Procedure 60: Layoff and Reduction in Time from Professional and Support Staff Career Positions

Please read the News Story - Preferential Rehire/Recall for Non-represented Professional and Support Staff Personnel group (PSS) staff – Option Suspended Indefinitely   and the related link to FAQ's.

Note: The following procedures should be read in conjunction with PPSM 60.


Refer to Policy 61 for information on terminating employees in casual and casual-restricted positions.


Chancellor: The Chancellor has delegated authority for designating layoff units to the Director of Human Resources.

Department Head: The department head has the authority to lay off or to reduce time, and the responsibility to minimize the effects of layoff or reduction in time by reassignment to vacant positions.

As soon as the department head determines that layoffs or reductions in time are necessary, the department head or designee should contact the department's Employee Relations Consultant for consultation regarding policy conformance and coordinated assistance from Human Resources.

Reassignment: Reassignments are within the department to any vacant career position at the same percentage of time or less, at the same salary level (as determined by salary range midpoint), and covered by the same personnel program. If the department believes that an employee is not qualified for reassignment to a vacant career position, non-reassignment must be documented before listing a career job vacancy. The department should advise an employee if a position at a lower salary level or at a lesser percentage of time is available. However, the employee does not have to accept such a position.


Whenever a layoff or reduction in time from a career position is temporary for four calendar months or less, the provisions of Policy 60, sections E-H shall not apply.

Whenever possible, written notice of temporary layoff or temporary reduction in time shall be given to the employee at least thirty calendar days before the effective date. Notice with proof of service should be hand-delivered or mailed.

The department will provide the employee with a written change of status letter for unemployment purposes. Eligibility for unemployment benefits is determined by the California Employment Development Department.


Criteria for layoff order

Per PPSM 60, seniority is a tiebreaker for determining layoff order for PSS employees. The criteria for consideration when determining order of layoff must include:

  1. Relevant skills, knowledge and abilities,

  2. Documented performance, and, all else being equal,

  3. Length of service

Assessment of performance will be based on written performance appraisals and disciplinary records. When multiple employees have the same skills, knowledge and abilities, and are performing equally, employees with greater levels of seniority will have priority for retention.

Relevant skills, knowledge and abilities

Job descriptions provide information about the required skills, knowledge, and abilities for each position. The employee’s expertise and abilities are evaluated in the context of the job requirements. Due to variations in experience and individual strengths, as well as differences in learning curves and success on the job, there may be significant differences in the skills, knowledge and abilities of those being considered for layoff.

Documented performance

Regular annual performance evaluations that provide substantive feedback on strengths and opportunities for growth are essential to deciding the order of layoffs. These evaluations are also helpful in identifying differences in current skills, knowledge and abilities, and differences in professional growth over time in the job. In the case of underperformance that leads to disciplinary action, that documentation is also considered.


Only in the event that skills, knowledge, ability and performance are equal is seniority considered. When implementing an indefinite layoff or reduction in time, the department calculates seniority points, from the most recent date of hire, for all employees in the unit who have the same classification (job title) as the position scheduled for elimination or reduction. Human Resources verifies the most recent date of hire.

Seniority is computed on the basis of one seniority point for each month of full-time-equivalent (FTE) service in any University job classification or title (including academic titles) since the last break in service. Service includes time on Workers' Compensation and Extended Sick Leave status, overtime (not to exceed full time for the pay period) and service with the major UC Department of Energy laboratories. Service excludes time with the State of California, Hastings College, or the California State Universities and Colleges (except when such service is approved as University service upon the transfer of a state facility to the University).

Service is combined to determine FTE months of seniority points to the nearest hundredth of a standard month (174-hour month).


An employee who worked 20 full months plus 12 days (96 hours) has 20.55 months of FTE service/seniority points: 20 + (96 ¸ 174) = 20.55.

An employee who worked 80% time for 59 months has 47.20 months of FTE service/seniority points: .80 x 59 = 47.20.

An employee paid by the hour who worked 10,550 hours has 60.63 months of FTE service/seniority points: 10,550 ¸ 174 = 60.63.

The department head may approve a retention out of seniority after consultation with the Employee Relations Consultant.


The department head is responsible for providing the necessary notice as far in advance as possible but no later than the limits stated herein.

This notice should state the reason for layoff, the effective date, severance information, and the right to appeal. Notice with proof of service should be hand-delivered or mailed. A copy of the notice should immediately be sent to the Employee Relations Consultant and the Special Placement Coordinator.


It is the policy of the University to minimize the effects of indefinite layoffs and indefinite reductions in time on employees in career positions when layoffs or reductions in time are necessary. To that end we try to place those scheduled for layoff in other available positions they are qualified to fill when possible.

If placement in another position is not possible prior to the date of separation, the employee will receive severance. The amount is determined by years of service per PPSM 60.J.