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UPPS 04.04.14 - Staff Reduction in Force

Staff Reduction in Force

UPPS No. 04.04.14
Issue No. 4
Effective Date: 6/17/2019
Next Review Date: 8/01/2023 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. This policy 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 RIF decisions without regard to an employee’s race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, veterans’ status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

      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.

  2. DEFINITIONS

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

    2. Re-hire – a competitive process in which the university re-hires a former employee following a RIF, under normal university posting procedures.

    3. Reassignment – a non-competitive offer to transfer an employee to a vacant position in lieu of a RIF termination.

    4. Organizational Unit – a division, department, or other organizational area designated by the appropriate vice president.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR PLANNING A REDUCTION IN FORCE

    1. The appropriate department head and vice president will 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; and

      6. must consult with Human Resources of intent to consider a RIF and check state laws regarding payment of wages, benefits (possible COBRA and unemployment and severance), and personnel record access.

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

  4. SELECTION CRITERIA OF EMPLOYEES FOR REDUCTION IN FORCE

    1. Prior to implementing a RIF, the division vice president and department head 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, and in the same organizational unit (see definition in Section 02.).

      Management will use four 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 three most recent performance evaluations;

      2. years of service at the university;

      3. specialized skills and training necessary for a particular function, such as proficiency in use of equipment, licenses, or special certification; and

      4. veteran status of each employee, as required by the Texas Government Code Chapter 657.

      EXCEPTION: In situations where more than one employee with the same title reports to the same supervisor but perform 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 a department head identifies a position held by an employee hired under a veteran’s preference for a RIF, management must comply with Texas Government Code Chapter 657.

  5. PROCEDURES FOR REDUCTION IN FORCE

    1. The president must approve a RIF. Department heads will recommend an area for consideration for a RIF to their respective vice presidents. 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 45 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 30 days’ notice using the RIF notification letter format (available under Human Resources forms) before the actual termination date. Human Resources shall then receive written notification of the name, ID number, job title, of each employee selected for a RIF in order to meet with 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.

  6. EMPLOYEE OPTIONS

    1. An employee who has received a notification of a 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; or

      3. appeal the RIF through the complaint process found in UPPS No. 04.04.41, Staff Employee Mediation and Grievance Policy.

  7. BENEFITS ELIGIBILITY

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

      1. Payment of 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.

  8. PROCEDURES FOR CONSIDERATION FOR REHIRE

    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.

  9. REASSIGNMENT PROCEDURES

    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 Section 08.

  10. PLACEMENT EFFORTS

    1. The university will permit employees designated for a 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, establishes the procedures the employee and hiring department must follow in order to transfer an employee to a vacant position.
  11. FORMS

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

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Assistant Vice President for Human Resources August 1 E4Y
      Chief Diversity Officer and Director, Equity and Inclusion August 1 E4Y
      Chair, Staff Council August 1 E4Y
  13. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    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

    President