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Human Resources

Reduction in Workforce (VI.F.2)

Volume VI: Human Resources
Chapter F: Terms and Conditions of Employment
Responsible Executive: Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Treasurer
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Human Resources
Date Issued: June 3, 2002
Date Last Revised: November 18, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Who Should Know This Policy
Exclusions
Website Address for This Policy
Contacts
Definitions
Responsibilities
Procedures
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
History and Updates
Appendix

STATEMENT OF POLICY

The University will administer layoff actions in an equitable and consistent manner.

REASON FOR POLICY

Appropriate staffing is critical to the University's mission of learning, discovery and engagement. When faced with changing economic and programmatic imperatives, Purdue University may need to adjust its workforce.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

Benefits-eligible, full-time and benefits-eligible, part-time:

  • Clerical/service employees as defined in Business Office Memorandum No. 66, and
  • Administrative/professional employees as defined in Executive Memorandum Terms and Conditions of Administrative and Professional Staff Employment (VI.F.5).

WHO SHOULD KNOW THIS POLICY

President
Chancellors
Vice Chancellors
Vice Presidents
Associate and Vice Provosts
Deans
Directors/Department Heads
Human Resources Staff
Business Office Staff
Administrative and Professional Staff
Clerical and Service Staff
Supervisors
Faculty

EXCLUSIONS

  • The Reduction in Workforce Policy does not apply to staff in positions of definite duration of one year or less, which were posted with the specified duration.
  • Temporary and provisional staff are not covered by this policy; however, individuals in these classifications should be provided advance notice of termination whenever possible.
  • This policy does not apply to faculty.
  • Staff in H-1B status are not eligible for 120 days following their last date in active work status per federal immigration law. The employment of staff in H-1B visa status will be terminated as of their last day in active work status.

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/human-resources/vif2.html

CONTACTS

Subject Contact Telephone E-mail/Web Address
Policy Clarification Office of the Vice President for Human Resources — Employee Relations Team 765-494-1679 erofficer@purdue.edu
Campus Specific Questions Calumet:
Human Resources Department
219-989-2251 webs.calumet.purdue.edu/hr/employment/
Fort Wayne:
Human Resources Department
260-481-6677 www.hr.ipfw.edu/
North Central:
Human Resources Department
219-785-5300 www.pnc.edu/hr/index.htm
West Lafayette:
Human Resources — Employee Relations Team 765-494-1679 erofficer@purdue.edu
Human Resources Manager for Advancement 765-494-0542
Housing and Food Services Human Resources Team 765-494-9418 www.housing.purdue.edu/HTML/
Human_Resources/
Physical Facilities Human Resources Team 765-494-1421 www.purdue.edu/physicalfacilitieshr/
Placement Assistance Calumet:
Human Resources Department
219-989-2251 webs.calumet.purdue.edu/hr/employment/
Fort Wayne:
Human Resources Department
260-481-6677 www.hr.ipfw.edu/
North Central:
Human Resources Department
219-785-5300 www.pnc.edu/hr/index.htm
West Lafayette:
Human Resources — Employment Team (765) 494-7394
Housing and Food Services Human Resources Team 765-494-9418 www.housing.purdue.edu/HTML/
Human_Resources/
Physical Facilities Human Resources Team 765-494-1421 www.purdue.edu/physicalfacilitieshr/
Special Situations Vice President for Human Resources (765) 494-7395

DEFINITIONS

CUL
Capacity utilization level (full-time equivalency). For example, an employee who works full time has 100 percent CUL. An employee who works 20 hours per week has 50 percent CUL.

Layoff
Non-paid work status of 120 days following the staff member's last day in active work status.

Priority Consideration
Individuals in layoff status will be referred for positions for which they express an interest and for which they meet the minimum qualifications. Supervisors must interview any candidate referred to them who is in layoff status.

Reduction in Workforce (RIF)
A reduction in a staff member's number of work hours or CUL and/or the cessation of the staff member's work due to change in the University's needs or resources. Generally, such a change will be due to a lack of work, a lack of funds, or the reorganization of a unit.

Staff
Benefits-eligible, full-time and benefits-eligible, part-time:

  • Clerical/service employees as defined in Business Office Memorandum No. 66, and
  • Administrative/professional employees as defined in Executive Memorandum Terms and Conditions of Administrative and Professional Staff Employment (VI.F.5).

Suitable Position
Human Resources determines suitability on an individual basis.

Suitable Reassignment
Generally, a position with a salary equivalent to 80 percent or more of the individual's former salary and with hours and other working conditions similar to the former position.

Unit Head
An individual holding a position at or above the level of dean, vice president or director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Workdays
In relation to the time limits established in this policy, workdays are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., even if the employee works a schedule other than Monday through Friday. Official University holidays are not workdays. Part-time employees have five workdays, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., regardless of the number of days they work.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Employing Department
Provide written notification to employees affected by the Reduction in Workforce and complete necessary business forms as outlined in the Procedures section.

HR Professionals
Interpret this policy.

Review alternatives with the Unit Head and assist in the development of an implementation plan.

Assist Staff members notified of a Reduction in Workforce with placement in a new position.

Staff Member
Contact Human Resources to receive placement assistance upon receiving a Reduction in Workforce notice.

Adhere to the conditions of the Reduction in Workforce.

Apply for jobs for which they are interested and meet minimum qualifications, attend interviews and accept suitable employment.

Follow the procedures for appeal if necessary.

Unit Head
Consult with Human Resources when considering Reductions in Workforce.

Identify positions for restructuring or elimination.

Review decision at first level of appeal process.

Vice President for Human Resources or Chancellor
Make the final decision on appeals regarding Reductions in Workforce.

PROCEDURES

The decision to lay off University employees is difficult for both managers and employees. These procedures are designed to provide support for managers and supervisors who must plan and carry out decisions associated with the Reduction in Workforce Policy.

In anticipation of a Reduction in Workforce, Unit Heads or their designees must consult with Human Resources (see the Contacts section of this policy). A Human Resources professional will provide assistance and will ensure that Reduction in Workforce actions are conducted in an equitable and consistent manner. The Human Resources (HR) professional can be most effective in minimizing disruption to an organization when involved early in the decision-making process. The HR professional will interpret the policy, review alternatives with the organization, and assist in the development of an implementation plan. The HR professional will contact International Students and Scholars if the Reduction in Workforce will affect Staff in H-1B status and in situations where a labor certification process has started but has not yet been filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Making a Reduction in Workforce Decision
Determining whether positions must be designated for Layoff begins with an objective assessment of the need for the existing functions of the organization. The authority to identify positions for restructuring or elimination rests with the Unit Head. The Unit Head will determine which Staff members best meet the requirements of the remaining positions or other University priorities and will retain those Staff members.

Consideration must be based on objective, job-related standards, which may include differences in knowledge, skills, abilities and documented work performance. If differences cannot be demonstrated, then Layoff decisions will be based on length of continuous service with the University.

A Unit Head has the authority to reduce Staff hours, reassign Staff to other positions for which they are qualified, or both. Temporary non-students, provisional Staff members within the unit, and regular Staff members who refuse a suitable reassignment must be terminated before regular employees who accept suitable reassignment, provided the remaining employees have the knowledge, skills and ability to perform the work.

This policy cannot be used to remove a Staff member when the primary reason for doing so is inadequate performance, poor attendance or misconduct. Such issues must be addressed through a performance review or disciplinary process.

Implementing a Reduction in Workforce Decision
The employing department will give written notice to the Staff member as soon as practical, but at least 30 calendar days in advance of the Layoff. West Lafayette Campus departments should forward copies of the notice to the Employment, Employee Relations, and Benefits teams in Human Resources. Regional campus departments should forward a copy of the notice to their campus Human Resources department. The notice should include:

  • Reason for the Layoff (for example: lack of funds or lack of work);
  • Employee's last day of active work;
  • Date the Layoff will begin;
  • Date the Layoff will end;
  • Amount of all accumulated and unused vacation to be paid; and
  • Instructions for the Staff member to contact Human Resources for information about Staff benefits continuation, counseling, and placement in another position.

A copy of the Reduction in Workforce Policy should be included with the notice.
When a Staff member receives the written Layoff notice, he or she must contact Human Resources to receive placement assistance.

The employing department must initiate a leave action form to place the Staff member in Layoff status. The Human Resources Employment team will notify the employing department if the Staff member returns to active work status in another department.

If the employee returns to active work status in a regular position, the hiring department will initiate a leave action form for return to work and a personnel action form if the employee is returning in a different position. 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 Staff member's employment will be terminated. The department that laid off the employee will initiate the appropriate personnel action forms and notify the Staff member accordingly.

Under normal circumstances, positions that are eliminated through a Reduction in Workforce cannot be reinstated for a period of one year following the employee's termination. However, if the position is reinstated during the first year following the employee's termination, the employee who was in the position at the time of the Reduction in Workforce must be offered the opportunity to return to the position at the same rate of pay in effect at the time of Layoff.

Staff Benefits

  1. Staff members placed on Layoff will be paid all accumulated and unused vacation. Biweekly employees will be paid for any accrued and unused personal holiday. The 120-day Layoff period will begin the day after the last day in active work status.
  2. A department that gives an employee more than a 30-day notice of an upcoming Layoff can require the employee to use all accrued and unused vacation prior to the employee's last day of work.
  3. Staff members in Layoff status may continue existing coverage in the group medical, term life, and flexible benefit programs. The University will continue to pay its portion of the medical and life insurance premiums during the Layoff period. Long-term disability coverage will terminate the last day the Staff member is in pay status.
  4. Staff members in Layoff status do not accrue vacation or sick leave with pay during the Layoff period.
  5. Staff members on approved sick leave and/or family and medical leave are subject to Layoff, but the Layoff period will begin after the approved leave benefit is exhausted. Intermittent family and medical leave will cease as of the last day in active work status.
  6. Staff members on other approved leaves are subject to the Layoff policy. In these cases, the provisions of the Layoff policy will supersede the approved leave. However, provisions for military re-employment rights will apply.
  7. Staff members on Layoff are not entitled to holiday, sick leave, bereavement leave, jury duty or any other leave with pay during the layoff period, except military leave.
  8. The University will not make contributions to defined contribution or defined benefit plans on the employee's behalf while the employee is laid off.
  9. Staff members in Layoff status are entitled to the Staff privileges listed below:
    • Tuition remission
    • Athletic tickets at staff prices
    • Staff golf fees
    • Staff privileges in Lambert Fieldhouse
    • Staff privileges in the Recreational Sports Center
    • Staff convocation, theater, and other ticket privileges
    • Membership in the Purdue Women's Club
    • Staff parking privileges
    • Regular staff identification card
    • Library
    • Employee Assistance Program

Placement Assistance
An employee in Layoff status will be given priority consideration for placement into positions for which he or she qualifies. 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 the employment team in Human Resource Services or his or her regional campus Human Resources Department.

  • Such individuals will be referred for positions for which they express an interest and for which they meet the minimum qualifications. It will be the employee'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 who contacts the employment team in Human Resources or the regional Human Resources Department will receive priority consideration from the date of the employee's written Layoff notice to the date of the employee's termination.

Withdrawal of Layoff Status
Layoff status will be withdrawn and the Staff member will be terminated upon the occurrence of any of the following:

  • Unavailability for an interview without good cause;
  • Refusal to accept a suitable position within the University without good cause;
  • Request to be removed from Layoff status; or
  • Unprofessional conduct, such as disrespectful or discourteous communication with University Staff, or violation of Purdue policies.

Reemployment after Termination
A Staff member who is terminated after exhausting the 120-day Layoff period will receive continuous service credit for vacation and sick leave accrual purposes if he or she is re-employed at the University within 12 months. In addition, continuous service credit toward the  defined contribution plan waiting period will be granted if the Staff member returns to an eligible classification.

The re-employment must occur within 12 consecutive calendar months from the date of the termination. In such cases, the employee's service credit will be bridged from the date of termination and extended forward as though there had been no break in service. Sick leave that was unused prior to the termination will be reinstated.

Service credit for the defined benefit plan will be given for time in Layoff status, subject to a limit of six months in any four calendar years of service. Service credit for laid-off employees covered by the Federal Civil Service Retirement Program will be governed by the terms of the program in effect at the time.

Appeal of Reduction in Workforce Decision
An employee who believes the decision to reduce his or her position was made incorrectly should provide the organizational unit head with a written description of the facts of the situation and an explanation of why he or she believes the decision was made incorrectly. This appeal must be made within 10 Workdays of the date on the written Reduction in Workforce notice. The organizational Unit Head or designee, in consultation with the Vice President for Human Resources or designee, will promptly investigate these concerns. The organizational Unit Head will notify the employee in writing of his or her decision. This will usually be accomplished within 10 work days of receipt of the employee’s written appeal to the organizational Unit Head.

If the employee disagrees with the decision of the organizational Unit Head, at the West Lafayette campus, the employee may appeal the decision to the Vice President for Human Resources within 10 Workdays from the date of the letter of response of the organizational Unit Head. At the regional campuses, the employee may appeal the decision to the Chancellor. The Vice President for Human Resources or Chancellor will review the decision made by the organizational Unit Head and render the final decision. This will usually be accomplished with in 10 Workdays of receipt of the employee’s written appeal to the Vice President for Human Resources or Chancellor. There is no further appeal.

Special Situations

Temporary Layoff
A change in the University's needs or resources may result in a temporary Layoff. A temporary Layoff is a specified period of 30 days or less in non-paid work status. A Staff member placed on temporary Layoff may have the option of using accumulated and unused vacation during the Layoff, provided the Staff member has worked in a vacation-eligible position for three months or longer. The determination on whether or not vacation may be used will be made by the organizational Unit Head or designee.

Staff members on temporary Layoff will receive holiday pay if an official University holiday falls during the Layoff.

Departments should contact Human Resources for information about procedures and provisions related to temporary Layoff.

Deviation from Policy
Any deviation from this Reduction in Workforce Policy requires approval by the President, the President's direct reports, or their designees in consultation with the Vice President for Human Resources.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Reduction in Workforce Business Office Checklist

HISTORY AND UPDATES

November 18, 2011: Policy number changed to VI.F.2 (formerly IV.14.2) and website address updated.

May 12, 2011: Reduction in Workforce Business Office Checklist added to Related Documents, Forms and Tools section.

January 1, 2011: The responsibilities previously assigned to the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance in the appeal section were reassigned to the Vice President for Human Resources. Updates to the forms mentioned in the procedures were made and the policy was reformatted into the current policy template.

The April 15, 2009, revision of this policy makes minor wording clarifications, adds an appeal process, and supersedes the March 24, 2004, version.

The March 24, 2004, version of this policy makes minor wording clarifications and amends the January 1, 2004, version.

The January 1, 2004, version of this policy amends the version that was effective June 3, 2002. This policy supersedes Executive Memorandum No. C-9, which was originally issued December 15, 1986, and amended on June 30, 1993.

  • Executive Memorandum No. C-9 superseded Business Office Memorandum No. 150, issued February 28, 1973.

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this policy.