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Resources and Reports

CWUR 1-70-060 Layoff

Applies to - Classified employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

DEFINITIONS: The following definitions apply within this procedure:

Comparable position: A position in the same geographic area, having the same number of hours worked per week, and the same designation of cyclic or non-cyclic, as the position from which an employee is being laid off.

Employment Retention Rating/Seniority: The measure of the employee’s most recent period of unbroken classified service1 calculated by the Human Resources Office as follows:

1. All time spent in leave without pay status that exceeds eighty (80) hours in a month shall be deducted from the calculation of seniority, except when the leave without pay is taken for: cyclic year leave, military leave, or compensable work related injury or illness leave (“Workers’ Compensation”).

2. Ties in seniority will be broken by measuring the employee’s most recent continuous time within his/her current classification. If the tie remains, seniority will be determined by lot.

3. Eligible veterans and surviving spouses of eligible veterans receive additional credit toward seniority in accordance with WAC 357-46-060.

Furlough: The temporary cessation of an employee’s service.

Layoff: A management-initiated action that results in at least one of the following: employment in a job class with a lower salary range maximum; reduction of the work year and/or number of work hours; or separation from employment.

Layoff unit: A layoff unit is an administrative entity within which an employee scheduled for layoff may have the option for placement into another position (the "employment option").

Position competencies and requirements: Competencies2 and other position requirements identified in position descriptions, recruitment announcements or other sources.

Project position: A position with a defined beginning and end date (e.g., grant-funded positions).

Temporary layoff: A management-initiated action that results in a temporary reduction in hours or a furlough.

Transition Review Period: The transition review period is a six-month evaluation period that allows the employer and employee to determine whether a placement into a position as a layoff option is a good match.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Authorizing a layoff: The appointing authority, in conjunction with the department head, determines the need for layoff and the position(s) to be abolished, vacated, or reduced due to layoff. The reasons for a layoff include but are not limited to:

1. Lack of funds;
2. Lack of work,3
                                                         
1 A furlough for the purposes of temporary layoff is not considered a break in continuous state service (WAC 357-46-057).
2 Measurable or observable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors critical to success in a key job role/function.
3 WAC 357-46-010 (excerpt as of 7/2005): Examples of layoff actions due to lack of work may include, but are not limited to termination of a project or special employment; availability of fewer positions than there are employees entitled to such positions; employee’s ineligibility to continue in a position following its reallocation to a class with a higher salary range maximum; employee’s ineligibility to continue, or choice not to continue, in a position following its reallocation to a class with a lower salary range maximum; or elimination of a position due to the work of the position being competitively contracted.


3. Organization change.

Impact of a layoff: Layoff results in at least one of the following:

1. Employment in a job class with a lower salary range maximum;

2. Reduction of the work year and/or number of work hours;

3. Separation from employment.

Conditions for authorizing a temporary layoff:

1. May be authorized for any of the same conditions for permanent layoff.

2. The university may not furlough an employee for more than 30 calendar days in a calendar year or temporarily reduce an employee’s regular work schedule to less than 20 hours a week for more than 60 calendar days in a calendar year.

3. If the university has less than twenty hours per week of work for an employee to perform during a period of temporary layoff, the university must notify the employee that he/she is being furloughed.

Effect of a temporary layoff on the employee:

1. Hours not worked due to temporary layoff are not treated as leave without pay, therefore:

A. An employee’s anniversary date, seniority, or unbroken service date is not adjusted for periods of temporary layoff; and

B. An employee continues to accrue vacation and sick leave in accordance with chapter 357-31 WAC.

2. An employee on temporary layoff is not entitled to:

A. Layoff rights, including the ability to bump into another position or to be placed on the university’s internal layoff list or a statewide layoff list;

B. Payment for his/her vacation leave balance; and
C. Use of his/her accrued vacation leave for hours the employee is not scheduled to work if the temporary layoff was due to lack of funds.

3. If the temporary layoff was not due to lack of funds, an employer may allow an employee to use accrued vacation leave in lieu of temporary layoff.

4. At the conclusion of a temporary layoff, the employee has the right to resume the position he/she held immediately prior to being temporarily laid off. The employee returns with the same status and percentage of appointment he/she held prior to the layoff.

Layoff units:


1. All divisions (excluding represented employees).
2. Project positions (excluding represented employees) are separate and exclusive layoff units, by project.
3. Unique layoff units for represented employees are defined in each applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Avoiding layoff or minimizing effects of layoff:

1. In order to avoid or minimize the impacts of layoff, before initiating layoff, the university may attempt to mitigate the need for layoff through alternative actions (such as hiring controls whenever practical) when these actions can be taken without undue disruption to business operations.

2. An employee may seek to avoid or reduce the impact of layoff by:

A. Applying for other university positions through the university's employment process;

B. Notifying his/her supervisor of his/her willingness to take leave without pay, to voluntarily take a reduction in hours worked or work year, or to voluntarily demote;

C. An employee's willingness to take such measures will be considered but does not ensure that it will be possible to avoid the necessity for layoff.

2. An employee who is being furloughed due to the university not being able to provide at least twenty hours of work per week may be offered the available number of work hours.

Criteria for legitimate business requirements that may be considered in determining layoff options:

1. The university may exclude a position from consideration as an employment option based on legitimate business requirements. Legitimate business requirements include those circumstances or characteristics that render a position uniquely sensitive to disruption in continuity. The Human Resources Office, after consulting with the appointing authority, determines whether there are legitimate business requirements that justify a position's exclusion from consideration as a layoff option.


LAYOFF PROCEDURE

Initiating a layoff:

1. The appointing authority will inform the Human Resources Office of the reason for the potential layoff and the position or positions, by job class, which may be subject to layoff. Additionally, the appointing authority may request a temporary, instead of a permanent, layoff for any of the reasons authorized for a permanent layoff.

2. The Human Resources Office shall determine the employee or employees to be laid off and the options, if any.

Layoff notice:

Regular Layoff

1. The Human Resources Office prepares the layoff notice for appointing authority signature. The appointing authority shall issue the layoff notice to the employee and ensure that the notice is properly served. The layoff notice shall include:

A. The reason for layoff;

B. The employee's seniority (employment retention rating) calculation;

C. The employee’s layoff option;

D. The deadline for the employee to accept or select a layoff option;

E. Notification of any requirement for the employee to serve a transition review period if a layoff option is selected;

F. The specific layoff list(s), if any, on which the employee is entitled to request placement;

G. An explanation of how the employee requests placement on the statewide layoff list; and,

H. Notification of the employee’s right to appeal.

2. A permanent employee subject to layoff must receive at least fifteen (15) calendar days’ written notice, unless the employee waives the notice period.

3. A probationary employee subject to layoff must receive at least one (1) calendar days’ notice. Probationary employees are not eligible for placement on a layoff list or an employment option.

Temporary Layoff

1. The Human Resources Office prepares the layoff notice for appointing authority signature. The appointing authority shall issue the layoff notice to the employee and ensure that the notice is properly served. The layoff notice must include:

A. The status of the employee during temporary layoff,

B. The expected duration of the temporary layoff.

2. An employee subject to temporary layoff must receive at least seven (7) calendar days’ notice of temporary layoff.

Determining an employee's layoff option:

1. The Human Resources Office determines the position, if one exists, that will be identified as an employee's layoff option, according to the following criteria:

A. The position is in the layoff unit; and,

B. The position is comparable (as defined in this procedure) to the employee's current position; and,

C. The employee satisfies the competencies and other position requirements; and,

D. The position is allocated to:

1) The class in which the employee holds permanent status at the time of layoff; or if no such position is available, to;

2) A class in which the employee has held permanent status at the same salary range as the position from which the employee is being laid off; or, if no such position is available, to;

3) A lower class in an occupational category/class in which the employee has held permanent status, in descending salary order. The employee does not have to have held permanent status in the lower class in order to be offered this option; and,

E. The position is funded and vacant, except that if no vacant position is available, the position is occupied by an incumbent with the lowest employment retention rating/seniority.

2. If there are no options available under section 3.A., the Human Resources Office determines the position, if one exists, that will be identified as an employee's layoff option, in lieu of separation, according to the following criteria:

A. The position is in the layoff unit; and,

B. The employee satisfies the competencies and other position requirements; and,

C. The position is at the same or lower salary range maximum as the position the employee is being laid off from. If more than one position is available, then the position with the highest salary range maximum shall be the position offered; and,

D. The position is vacant and less than comparable or held by a probationary employee.

3. If a class in which an employee has previously held permanent status has been revised or abolished, the Human Resources Office shall determine the closest matching class to offer as a layoff option. The closest matching class must be at the same or lower salary range maximum as the class from which the employee is being laid off.

Employee response and selecting a layoff option:

1. Each employee scheduled for layoff will receive the layoff notice and a Layoff Option form.

A. The employee scheduled for layoff is responsible for completing and returning the completed Layoff Option form to Human Resources within five (5) working days of the service of written notice of layoff.

B. The form must be received by the specified deadline or the employee will be considered to have resigned from employment and will be ineligible for an employment option or placement on a layoff list. The university may accept a form after the specified deadline if the employee can show that the inability to submit the form on time was due to legitimate and unavoidable circumstances.

2. The Human Resources Office will notify the appointing authority or authorities of the employee’s option selection, or upon completion of the option period, that the employee did not respond.

Placement on Layoff Lists:

1. The university’s internal layoff list4 is maintained by the CWU Human Resources Office. An employee’s name may be placed on and retained on the university’s internal layoff list for a period of two years from the effective date of the layoff action. An employee may exercise his/her option to be placed on the university’s internal layoff list within two years of a layoff for the following actions:

A. Separation due to layoff;

B. Acceptance of a voluntary demotion in lieu of layoff;

C. Acceptance of a less than comparable position in lieu of layoff;

D. Following trial service reversion if employee is not returned to a permanent position in the class in which he/she last held permanent status.

2. The statewide layoff list is maintained by the Washington State Department of Personnel. An employee who is eligible to be placed on the university’s layoff list for reasons other than trial service reversion and reallocation to a class with a lower salary range may also be eligible for placement on a statewide layoff list. The employee must contact the Washington State Department of Personnel to determine eligibility and/or to request having his/her name added to a statewide layoff list.

Certification from a layoff list:

1. If there are names on the internal layoff list, the following candidates will be referred to the employing official.
                                                            
4 A “list” is made up of eligible names to be certified for vacancies in a class. (See WAC 357-01-200).

A. Candidates on the internal layoff list who satisfy the competencies and other position requirements and who wish to be referred; and,

B. Internal promotional candidates who satisfy the competencies and other position requirements.

2. Employees certified and appointed to a position from a layoff list may be required to serve a transition review period.

Removal of name from layoff list:

1. An individual’s name shall be removed from a layoff list and no written notice shall be provided due to:
A. A request from the individual; or,
B. The employee’s resignation, retirement, or dismissal; or,
C. Expiration of the two-year eligibility period.

2. Subsequent to written notification, an individual’s name shall be removed from a layoff list due to:

A. Waiving consideration, three times, for certification for, invitation to interview for, or appointment to, a position; or,

B. Acceptance of a layoff option or appointment from a layoff list, which will cause his/her name to be removed from the list(s) for all classes with the same or lower salary range maximum, except for the layoff list for the class from which the individual was laid off.

3. An individual may request a review of removal from a layoff list by submitting a request to the Human Resources Office within twenty (20) calendar days of written notification that his/her name has been removed from the list. A Human Resources representative not involved in removing the name from the layoff list will conduct the review. If the individual is not in agreement with the results of the Human Resources Office review, he/she may request a director's review of the removal, of his/her name from the layoff list. The request for a director’s review must be received at the of the Director of the Washington State Department of Personnel’s office within twenty (20) calendar days following notice of the results of the Human Resources Office review.

Right to appeal:

1. An employee, who believes there has been a violation of state civil service rules related to a layoff action, excluding removal from a layoff list, may submit an appeal directly to the Washington Personnel Resources Board. The appeal must be received at the Washington Personnel Resources Board office within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the employee could reasonably be expected to have knowledge of the action giving rise to a rule violation claim or the stated effective date, whichever is later.


[Responsibility: President’s Division/Human Resources; Authority: The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that layoffs are administered in accordance with the Department of Personnel rules (WAC 357-46) in a manner that is equitable to employees and with minimal disruption to employees and the university; Reviewed/Endorsed by: PAC (3/16/2005); Review/Effective Date: 07/01/2005; 04/27/2009; 03/30/2012; Approved by: Sherer M. Holter, Chief of Staff]