Proposed Policy on Reduction in Workforce for Classified Civil Service

Reduction in Workforce (RIF) and Notice of Job Elimination

Proposed New Policy for Classified Civil Service

Introduction/Scope

Conditions may arise that necessitate the reduction of the university work force. Reduction of classified positions may occur for a variety of reasons, such as budgetary constraints, changing priorities, lack of work, efficiency improvements or reorganization.

While business needs may require employee reductions, the University recognizes the valued contributions of its workforce, aspires to support those in transition, and aligns its approach with its core values of “people and sustainability.”

Policy

When the university determines that a position in the classified service will be eliminated, the employee currently occupying the position will have the option to select one of the following:

  1. Take the involuntary separation option available to Unclassified Staff of one week per completed year of service with a minimum of 4 weeks and maximum of 24 weeks;
  2. Accept a vacant classified position in the same job classification for which they qualify, if one is available; or
  3. Accept a layoff and be placed on a recall list to be eligible to be recalled to the same job classification within the university for one year from the date of notice of layoff.

Procedures

  • Statement of rationale and/or documentation must be reviewed and on file with Human Resources prior to the layoff/RIF. In instances of larger scale reductions, HR will conduct a disparate impact analysis in partnership with Legal Affairs/General Counsel.
  • Classified employees will be provided with fourteen (14) calendar days’ notice of the position elimination and the options available, but must notify HR, in writing, within five (5) calendar days’ which of the available options they choose to exercise. Once HR is notified, decisions may not be revoked.
  • If more than one classified position is being eliminated at any given time, the option to accept a vacancy will be provided in seniority order. (i.e. the most senior impacted employee will be provided the option of vacancy first, followed by the next most senior, etc.)
  • Employees choosing to accept an available vacancy will be required to serve a probationary period. Should the employee fail to successfully complete the probationary period, they will be considered to be laid off and will be provided with 30 days’ notice. Employees failing a probationary period will not be placed on the recall list.
  • Those employees that elect a layoff, and are returned to the University from the recall list, will not be listed as having a break in service.
  • Any impacted staff member interested in additional career support may contact Human Resources (Talent Management Center of Excellence) for resume review, interviewing tips, coaching, and other job resources that may be available.

Classified employees can be terminated for documented just cause, as provided in applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The reduction in workforce/job elimination process should not be used to circumvent good performance management practices.

This policy excludes classified staff members who are on special contracts and/or on renewable appointments as these time-limited appointments are identified at the outset of employment.

This policy is not applicable to staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement as those contracts contain specific layoff/RIF provisions.

Resources

Human Resources, (937) 775-2120

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why would the university consider this change, especially now?

    The University has significant concerns regarding the pending reduction in workforce/layoffs within our community given that in previous layoffs affecting Classified Staff there were other vacant positions.

    The policy change is being proposed to:

    1. provide greater flexibility to employees and management that is lacking in the current classified layoff process;
    2. minimize disruption and the reduced productivity that results from the extended ‘domino effect’ that can occur with bumping; and
    3. ensure that employees without the requisite seniority needed to invoke ‘bumping’ would not be laid off with only 2 weeks’ notice as is the case with the current Civil Service rules/approach.
  • Why is there a 30 day public comment period?

    Guidelines from the Inter-University Council of Ohio recommended to colleges/universities undergoing consideration of such changes to use a public comment period similar to other legislative changes that might occur in state or federal government.

  • What happens after the 30 day public comment period?

    University leadership will review the comments and determine:

    1. whether to move forward with the new policy/rules change
    2. if changes or clarifications should be made within the proposed policy
  • Are there other steps that are required before this could be changed?

    Yes. A Board Resolution would need to be passed by the Wright State University Board of Trustees and then the new policy/rules change would need filed with the Legislative Services Commission.

  • What will the University do to support the members of our workforce who are impacted by layoffs/reduction in force?

    Employees will be provided with:

    1. Support from impactsolutions (our current faculty and staff assistance program partner) for up to 90 days after their last day of employment
    2. Information about unemployment benefits
    3. Resources, such as resume review, mock interviewing and job search information, through the HR Talent Management Team
    4. A career networking event in the late June with many local employers and higher education specific employers for all impacted employees
      1. Employers participating in this event will receive a skills inventory and  resumes from any impacted university employees that wish to share their materials
    5. Opportunity to use work time during their notice period for job seeking activities and interviews.

     

  • What’s not changing?
    • The grounds or justification for a RIF (e.g. reorganization, lack of budget, lack of work)
    • The consultation that colleges and VP units obtain from Human Resources before any RIF occurs
    • The amount of written notice of layoff/notice of job elimination that must be provided to the employee (currently 14 days if hand-delivered and 17 days if mailed) and the amount of time an employee has to notify HR of their decision  (currently 5 days)
    • The ability of classified employees to appeal a layoff or job elimination to the State Personnel Board of Review