Support Staff Policies & Procedures

Support Staff Policy & Procedure for Layoff or Reduction in Force

Policy

Applies to: All employees unless abridged by Collective Bargaining Agreements

It is the policy of the University to endeavor to provide continuing employment. Reduction in the work force which may be necessary due to lack of funds, lack of work or other reasons will be accomplished through normal attrition whenever possible.

In addition to normal attrition, layoff due to lack of work and/or funds will be utilized as deemed necessary by the University.

An employee who is subject to layoff or who has been laid off shall be afforded a reasonable number of interviews for any position at the same or lower levels if MSU Human Resources deems the employee is qualified.

Eligibility for layoff and recall:

Definitions:

Layoff - the severance of an employee from the payroll due to lack of funds and/or lack of work, with eligibility for recall. To be eligible, the employee must satisfy eligibility requirements.

Recall - the reinstatement of a laid-off employee to active status within a period which is the lesser of the employee's length of service before layoff or 2 years. In the event of recall the employee will retain the original service date but does not receive service credits for the period of layoff. Accrued sick leave will be reinstated when the recalled employee returns to work (VARIES for APA and APSA).

Termination - the severance of an employee from the payroll without eligibility for recall.

Order of layoff: Due to the nature of the work performed, the ability of the employee to fulfill the requirements of the work remaining shall be the prime factor in determining who in the department is to be laid off.

Where ability to perform the work remaining is equal, the University will follow these priorities for reduction in force as much as practicable:

Recall:

Continuation of optional benefits: Optional benefits may be continued by employees on layoff status by direct payment to MSU Human Resources for the duration of the layoff.

For APSA, APA, CTU, 1585, 274, FOP and NURSES, the employer will make its regular contribution toward the cost of the health care coverage premium through the end of the month of layoff.

Termination:

Procedure

Request/approval of layoff: 
Department:

  1. Notifies MSU Human Resources Solutions Center, in writing, of the proposed layoff. This information is to be provided in advance of the required employee Notice of Layoff described in #3.
  2. If the employee selected for layoff is not the least senior employee, submits the reasons for such action, in writing, to MSU Human Resources Solutions Center (including whether work of laid-off employee will be reassigned or eliminated).
  3. Notice of Layoff to employees:
    • Employees represented by APSA and confidentials are to receive 45 calendar days notice of layoff, not to be offset by accrued vacation.
    • Employees represented by APA and Nurses are to receive 45 calendar days notice of layoff, not to be offset by accrued vacation.
    • In an effort to reduce "bumping" in the CTU, 1585 and 999 bargaining groups, MSU Human Resources Solutions Center is to receive 45 calendar days administrative notice, plus the following contractual notice: CTU = 15 working days; 1585 and 999 = 14 calendar days.
    • Members of the FOP are to receive 21 calendar days notice.
    • Members of 324 are to receive 7-14 days notice.

MSU Human Resources Solutions Center:

  1. Verifies information provided by department and approves layoff by preparing Reduction in Force letter. Copies are provided for the employee, department and president of the applicable union/association.
  2. Provides assistance in determining sequence of layoff as necessary.

Notification to employee: 
Department:

  1. After receipt of the approved Reduction in Force letter, gives the employee the Reduction in Force letter.
  2. Advises the employee to contact MSU Human Resources Solutions Center for possible reassignment, and MSU Human Resources to discuss continuation of optional benefits.

Recall/reassignment:
MSU Human Resources Solutions Center:

  1. Reviews position vacancies and refers eligible employees for reassignment who have received layoff notice or who are on layoff.
  2. Processes the placement in the new department using the Comprehensive Automated Staffing System (COMPASS).

Department:

  1. Accepts the employee for the vacancy or submits written reasons for non-selection to MSU Human Resources Solutions Center for its approval.
  2. Other:
    • CTU employees subject to layoff and reassigned to a vacant position serve a training period of 256 working hours. CTU employees recalled from layoff serve a requalification period of 256 working hours.
    • AP employees who are recalled or reassigned serve a 90-day evaluation period.
    • Employees covered by 999 or 1585 contracts serve a trial period if recalled or reassigned to a different classification.

MSU Human Resources Employee Records: Inputs into SAP the placement in the new department. 

Miscellaneous:

  1. Employees may not be selected for layoff based upon:
    • race, sex, age, religion or other illegal discrimination, or
    • higher wages earned, or
    • performance problems.
  2. Employees may be assigned to perform duties of laid-off employees if the work is appropriate for their classification.
  3. Reduction in force should be avoided when possible by using alternative methods including:
    • flexible voluntary appointments,
    • mutual agreement leaves (both the employee and department agree on granting the leave; departments are required to hold the position for employee's return,
    • on-call or temporary staffing,
    • voluntary hours reduction, and
    • attrition.
  4. Layoff notices may not be given to employees while on leave of absence.
  5. Source of funding is not a criteria for determining which employee is to be laid off except for employees who have been designated as project technicians or off-date employees.
  6. When an employee on layoff or leave of absence (including illness and/or disability leaves due to Workers' Compensation) accepts a work assignment (half-time or greater), the original ending date of the leave may be extended by the number of days employed. The employee's record will indicate both the leave of absence or layoff status (primary) and the temporary employment status (multi-assignment).

Termination: 
MSU Human Resources Solutions Center: Will notify department of procedure to be followed in the event of termination of employee at the end of layoff period.

Human Resources Employee Records: Processes the termination of employee in EBS.

Refer questions to: MSU Human Resources Solutions Center (telephone 517-353-4434, e-mail)

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