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HR-117 Layoff and Transition Assistance

Summary

Conditions may arise that result in the reduction of the university work force, including but not limited to lack of funds, lack of work, or reorganization. This rule addresses principles and benefits involved in layoffs, including eligibility for transition assistance pay, layoff leave of absence and associated benefits. All layoffs are subject to approval by the appropriate campus, hospital or system Office of Human Resources.

Policy

Per Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 350.051: Layoff and Transition Assistance (Bd. Min. 6-21-18):

  1. Summary—Conditions may arise that result in the reduction of the university work force, including but not limited to lack of funds, lack of work, or reorganization. This rule addresses principles and benefits involved in layoffs, including eligibility for transition assistance pay, layoff leave of absence and associated benefits. All layoffs are subject to approval by the appropriate campus, hospital or system Office of Human Resources.
  2. Definition—Layoff is defined as the cessation of regular employment due to a reduction in force for a period of one year or more.
  3. Eligibility—To be eligible for layoff leave of absence and transition assistance pay, an employee must fall within the positions described below and must satisfactorily complete all other requirements as identified in this rule, including completion of the required agreement.
    1. Positions Eligible—The following types of employees may be eligible for layoff leave of absence with associated benefit coverage and transition assistance pay regardless of the funding source of their salaries, unless they are excluded as stated below.
      1. Regular Administrative, Service and Support employees who have satisfactorily completed their probationary period; and
      2. Employees on full-time academic staff appointments as defined in Section 310.020.A of these Collected Rules and Regulations (including Non-Tenure Track Faculty as defined in Section 310.035 of these Collected Rules and Regulations, full-time unranked non-regular faculty, and other full-time non-regular academic appointments).
    2. Positions Not Eligible—The following types of employees are not eligible for layoff leave of absence or transition assistance pay. In cases of doubt, the System Chief Human Resources Officer will determine whether an employee falls within categories listed below, after consultation with campus/hospital chief human resources officers and provosts as appropriate.
      1. Regular academic staff appointments as defined in Section 310.020.A.1 of these Collected Rules and Regulations (i.e., tenured and tenure-track appointments);
      2. Adjunct appointments;
      3. Employees on full-time academic staff appointments who have been given one year or more notice of non-renewal;
      4. Benefit-eligible positions in which a principle purpose of the position is the education, training, or learning of the employee, such as fellows, interns, residents, and post-doctoral positions;
      5. Non-benefit-eligible positions; and
      6. Any other position determined by the System Chief Human Resources Officer not to be eligible because the nature of the appointment is not consistent with the expectation or purposes of layoff benefits.
    3. Other Eligibility Requirements
      1. To be eligible for a layoff leave of absence and transition assistance pay, eligible employees must submit a completed University of Missouri Layoff and Transition Assistance Agreement to the appropriate campus, hospital or system Office of Human Resources within thirty (30) calendar days after written notice of layoff. The content and form of the University of Missouri Layoff and Transition Assistance Agreement will be approved by the System Chief Human Resources Office and the Office of the General Counsel.
      2. If any of the following circumstances occur prior to or during the layoff leave of absence, the employee no longer will be eligible to receive transition assistance payments or layoff leave of absence and associated benefits coverage.
        1. Failure to submit completed University of Missouri Layoff and Transition Assistance Agreement by the established deadline;
        2. Failure to perform duties in a satisfactory manner after layoff notification through the effective date of the layoff;
        3. Receipt of Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits;
        4. Acceptance of a full-time benefit-eligible University of Missouri position; 
        5. Retirement; or 
        6. Death.
  4. Layoff Leave of Absence and Benefit Coverage
    1. Upon layoff, an eligible employee will be placed on a layoff leave of absence. The length of layoff leave of absence is determined as follows:
      1. Eligible employees with less than five (5) years of continuous regular employment with the University immediately prior to layoff, will be placed on a layoff leave of absence for three (3) months from the effective date of layoff.
      2. Eligible employees with a minimum of five (5) years of continuous regular employment with the University immediately prior to layoff will be placed on a layoff leave of absence for six (6) months from the effective date of layoff.
    2. During the layoff leave of absence, the eligible employee will be eligible to participate in the University's benefit programs (e.g. medical, dental, life, accidental death, and long-term disability). The University will continue to pay its portion of the benefit premiums during the layoff leave of absence.
  5. Transition assistance payment—Eligible employees who are laid off will receive transition assistance pay.  Eligible employees with four years of continuous benefit-eligible employment or less immediately prior to layoff will receive four (4) weeks of pay.  Eligible employees with five or more years of continuous benefit-eligible employment immediately prior to layoff will receive one (1) week of pay for each year of continuous benefit-eligible employment immediately prior to layoff up to a maximum of twenty (20) weeks of pay.  In no case will the transition assistance pay exceed $50,000.  Transition payments may be paid in accordance with an employee’s regular pay schedule or in a lump sum payment at the discretion of the University.
  6. Continuous Employment—For purposes of calculating continuous employment under this rule, an employee who completes a nine-month academic appointment will be considered to have accrued one year of employment. Consecutive nine-month academic appointments will be considered as continuous employment.  Additional summer months of employment by an employee on a nine-month academic appointment will not affect calculation of continuous employment under this rule.
  7. Seniority
    1. For employees on full-time academic staff appointments and regular Administrative, Service and Support employees, other than Service and Maintenance personnel subject to a union agreement, seniority consists of continuous employment in the same department. If relative length of employment among employees is equal, the employee with the greatest length of University employment is the most senior employee. 
    2. For Service and Maintenance employees subject to a union agreement, see Understanding of Policies, Article VIII, and Seniority.  The definition of seniority for service and maintenance employees as outlined in the Understanding of Policies is applicable only if the University has a signed agreement with the unions.  If no agreement exists, the definition of seniority for regular Administrative, Service and Support employees will apply.
    3. All things being equal, job security shall be commensurate with an employee's seniority.  If the abilities, skills, training, and other relevant qualifications to fill existing positions are considered equivalent among affected employees, the employee with the longest seniority will be retained and the employee with the shortest seniority will be the first to be laid off.  The University reserves the right in any given instance, to determine if an employee possesses the relevant qualifications such as ability, training, and skill to fill the position. 
    4. Seniority accrues from the first day of regular employment. Seniority should not impact employment decisions for regular employees until the completion of the probationary period. Employees laid off retain seniority accumulated to the date of layoff, for a period not to exceed six months.  An employee who is laid off retains seniority for a period of six months from the effective date of the layoff but does not continue to accrue seniority during the layoff leave of absence. In the event an employee who is notified of a layoff or who has been laid off transfers to another department, the employee continues to maintain seniority in the department where the layoff occurred for a period of six months from the effective date of the layoff or the transfer, whichever occurs first. During a work-related injury or military leave of absence, an employee continues to accrue seniority.
  8. Recall—The University shall, in its sole discretion, after a reduction in force, determine the occasion and the advisability of recall of part or all of the laid off employees. The University shall consider seniority, ability, and qualifications, as well as the nature of the jobs for which the employees will be recalled.
  9. Refilling Eliminated Position
    1. Positions which are eliminated due to layoff may not be filled for a minimum of one (1) year.
    2. If special circumstances occur which create good cause for the position to be filled sooner, approval must be granted by contacting the appropriate campus, hospital or system Office of Human Resources.
  10. Service credit—The period of leave of absence is excluded in computing length of service under the University of Missouri Retirement, Disability, and Death Benefit Plan; however, the leave of absence does not constitute an interruption of service. A layoff leave of absence does not count toward vesting in the University of Missouri Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit Plan.
  11. Application in the Event of Discontinuance of Programs or Departments of Instruction—In the event that an employee is laid off in connection with the discontinuance of a program or a department under Section 320.150 of these Collected Rules and Regulations, the employee will:
    1. Be eligible to receive transition assistance pay if the employee meets all eligibility requirements stated in this rule; and
    2. Receive the leave of absence and benefits stated in Section 320.150 and will not receive layoff leave of absence or associated benefit coverage under the terms of this rule, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary.
  12. Effective date
    1. The provisions of this rule will apply with respect to layoffs of eligible employees on full-time academic staff appointments with an effective layoff date of August 30, 2018 or later.
    2. The provisions of this rule will apply with respect to layoffs of regular Administrative, Service and Support employees with an effective date of layoff of January 1, 2019 or later.

Further HR Policy Provisions

Additional HR-117 policy provisions below in accordance with CRR 350.051:

  1. Any department considering a layoff should contact Human Resource Services to discuss the layoff policy and proper layoff procedures prior to notifying the employee(s).
  2. For more information, visit the Layoff and Transition Assistance Resourceswebpage.

See Also

HR-117 Layoff and Transition Assistance Q&As

HR-402 Vacations

HR-403 Personal Days

HR-404 Sick Leave

Date Created: 09/26/1997 

Updated: 07/01/2000; 09/01/2005; 06/15/2006; 05/25/2017; 01/02/2019 

Reviewed 2019-09-23