Staff Position Elimination Policy

 

SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY

POSITION ELIMINATION POLICY (STAFF)



Procedure Number: Version Number: 1
Classification: Effective Date: 7/29/2013
Responsible University Official: Vice President Human Resources


 1.0 INTRODUCTION

As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, Saint Louis University respects the dignity and worth of each individual employee. To that end, the University attempts to support employees whose positions have been eliminated by assisting in locating other employment and making counseling available throughout the transition.

Position elimination is a difficult experience not only for the affected staff member, but also for colleagues and supervisors. Anyone needing assistance is encouraged to contact Human Resources (314-977-2360) or the Employee Assistance Program (800 859-9319).

This policy applies to the elimination of staff positions occurring after April 1, 2010.


 2.0 PURPOSE


To ensure staff position eliminations are handled in a manner consistent with the University's mission and values, this policy clarifies when and how:

  • To communicate the policy and procedures regarding position elimination
  • To provide information regarding staff position elimination pay and other assistance for affected employees
Implementation of staff position elimination procedures will be made in accordance with this policy and the practices of the University. 

 

 3.0 PERSONNEL AFFECTED

This policy applies only to non-faculty personnel with at least one year of service who are not members of a bargaining unit. Individuals hired with a pre-determined duration of employment are not eligible for position elimination payments. Positions funded through sponsored programs are not covered by this policy because continued employment is dependent upon funding availability. The business/clinical manager, principal investigator, or administrator responsible for administering a sponsored program is responsible for notifying employees in "soft-dollar" positions of the expiration of funding for their position at the time of the initial assignment and within a reasonable time after any changes or decisions impacting funding occur.

 4.0 DEFINITIONS


4.1 Position Elimination

(1) The elimination of a budgeted position because of reorganization, changed needs or budget reduction; or (2) a reduction in work hours from full-time to part-time status with loss of benefits.

In the elimination of "soft-dollar" positions where proper written notice was not provided, elimination pay may be authorized as outlined below under Section 6.1: Determining Affected Positions. In that case, the cost incurred by the payout will be according to University policy without regard to source of funding.

4.2 Service Date

The date from which employment service is calculated. This date reflects the cumulative length of service at Saint Louis University (if service was bridged per University policy) and may not be the same as the original hire date or most recent date of hire.

4.3 Most Recent Date of Hire

The date most recently hired at Saint Louis University (may not be the same as the original hire date or service date).

4.4 Full-time Regular Status

An employee working in a full-time budgeted position scheduled at least sixty-four (64) hours per pay period or at least eighty (80) percent FTE.

4.5 Part-time Regular Status

An employee working in a position budgeted for fewer than sixty-four (64) hours per pay period or less than eighty (80) percent FTE.

4.6 Temporary Status

An employee who is hired for a position with a predetermined duration of less than six (6) months of service.

 5.0 POLICY


5.1 Determining Affected Positions

Positions may be eliminated for a variety of reasons: changing needs of the organization, restructuring of a position or department, a need for different skills and/or experience, realignment or elimination of programs, or budget reductions. If it becomes necessary to permanently reduce the number of budgeted positions, the University will ordinarily strive to effect some reductions through attrition, rather than position elimination. All proposed position eliminations must be coordinated with Human Resources prior to their announcement.

Chairpersons and department directors, in consultation with their Vice President, Dean, and/or comparable administrator, will recommend which positions will be eliminated, including positions with a reduction of hours from full-time to part-time, based on the current and future staffing needs of the organization, including workforce skills, the ability to perform the work more effectively in another area (or through different means), and the overall effectiveness and customer service requirements of the department. Once the chairperson or director has identified the new structure, the following factors will be considered in the determination of specific positions to be eliminated:

Employee skills and qualifications (as documented by official records such as performance evaluations, disciplinary history, attendance, etc., plus licensure and certification); Job classification/category so as to minimize the disruption of service to students, patients, and other departments (as determined by the service needs of the department or work area); Employment status (temporary employees or employees in an orientation period will ordinarily be selected before regular employees);

If all of the above are equal, the position of the individual with lesser University seniority will be eliminated first. Seniority is determined by the employee's service date.

5.2 Notice to Affected Regular, Full-Time Employees

Employees in eliminated positions, with at least one (1) year of service but less than four (4) years of service, will be given at least four (4) weeks written notice or staff position elimination pay, as determined by the Chairpersons or directors in consult with their Vice President, Dean, or comparable administrator. Employees in eliminated positions, who have service of four (4) years or greater, will be given one week of notice or staff position elimination pay for every full year of service, up to a maximum of twenty (20) weeks.

In the event of position eliminations that will impact two (2) or more Schools, Colleges, or divisions of the University, the University community and specifically the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC) Executive Board and Faculty Senate Executive Committee will be advised by Human Resources concurrently with the serving of notice to the affected employees.

A department manager or member of Human Resources will be present when a terminated employee removes his/her personal items from the office in order to protect the employee from potential allegations that items were taken or destroyed by that employee.

A staff employee who is within six months of satisfying the eligibility requirements for retirees under the University's health insurance plans (age 60 with seven years of continuous full-time service) will have the option, within two weeks of notification of the position elimination, to offer his or her notice of retirement. The effective date of retirement will be determined by the retiree health eligibility date. An employee who is choosing to retire will be paid through their appropriate notice period and then be placed on unpaid leave of absence until their eligibility date and not receive staff position elimination pay.

5.3 Notice to Affected Temporary or Part-Time Employees

Temporary or part-time employees will be given written notice whenever practical, but if such notice is impractical, these employees may be released without notice.

5.4 Eligibility for Transfer

Employees whose positions are being eliminated may apply for transfer to other open positions within the University, provided that these employees meet minimum qualifications. Such a transfer would be conducted in accordance with standard job posting and transfer/promotion/demotion policies. A person whose position is eliminated has no entitlement to any other position within the University.

5.5 Reorganization

The Compensation Department of Human Resources performs job analysis and classification reviews for departments and positions impacted by reorganization and reduction in force. In the event that position responsibilities are changed substantially, the manager of that unit must submit revised position analysis booklets to the organization's executive, who, upon approval, will forward the changes to Human Resources for review and job classification recommendations.

5.6 Benefits Status

Vacation balance, if any, will be paid in accordance with the vacation policy, and is ordinarily paid at time of termination. An employee whose position has been eliminated will be provided with all pertinent benefits conversion information at the time of notification. Specific arrangements for employees whose positions are eliminated may include:

  • Tuition Remission: An employee whose position is eliminated will remain eligible for employee and dependent tuition remission for the remainder of the current semester, and the subsequent semester (spring or fall). If enrolled in Professional Studies or another program that is not on a semester basis, this provision will apply to the current term and the following term. The summer term is allowed if preferred by the employee in lieu of fall. The same eligibility will apply to other tuition programs such as FACHEX or Tuition Exchange.
  • Health Benefits: After termination, the employee will be eligible to retain health insurance as provided under COBRA, or as a retiree, provided the employee satisfies the University's definition under retiree health (currently age sixty (60) with seven (7) years of continuous full-time service). Consistent with the University's practice pertaining to unpaid leaves of absence, the University portion of the health insurance premiums will continue to be paid by SLU for the first thirty (30) days following termination.

5.7 Other services will be offered to employees whose positions are eliminated, including:

  • Services of the University's Employee Assistance Program for ninety (90) days following termination. 
  • Information regarding vacant staff positions at the University.
  • Transportation assistance on the date of termination and/or to attend counseling.
  • Benefits counseling services.
  • Information regarding University scholarships and financial aid. 

5.8 Unemployment Compensation

An employee whose position has been eliminated may apply for unemployment compensation benefit in accordance with Missouri state laws.

 6.0 RESPONSIBILITIES


6.1 Chairpersons and department directors

Chairpersons and department directors or managers will identify positions targeted for position elimination.

6.2 Vice Presidents, Deans or comparable administrators

Vice presidents, deans or comparable administrators will approve the proposed positions identified for elimination.

6.3 Human Resources

Human Resources will notify employees of the decision to eliminate a position and the benefits available to them under this policy. Additionally, Human Resources will coordinate the election and receipt of benefits for eligible employees.

 7.0 PROCEDURE

 

7.1 Employee eligibility. An employee with at least one (1) year of service whose position is eliminated will be eligible to receive staff position elimination payments. If the employee works during all or part of a notice period, each week of notice will reduce staff position elimination pay by one (1) week.

7.2 Determining amount of staff position elimination pay. Full-time or part-time regular employees will be eligible for staff position elimination pay for every year of employment greater than one (1), up to a maximum of twenty (20) weeks.

Four (4) weeks of staff position elimination pay will be provided to those whose employment is greater than one (1) but less than four (4) years.

Staff position elimination pay will be calculated based on regular employment from the employee's most recent date of hire.

7.3 Receiving staff elimination pay and/or noticeStaff position elimination pay will be provided as a lump sum payment, subject to exception authorized by the chairpersons and department directors in consult with their Vice President, Dean, and/or comparable administrator.

The written notification will inform the employee of her/his last date of employment, the amount of separation pay and/or advance notice with continuation of salary and benefits, details regarding any benefit entitlements that continue after separation (such as tuition remission continuation, COBRA, Long term disability and Life Insurance Conversion), and that the University will require the employee to sign a separation agreement that includes a release of claims relating to their employment as a condition of the arrangement outlined in the notice.

In instances where the University or a third party acquiring University assets or operations offers an employee a position and the employee declines the offer, the employee is not eligible to receive staff position elimination pay.

If an employee whose position was eliminated secures another full-time position within the University during the period of time for which staff position elimination pay was issued, the individual will be required to reimburse the University for any overlapping period of time. For example, if staff position elimination pay were issued for eighteen (18) weeks, and an individual whose position was eliminated were to be reemployed after four (4) weeks, the reimbursement to the University would be equal to fourteen (14) weeks of the severance payment amount.

8.0 REFERENCES

Saint Louis University Policy on Staff Position Elimination

9.0 APPROVAL

This policy was reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel, the President's Coordinating Council, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Staff Advisory Committee Executive Board.

This Policy Has Been Approved By:

Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
President
Saint Louis University

 

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