Layoff: Introduction (for departments)

Many departments are facing difficult budget decisions that may result in reorganizations or staff reductions.

Nevertheless, sometimes layoffs are inevitable. Having to reduce staff can be one of the most difficult challenges that managers face. To respond to this challenge, Central Human Resources (Central HR) offers services and resources to support both management and staff during these turbulent times.

If you are currently facing budget cuts and are considering staff reductions as an option, a team of Central HR specialists is available to assist you. Contact your Employee Relations Consultant to schedule a meeting with the team to answer your questions on topics including creative ways to think about the budget, implementing a reorganization, the layoff process, notice obligations, benefit implications for laid-off staff, rehire and recall considerations, communicating with staff about layoffs, and accomplishing reductions while minimizing issues related to workload.

As you face difficult staffing decisions it is critical to treat all employees humanely, compassionately, equitably, and within the terms of personnel policy and contract obligations. Planning how and when to communicate changes to staff is key. We in Central HR are committed to helping you through these steps no matter where you are in the process. To make sure you do get the best information at each stage in the process, Central HR also teams with Employee Assistance, depending on your situation and staff needs. The Staff Ombuds Office is also available to work with you or your staff members. Please contact your Employee Relations Consultant for individual assistance and guidance.

In addition to these direct services, we have posted these materials on the web to assist management in the layoff process and to help laid-off employees know what resources are available to them, how to access those resources, and what decisions they need to make regarding their benefits. Whether or not you are involved in a layoff process now, please review these materials and be sure your staff are aware of them as well.

Department Resources
The materials for departments include information on the department's role in the layoff process, employee benefits considerations, calculating seniority and implementing the bumping process, effectively communicating with staff, writing layoff letters, frequently asked questions and answers, and available resources from Central HR and other campus units, as well as how to mitigate the effects of layoffs on those who remain.

As you go through this process it is critical to administer the University's bargaining agreements and personnel policies fairly and appropriately. Be sure and check applicable union contracts and personnel policy.

Employee Resources
The materials for employees include information on campus resources for assistance, frequently asked questions and answers, a reminder to be aware of one's employment rights, and detailed information about the complex options available for retirement and health benefits. Please refer any staff who are facing a layoff to this website. If you have staff facing layoff who do not regularly use the web in their work, please print the relevant documents for them. You can also refer staff to Central Human Resources to talk directly with an Employee Relations Consultant.