordingly.

Placement Assistance

An employee in Layoff status will be given Priority Consideration for placement into Suitable Positions. Placement assistance will be given in a manner consistent with the following:

  • A Staff member who receives a written Layoff notice and is interested in other University employment must contact Human Resources for placement assistance.
  • Individuals will be referred for positions for which they express an interest and for which they meet the minimum qualifications. It will be the Staff member’s responsibility to view the posting and submit a referral request. Supervisors must interview any candidate referred to them who is in Layoff status. For any candidate in Layoff status that the supervisor chooses not to hire, the supervisor will document the direct job-related reason(s) supporting this decision and include them with the hiring completion documentation.
  • A Staff member will receive Priority Consideration from the date of the employee's written Layoff notice to the date of the employee's termination.

Appeal of Reduction in Workforce Decision

For the purposes of this process, a workday is Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., even if the employee worked a different schedule. University holidays are not considered workdays.

A Staff member who believes the decision to alter or eliminate their position was made incorrectly must provide the Unit Head with a written appeal that includes a description of the facts of the situation and an explanation of why they believe the decision was made incorrectly. This appeal must be made within 10 workdays of the date on the written Reduction in Workforce notice. The Unit Head or designee, in consultation with Human Resources, will promptly investigate these concerns. The Unit Head will notify the employee in writing of the decision. This will usually be accomplished within 10 workdays of receipt of the employee’s written appeal to the Unit Head.

If the Staff member disagrees with the decision of the Unit Head, the employee may appeal the decision to the Vice President for Human Resources (West Lafayette campus) or Chancellor (Regional Campuses) within 10 workdays from the date of the Unit Head’s letter of response. The Vice President for Human Resources or Chancellor will review the decision made by the Unit Head and render the final decision. This will usually be accomplished within 10 workdays of receipt of the employee’s written appeal to the Vice President for Human Resources or Chancellor. There is no further appeal.

History and Updates

January 15, 2020: Removed procedural language from the policy to establish these operating procedures. Reworded language that was campus-specific or that referenced obsolete forms.