Policy Number: 52

Reductions in Force

Subject:

Reductions in Force

Scope:

Benefits-eligible classified employees, with the exception of School of Public Health employees who are funded at least 50% by contracts and/or grants

Date Reviewed: December 2013

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Responsible Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

I.     POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) attempts to provide a stable work environment for its employees; however, circumstances may occasionally arise that will necessitate making reductions to the work force. This policy applies to all benefits-eligible classified employees, with the exception of School of Public Health employees who are funded at least 50% by contracts and/or grants. School of Public Health employees who fall within the above category are subject to termination upon the earliest of the following:

  1. expiration of the source of funds; or,
  2. cancellation or discontinuation of the project, program or activity which created the position.

School of Public Health employees in the above category will be given as much advance notice as possible. All other employees will be given notice as outlined below.

A reduction in force situation may be created when, for example, an organizational unit is compelled to merge, reassign or discontinue one or more of its service functions or other essential business activities; when an organizational unit must reorganize the operations of the service function or business activities; or when an organizational entity must be closed.

Should such conditions occur, the management of the affected unit will implement specific evaluative procedures in conjunction with Human Resources (HR) to ensure equitable treatment of the classified employees involved.

The university will consider a classified employee who becomes separated as a result of a reduction in force or organizational closure for re-employment at another job providing the individual is qualified and indicates interest and availability. When a position is eliminated due to a reduction in force and the same position becomes available in the same department within six months from the date of reduction in force, the affected person will be offered the position.

When a classified employee is separated due to a formal reduction in force, the former employee's remaining sick leave balance may be restored if the employee resumes state employment within 12 months after the end of the month of separation. (Refer to HOOP Policy 30 Sick Leave.)

II.     PROCEDURE

A.  Reductions in Force Determinations

The appropriate manager will contact HR to request assistance in preparing for the reduction in force. The manager will force rank the classified employees in the affected unit according to specific evaluation procedures. The evaluative criteria may include, but are not limited to, factors such as allocation of resources, operational requirements, and business necessities. The profile of the unit will be reviewed by the Chief Human Resources Officer. If the reduction in force results from a loss of funding (such as a contract or a grant) or organizational closure and all classified employees in a particular unit or program must be separated, forced ranking will not be required.

B. Notice

All affected personnel, including those who are paid from funding sources other than the state, will be given advance notice of the reduction in force.* The length of the notice period will be determined by the length of a classified employee's service with the state. Notice will be given according to the following schedule:

Length of Service

Notice

0 but less than 60 months

10 working days

60 but less than 120 months

15 working days

120 but less than 180 months

20 working days

180 but less than 240 months

25 working days

240 months and over

30 working days

The head of the affected department will forward a memorandum (see sample) prior to the desired date of the reduction in force to the Chief Human Resources Officer, routed through the office of the appropriate dean or senior administrator. The memo will include an explanation of the reduction in force, the evaluative criteria used to force rank, the names and titles of those affected, the date on which it is anticipated the notice of reduction will occur, and the last day to be worked (termination date). The forced ranking list (see sample) will be attached.

After review and approval by the Chief Human Resources Officer, the department will be notified. The appropriate HR personnel administrator will coordinate the reduction in force action with the department.

C. Grievance Procedure for Classified Employees Terminated Due to Reduction in Force

A classified employee who receives a notice of separation due to a reduction in force may file a grievance within seven calendar days of receipt of the written notification. Due to the time sensitive nature of a reduction in force, the grievance will begin at the level of the dean or the senior management staff member in university administration and proceed as provided in HOOP Policy 146 Employee Grievances

If the grievance concerns the application of the veteran’s employment preference or the employment preference granted to individuals twenty five years or younger who were under the permanent managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services on the day preceding the individual's 18th birthday, the grievance will be filed with the President through the Equal Opportunity Advisor. The President will respond within 15 business days of receipt of the complaint.

*Where length of notice is indicated in this policy, "day one" will be the next working day.

III.     CONTACTS

ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Human Resources 713-500-3130 http://hr.uth.tmc.edu/Employee_Relations/employee_relations_staff.html