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HR-117 Layoff Q&As

1. What does the phrase “all things being equal” mean?

Departments retain the discretion to determine what composition of knowledge, skills, and abilities and the number of staff required for the proper functioning of a department; therefore, factors such as unique knowledge, skills, abilities, training, performance, or other relevant factors may take precedence over consideration of seniority in making decisions regarding layoff. When these factors impact the efficient operation of the department and/or an employee's ability to perform the job, a department may determine that all things are not equal and consider these attributes to justify the retention of a less senior employee.

2. Does an employee in a layoff leave of absence lose his/her accrued sick leave?

If an employee is reemployed during the period of the layoff leave of absence, the sick leave will be reinstated; otherwise, the sick leave is lost after expiration of the layoff leave of absence.

3. What happens to an employee's personal days while he/she is on a layoff leave of absence?

The employee retains personal days during the layoff leave of absence but any unused personal days are lost on the employee's anniversary date. Employees should be provided an opportunity to use the personal days prior to commencing a layoff leave of absence.

4. What if an employee has accrued compensatory time at the time of layoff?

The compensatory time should be paid to the employee in a lump sum at the time his/her last check is issued.

5. When an employee is laid off, can a department pay the employee two (2) weeks' pay in lieu of notice?

Yes. It is permissible at the department's discretion to provide for payment in lieu of two (2) weeks notice. When payment in lieu of notice is utilized, the effective date of the layoff is at the end of the two (2) week period. The status of an employee who receives payment in lieu of notice is the same as though the employee were actually working those last two (2) weeks.

6. What are the relevant dates for calculating seniority in the event of a layoff?

The relevant dates for calculating seniority are as follows:

  • Department Seniority Date – The first day of regular continuous employment within a department.
  • University Seniority Date – The first day of regular continuous employment at the University of Missouri.

A change in a regular employee’s status (i.e., a break in service) may change his/her department and University date.


7. Are employees in a layoff leave guaranteed a job when the leave expires?

No. An employee does have departmental preferential hiring rights for the duration of the leave of absence and retains seniority in the department during this period. Upon expiration of a layoff leave, if the employee has not located a position, the employee will be terminated. For Service and Maintenance employees, see the relevant “Understanding of Policies” document.

8. Can you require an employee to use vacation for the two (2) weeks' notice required pursuant to HR 117 Layoffs?

No. The employee cannot be required to use accrued vacation during the two (2) week notice period.

9. How will benefits be impacted during a layoff leave of absence?

HR 117 Layoffs provides that an employee in a layoff leave of absence is eligible to continue participating in the following benefit programs: medical, dental, life, accidental death and long-term disability. Employees notified of a layoff should contact Faculty and Staff Benefits.

10. If an employee is offered a comparable position in the same department while on layoff leave, must he/she accept the position?

Failure to return to work when offered a comparable position in the same department and at least the same salary range will result in termination. The position must be 75% FTE or greater. An employee will not be terminated for refusing a nonregular position.

11. What is the definition of executive and managerial employees as it pertains to this policy?

Executive and managerial employees are those employees assigned to EEO Groups 101 and 102. Contact your campus Human Resource Services for assistance in identifying these employees.

12. Can an employee elect to retain his/her accrued vacation during the layoff leave of absence?

No. Unused vacation, accrued as of the last day worked before the commencement of the leave of absence, is paid out as a lump sum.

13. Is an employee covered by the layoff policy if his/her position is moved from one campus to another campus and the employee does not want to relocate?

Yes. Moving a position from one campus to a different campus is a reduction of force at the original location and the employee would be covered by the layoff policy.

Date Created: 9/26/97

Last Updated: 05/26/2017

Reviewed 2017-05-26.