4.19.3 Reduction in Force

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and procedures for implementing a reduction in force that affects classified employees of UT Tyler.

B. Authority/Persons Affected

Persons affected: All employees

C. Definitions

N/A

D. Policy and Procedures

It is the policy of U. T. Tyler to implement a reduction in force when necessary because of financial exigency or a bona fide reorganization. The Vice President for Business Affairs, with the approval of the President, shall decide when it is necessary to reduce the work force because of a financial exigency or a bona fide reorganization. The decision shall be based on a report prepared at the direction of the appropriate Chief Fiscal Officer or President.

  1. Planning Requirements
    1. Before a reduction in force is proposed, alternatives that may eliminate its need or limit its scope shall be considered. Such alternatives include, but are not limited to, job sharing, temporary leaves of absence without pay, attrition, pay freezes, pay cuts, and demotions.
    2. The goal shall be to identify those functions and positions that can be altered or eliminated with the least effect on the work force and necessary services of the unit.
    3. The head of the affected administrative unit shall decide which functions or positions should be combined or eliminated. In making that decision, existing business conditions, as well as future needs of the administrative unit and U. T. Tyler, may be considered.
  2. Development of Report

    The contents of a report requesting a reduction in force shall include supporting documentation and shall contain the following:

    1. factual information that shows the existence of a financial exigency or that a proposed reorganization will result in a more cost effective or efficient administrative unit;

    2. a description of the functions or services supplied by the administrative unit that will be affected by the proposed reduction in force, how those functions or services will be combined, altered or eliminated, and the rationale for the combination, alteration, or elimination;

    3. identification of those jobs or positions that will be affected; and

    4. utilization of the criteria in Section C to identify those employees who are to be terminated and an explanation of how and why each person was selected for termination.

  3. Terminations

    Where a financial exigency or bona fide reorganization results in the need to terminate employees, the head of the administrative unit seeking the reduction shall be responsible for deciding which employees will be terminated. The criteria to be used for selecting which of the affected employees will be terminated shall include but are not limited to:

    1. employee qualifications for the jobs remaining after the reduction;

    2. employee work performance as evidenced by written evaluations or other documentation (seniority will be the determining criteria in those cases where employees are equally qualified); and

    3. status as a regular, full-time employee will be given preference unless it is in the best interest of U. T. Tyler to employ part-time, temporary, or hourly employees for the available positions.

  4. Notice

    1. Employees who are to be terminated shall be provided with as much advance written notice as possible in order to avoid personal hardship. To the extent possible, notice shall be at least sixty (60) days in advance of the proposed date of termination.

    2. The written notice of termination shall include an explanation of the reasons for the reduction in force, an explanation of why an employee's position is to be eliminated, or why a particular employee has been selected for termination.

  5. Grievance Procedures

    1. An employee who is to be terminated may appeal that decision to the head of the affected administrative unit within ten (10) working days of receiving notice of termination. The reasons for appealing shall be limited to claims that a financial exigency does not exist, that the reorganization was not bona fide, that a comparison of the employee's qualifications and performance with those of employees who were retained shows that the selection of the employee was arbitrary and without reason, or that the termination decision was made for reasons that are unlawful under state or federal laws or constitution.

    2. The grievance shall be in writing and shall state the facts that support the employee's allegations. The employee shall have the burden of proof with respect to the allegations.

    3. The head of the administrative unit shall respond to the grievance within ten (10) working days of its receipt.

    4. If the employee is not satisfied with the response, he or she may, within five (5) working days of response, appeal in writing to the appropriate Chief Financial Officer or President stating why the appealed response is incorrect. The Chief Financial Officer or President shall review the grievance and response and make a decision within thirty (30) days of receipt of the appeal. The decision shall be final. It will be in writing and shall be mailed to the employee.

  6. Reemployment

    Reemployment procedures for employees terminated pursuant to a reduction in force shall include the following:

    1. A list of the names of employees terminated because of a reduction in force shall be retained in the Office of Human Resources. The names of the former employees shall remain on the list for a period of six months after the date of termination unless deleted pursuant to Section F.3.

    2. As jobs become available at U. T. Tyler within the same job classification or in classifications requiring similar skills and training, reasonable effort will be made to notify and reemploy qualified former employees on the reemployment list. Efforts will be made to notify employees for six months after termination. A notice of open positions for which the former employee may be qualified shall be sent to his or her last known address by registered or certified mail. It shall be the responsibility of the former employee to apply for any position for which he or she feels qualified.

    3. A reasonable period of time, not to exceed ten (10) working days, shall be provided to allow each former employee who is notified to apply for reemployment. Former employees who are notified and fail to respond within ten (10) working days or reject reemployment opportunity will be removed from the reemployment list. The ten (10) working day application period may be extended for good cause.

    4. Any former employee will have his or her sick leave balance restored if reemployed by UT Tyler within twelve (12) months of the initial lay-off.

  7. Nondiscrimination in Termination and Reemployment

    All termination and reemployment decisions pursuant to this policy shall be made without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability of the employee.

E. Responsibilities

See Policy and Procedures section.

F. Review 

This policy shall be reviewed by the Director of Human Resources every five years or as legislation changes.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  12/01/2001

LAST AMENDED:  04/22/2009

REVIEWED:  AY 2014-15