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UPPS 04.04.14 - Staff Reduction in Force

Staff Reduction in Force

UPPS No. 04.04.14
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 2/24/2014
Next Review Date: 8/01/2018 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President for Human Resources


    1. This UPPS describes the procedures for a reduction in force (RIF) for regular staff employees. This policy does not apply to non-student, non-regular employees.

    2. The university will make reasonable accommodation in RIF decisions without regard to an employee’s race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, physical or mental disability.

      The university will not use a RIF as a substitute for terminating an employee for disciplinary reasons.

    3. The president must approve any action taken under this policy or any exception to this policy.


    1. The following definitions describe the terms used in this UPPS:

      1. Reduction in Force (RIF): a reduction in the number of staff employees as needed and directed by university administration;

      2. Recall: the non-competitive process in which the university re-hires former staff employees terminated by a RIF during the first eighteen months after termination;

      3. Re-hire: a competitive process in which the university re-hires a former employee following a RIF under normal university posting procedures;

      4. Reassignment: a non-competitive offer to transfer an employee to a vacant position in lieu of a RIF termination; and

      5. Organizational Unit: a division, department, or other organizational unit designated by the appropriate vice president.


    1. The appropriate account manager and vice president should consider these steps before initiating a RIF:

      1. document the financial conditions necessitating the RIF;

      2. identify the staff reduction goals in terms of labor savings and the number of affected university positions;

      3. identify the job functions and skills essential to operations following the RIF;

      4. review the university’s and each division’s strategic plan;

      5. set a timetable for carrying out the RIF;

      6. check state laws regarding payment of wages, benefits (possible COBRA and unemployment and severance), and personnel record access; and

      7. consult Human Resources.

    2. As an alternative to a RIF, university administration may consider reducing the salaries of employees subject to the RIF, along with other options.


    1. Prior to implementing a RIF, the divisional vice president and account manager will assess their work force and select the functional areas for the RIF. In all instances, they will use university needs as the primary consideration when determining the areas selected for the RIF.

    2. Management will designate positions subject to the RIF except as provided below for positions with the same job title, same supervisor, in the same organizational unit.

      Management will use two criteria when considering RIFs involving positions with the same job title, same supervisor, and in the same organizational unit (see definition in Section 02.):

      1. job performance as documented by the average of the three most recent performance evaluations; and

      2. years of service at the university.

        The university will quantify these two criteria by using the numerical scores in the example noted below. Employees will receive a score for each criterion, with the employees scoring the lowest combined score being separated.

        Example: Assignment of numerical score by criteria

        Criteria A: Job Performance

        Level (Avg. of last 3 performance evaluations) Score

        Below Standard 0
        Standard 20
        Performance Appraisal Score: 301-350 30
        Performance Appraisal Score: 351-400 40
        Performance Appraisal Score: 401-450 50
        Performance Appraisal Score: 451-500 60

        Criteria B: Years of Service

        Level Score

        1-5 years of service 10
        6-10 years of service 15
        11-15 years of service 20
        16-20 years of service 25
        21-25 years of service 30
        26-30 years of service 35
        31-35 years of service 40
        Over 35 years of service 45

        Example: This method applied to individual employees by organizational unit and job classification.

        Accounting Clerk II: Accounting Department

        Name of Employee Criteria Score
        Employee A Job Performance (310) 30
        Years of Service (6) 15
        45 Total

        Employee B Job Performance (300) 20
        Years of Service (5) 10
        30 Total

        Employee C Job Performance (315) 30
        Years of Service (5) 10
        40 Total

        In the above examples, the university would select Employee B for the RIF.

        EXCEPTION: In situations where more than one employee with the same title reports to the same supervisor but performs different functions requiring different skill sets relative to the ongoing essential needs of the organizational unit, management may retain the employee with the special skill set outside the provisions of a. and b. of this section. The president must approve any retention under this exception.

    3. If an account manager identifies a position held by an employee hired under a veteran’s preference for a RIF, the account manager must grant the veteran the preference to retain employment over other employees with the same job title reporting to the same supervisor, provided the preference conditions still apply.


    1. The president must approve a RIF. Account managers will recommend to their respective vice president an area for consideration for a RIF. Each vice president will communicate their final recommendation to the president.

    2. The appropriate vice president will identify all positions recommended for any RIF and ensure compliance with university policies and procedures. The appropriate vice president will notify Human Resources at least forty-five working days before the planned date of any RIF.

    3. Human Resources will review any RIF selections in conjunction with the appropriate vice president prior to the implementation of a RIF and will notify the president and appropriate vice president of any problems related to the implementation of this policy as it pertains to a RIF.

    4. The appropriate vice president will prepare the RIF notification to inform employees of the RIF.

    5. The appropriate vice president will give affected employees at least thirty days’ notice using the RIF notification letter format (available under Human Resources Forms from the HR website) before the actual termination date. Human Resources shall then receive written notification of the name, ID Number, job title, home phone number and address of each employee selected for RIF in order to maintain a recall list and coordinate employee benefits.

    6. Human Resources will provide the employee with a packet of helpful information including instructions for applying for and receiving unemployment benefits and how to apply for Texas State University and other public employer job vacancies.


    1. An employee who has received a notification of the RIF may elect one of the following options:

      1. accept the RIF status as of the effective date;

      2. submit a notice of resignation from employment effective no later than the RIF date;

      3. elect retirement, if eligible (retirement will waive eligibility for appeal or recall under this policy); or

      4. appeal the RIF through the complaint process found in UPPS No. 04.04.41.


    1. When the university implements a RIF, it will apply the following rules to the affected individuals regarding their benefits:

      1. Payment for all eligible accrued vacation leave and, if applicable, FLSA overtime for classified employees.

      2. The university will restore the sick leave balance at the time of the RIF if Texas State or any state agency or institution of higher education rehires the individual to a regular position within twelve months.

      3. If allowed by COBRA regulations and the conversion provisions of the insurance policy, the employee may continue coverage in the group health and dental insurance plans. The employee must pay the total monthly premium for the coverage.

      4. Time spent in a RIF status will not count toward total state service, state or university longevity, seniority or retirement.

      5. The university will provide a prorated refund of parking and other fees that are normally prorated.


    1. The recall applies only to the specific person who was subject to the RIF, not to a university-wide pool.

      Human Resources will maintain a list of employees who have been separated under a RIF. Eligibility for recall consideration runs for a period of eighteen months from the date the employee was separated. A recall under this policy provides for a non-competitive offer of reinstatement of an employee to their former position or a position with the same job classification.

      If Human Resources cannot locate an employee, or if the employee declines the first two job offers, Human Resources will remove the employee’s name from the recall list. The employee will forfeit any remaining recall opportunities.

    2. The university will pay recalled employees at the rate budgeted for the position.


    1. Under the rehire provisions, the university will fill each vacancy through its normal competitive hiring process.

    2. The university will pay rehired employees at the rate budgeted for the position.


    1. In lieu of a RIF, the appropriate vice president may offer to reassign an employee to another vacant position within the same division.

    2. The university may offer reassignment at a position with either a higher, lower or equivalent pay plan minimum. The employee’s rate of pay will fall within the pay range for the position assigned.

    3. An employee who accepts reassignment under this policy waives the right to appeal the action.

    4. Employees who reject offers of reassignment may avail themselves of the options described in Section 06. or may subject themselves to recall or rehire as described in Sections 08. and 09.


    1. The university will permit employees designated for RIF termination to use accrued vacation leave and compensatory time leave to interview for other jobs within the university and with other employers prior to the date of termination. Employees may also consult with Human Resources to identify comparable vacant positions within the university for which they may qualify. UPPS No. 04.04.11, University Classification and Compensation Policy, establishes the procedures the employee and hiring department must follow in order to transfer an employee to a vacant position.
  12. FORMS

    1. The university has made all forms referenced within this document available on the university’s Human Resources website.

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Assistant Vice President for Human Resources August 1 E4Y
      TSUS Associate General Counsel August 1 E4Y
      Chief Diversity Officer and Director, Equity & Access August 1 E4Y
      Chair, Staff Council August 1 E4Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Assistant Vice President for Human Resources; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services