Indiana University Indiana University

Indiana University

 

Policies for Professional Staff and
Support and Service Staff not Covered by a Union

Reduction in Force
PA/SS 7.1

Revised September 1, 2009
Changes indicated in red font.

Employees covered by this policy
This policy applies to Professional Staff and Support and Service Staff not covered by a union.

A. Introduction

  1. A reduction in force (RIF) is a curtailment of the workforce ordered by university administration. A reduction may arise for reasons of, but not limited to, the following: budget, lack of work, reorganization, or reduction of staff positions beyond the employee's control.

  2. When a reduction occurs, the university follows a course of action to ensure appropriate treatment of affected staff. This course of action ensures fairness and consistency; determines which employees are placed on layoff based on seniority; notifies employees in advance; fills vacancies with qualified staff on a layoff list; and recalls layoff staff based on seniority.

B. Administrative responsibilities

  1. The following individuals and departments have specific responsibilities regarding this RIF policy.

    1. Deans, department heads, or designees determine (1) the need for a reduction, (2) which positions are affected, and (3) the eligibility levels of employees affected by a reduction. These administrators must contact their campus human resources office before notifying staff of a RIF.

    2. The campus human resources office audits and monitors the process to ensure that departments are applying this RIF policy fairly and consistently throughout the university. In addition, the office (1) reviews occupational unit seniority lists with department heads; (2) determines suitable positions for layoff staff based on their qualifications; and (3) consults with layoff staff to identify skills and training necessary to qualify for future positions.

C. Definitions

  1. An appointed position is one that is established as a budgeted line with certain benefits based on the FTE.

  2. Essential functions are those duties and responsibilities necessary for a department to reach its objectives. Departments create positions to fulfill essential functions.

  3. Functional classifications include the following: (1) service maintenance, (2) clerical, (3) technical, (4) professional, (5) nurses, (6) practical nurses, (7) nursing assistants, and (8) general supervisors.

    1. On the Bloomington campus, clerical and technical functional classifications are combined and referred to as Support Staff.

  4. Minimum qualifications are the minimal skills, abilities, and knowledge a candidate must possess to successfully perform the responsibilities of a position.

  5. An occupational unit is a functional classification within a campus or subunit of a campus. The administrators of each campus identify occupational units within their respective campus. The fact sheet, "Occupational Units," at the back of this manual, contains a list of these units.

  6. A short layoff is a RIF of 30 calendar days or less and reported as such on the attendance report.

  7. A temporary reduction is a RIF of more than 30 calendar days and no more than 90 days. It is treated as a leave of absence. The employee accrues university service credit during this time.

  8. A permanent reduction is a RIF anticipated to last for more than 90 calendar days. Staff who are on a permanent reduction are separated on the date of the reduction and remain on a RIF recall list for 12 months unless reemployed sooner. Staff who are not reemployed by the end of this 12-month period may request to remain on the RIF recall list for six additional months. This request must be submitted to the campus human resources office before the initial 12-month period expires. The maximum amount of time an employee may remain on the RIF recall list is 18 months.

  9. A suitable position is a position with similar duties and responsibilities for which the campus human resources office has determined the employee qualifies at the same or higher classification and the same FTE as the employee's position at the time of the reduction. For a professional employee, a suitable position must be at least 90 percent of the employee’s current salary.

  10. A qualified employee is one who can demonstrate performance of all the essential functions contained in a posting or advertisement.

D. Advance notice rules for short, temporary, or permanent layoffs

  1. Departments must contact the campus human resources department before notifying an employee of a pending reduction of any type—short, temporary, or permanent.

Support and Service staff

  1. When circumstances permit, departments are to give Support and Service Staff at least 30 days written notice, but no less than 14 days advance notice.

Professional staff

  1. Departments must give Professional Staff employees at least 30 days written notice of a reduction.

E. Short layoff or temporary reduction

  1. When preparing for a short layoff or temporary reduction, university administration determines the work and positions that are affected. The department head determines which employees will be laid off according to one of the following approaches:

    1. Equal distribution of lost time

    2. Occupational unit seniority within each affected functional classification

  2. In accordance with the advance notice rules in Section D. above, departments must follow these guidelines:

    1. Except for students working in part-time Temporary positions, all Temporary or casual employees are laid off first.

    2. In order of least occupational unit seniority, appointed employees are laid off second.

    3. If departments cannot afford to eliminate all Temporary positions, employees who are designated for layoff will receive first preference for temporary jobs. Accepting or rejecting this offer does not affect one’s placement or recall rights described later in this policy.

F. Permanent reduction (RIF)
Step One

  1. When preparing for a permanent RIF, university administration determines the work and positions that are affected. Individuals laid off will be determined by seniority, subject to the advance notice rules in Section D. above and the provisions that follow.

    1. Except for students working in part-time Temporary positions, all Temporary or casual employees are laid off first.

    2. In order of least occupational unit seniority, appointed employees are laid off second.

    3. If staffing needs of a department prohibit the elimination of all Temporary positions, appointed employees designated for layoff will receive first preference for such assignments. Accepting or rejecting this offer does not affect one’s placement or recall rights described later in this policy.

    4. Unit supervisors are to orient retained employees on the operational procedures of the unit; however, supervisors are not obligated to train such employees to perform the available work. If a retained employee cannot perform the work at a full-performance level, an administrator may waive the order of layoff provision above. The campus human resources department and the occupational unit management determine whether an employee designated for layoff is qualified for a position.

G. Bumping procedure for a permanent RIF
Step Two

  1. Whenever the position of an employee who is not the least senior in the occupational unit is eliminated, the bumping option must be considered. The employee may bump the least senior employee in the same or lower level of the same functional classification level, whose job the senior employee can perform at a full-performance level.

    1. The bumping option described in this section does not apply to single level families in the PA classification plan (Coaches and Health Care Professionals). Bumping into or out of a single level family is not permitted. The bumping option is limited to other positions in the same single level family.
  2. The bumped employee may exercise his or her occupational unit seniority to displace the least senior employee in a lower level of the same functional classification within the occupational unit, whose job the employee can perform at a full-performance level.

  3. When management gives notice of a layoff more than two months in advance, an employee must decide whether he or she wants to bump no later than two months before the layoff date.

  4. When management gives notice of a layoff less than two months in advance, an employee has one week to give a written statement on whether he or she wants to bump.

  5. An employee who chooses not to bump—or fails to bump within the stated time limit—goes on the layoff list.

  6. Upon conclusion of the bumping process, a bumped employee is given notice in accordance with the rules in Section D. above before the actual date of the employee’s separation.

  7. Departments must prepare a separate layoff list for each functional classification within each occupational unit affected. This list is used to fill vacancies using the procedure described below. Departments are to note each employee's occupational unit seniority date and university seniority date.

H. Filling vacancies when a RIF list exists
Step 3

Note: This procedure for filling vacancies will be used during the advance notice period and during the 12 or 18-month period an employee remains on the RIF recall list following separation.

  1. Before beginning this procedure, departments must have done all of the following:

    1. Identified employees to place on the layoff list

    2. Provided written notice to employees that their positions are scheduled for elimination

    3. Completed the bumping procedure in accordance with the provisions above.

  2. Vacancies at the same or lower classification level or FTE are filled according to the guidelines described below. Vacancies at a higher classification level or FTE as the employees on the layoff list are filled using the normal process of recruitment and selection.

  3. No person is to be referred, transferred, promoted, demoted, or hired into the occupational unit affected by the layoff unless approved by the campus human resources office and occupational unit management. These areas will approve such action only if employees on the layoff list of the same functional classification cannot perform the available work.

  4. Vacancies within a unit affected by the layoff and at the same or lower classification level and FTE as the employees on the layoff list are filled as follows:

    1. Employees on the layoff list inside the occupational unit are considered first. Consideration is given in order of greatest occupational unit seniority to those employees whom the campus human resources office and occupational unit management have determined as qualified for the position.

    2. Employees from inside the occupational unit are considered second, through transfer or promotion.

    3. Employees on the layoff list outside the occupational unit are considered third. Consideration is given in order of greatest university seniority to those employees whom the campus human resources office and occupational unit management have determined as qualified for the position.

    4. Persons from outside the occupational unit are considered fourth through transfer, promotion, demotion, or new hire.

  5. Vacancies outside a unit affected by the layoff and at the same or lower classification level and FTE as the employees on the layoff list are filled as follows:

    1. Existing, qualified appointed employees who work in the occupational unit with the vacancy are considered first, through transfer or promotion.

    2. Employees on the layoff list of the same functional classification, in order of greatest university seniority, whom the campus human resources office and occupational unit management have determined as qualified for the position are considered second. (Additional applicants are not referred until it has been determined that employees on the layoff list are not qualified for the position.)

    3. Persons from outside the occupational unit are considered third, through transfer, promotion, demotion or new hire.

  6. When there are layoffs in more than one occupational unit at the same time, the campus human resources office combines the layoff lists from each occupational unit in order of greatest university seniority. This list is used to fill vacancies outside the affected units.

  7. Employees on a layoff list may request a listing of all posted university vacancies. Employees who meet the minimum qualifications will have an opportunity to be considered for such positions, including those on other campuses. However, such employees must apply to the appropriate campus human resources office within stated time limits on the job posting.

I. Accepting or declining an offer for a vacant position during a permanent RIF

  1. An employee who accepts any university-appointed position is removed from the layoff list; an employee who accepts a position outside the university remains on the layoff list.

  2. An employee who declines a vacant suitable position:

    1. If the offer of the position is made more than two months before the actual date of the employee's separation, the employee is not penalized and remains on the layoff list.

    2. If the offer of the position is made two months or less before the actual date of the employee's separation, the employee is removed from the layoff list and will be considered to be voluntarily terminated as of the actual date of separation.

    3. If the offer of the position is made after the actual date of the employee's separation, the employee is considered now to be voluntarily terminated and goes off the layoff list.

  3. An employee in the PA classification may refuse to consider or accept an offer in which the salary is less than 90 percent, and that employee will still be considered on layoff.

  4. An employee who declines a vacant position of lower classification level at the same FTE remains on the layoff list.

  5. An employee who fails to respond within five workdays of notice of recall loses his or her rights to recall and goes off the layoff list.

    1. Notice of recall to the employee is by certified mail addressed to the employee at the last address on file with the campus human resources office.

    2. An employee intending to return to work must (1) give notice within five workdays after delivery or attempted delivery of the notice of recall and (2) return to work within five workdays days of the university's receipt of the employee's notice.

    3. An employee will be excused from the requirements of item 4.a.b. for just cause.

  6. Sometimes a position may be eliminated and then restored within eighteen (18) months with essential duties that closely match those of the previous position.

    1. The employee who was laid off from the position will be recalled to the position in accordance with the filling of vacancies provisions above, whether the employee is in another university position or not.

    2. The employee will have the opportunity to return to the position before it is posted or advertised.

    3. The employee must continue to meet the minimum qualifications for the position.

    4. The employee’s right to return to a restored position supersedes any other policy provision related to filling vacant positions.

J. Continuation of insurance and benefit plan coverage

  1. Full-time Staff affected by a temporary RIF are considered to be on a leave of absence for up to three months. These staff must contact the campus human resources office to arrange for payment of their insurance and benefit plan premiums.

  2. See the Benefits Web pages for additional information about continuation of employee benefit plans for those on a permanent RIF.

K. RIF rights for special circumstances

  1. An employee who has changed functional classifications (within an occupational unit) within 24 months before written notice of layoff does not lose the occupational unit seniority he or she held in the previous classification. This provision goes into effect if there is no opportunity to bump someone in the current functional classification. The employee reverts to the most recent functional classification and level. In addition, the employee has full bumping rights (within the occupational unit they revert to) based on total seniority.

  2. An employee who loses a full-time appointed position as a direct result of another employee's grievance settlement or arbitration decision over the filling of the employee's position will be:

    1. Restored to his or her prior position, provided that the position continues to exist at the same level and the same or similar duties and another employee has not been selected for the position; or

    2. Placed on the reduction-in-force list for a period not to exceed 18 months and receive all of the rights under this policy provided to employees on the layoff list.

  3. An employee with an ADA-covered disability who cannot be reasonably accommodated in order to perform the essential functions of his or her position will be:

    1. Placed on the layoff list; and

    2. Be considered for placement into vacant positions in accordance with the provisions of above for “Filling Vacancies.”

 

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University Human Resource Services
Last updated: 25 June 2013
URL: http://hr.iu.edu/policies/
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