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Sec. 1 Purpose
This Policy shall govern a reduction in force that affects employees of the U. T. System Administration.
Sec. 2 Principles
The U. T. System Administration strives to provide a stable environment in which to work, but may occasionally be required to eliminate positions due to re-prioritization of work, re-organization of work, elimination of work, budgetary needs, legislative enactments, directives from the U. T. System Board of Regents, or other business reasons. This policy establishes a process for the reduction of regular full-time and part-time positions and fair treatment of affected employees.
Sec. 3 Planning a Reduction in Force
Highest priority will be given to retaining positions constituting critical and essential functions. Decisions to implement a reduction in force may originate at the department level or at a higher level. All decisions to proceed with a reduction in force should be made only after careful analysis and consultation with the Office of Talent and Innovation. Any action taken under this policy or any exception to this policy must be approved by the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee.
Sec. 4 Reduction in Force Report
When seeking or instructed to eliminate positions, a department head shall prepare a report that:
4.1 Identifies the reasons for implementing a reduction in force.
4.2 Identifies positions recommended for elimination.
4.3 Describes why the particular positions recommended for elimination were selected.
4.4 Discusses how the department’s work will be re-organized, re-prioritized, or otherwise managed as a result of the reduction in force.
4.5 Identifies a timeline to notify affected employees, departments, and establish the reduction in force effective date.
Sec. 5 Review of Report
The department head shall submit a draft Reduction in Force Report to the Office of Talent and Innovation and the Office of General Counsel for review.
The review will consider the business rationale, any applicable federal and state laws and policies regarding advanced notification requirements, payment of wages, benefits (possible COBRA and unemployment), ramifications of termination date (holidays, weekends, and pay date), employee records, employment preferences, and that protected classes are not unlawfully affected by the decision.
Sec. 6 Approval of Report
After review under Section 5 is complete, the department head shall submit a Reduction in Force Report to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. The Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee shall approve, modify, or disapprove the report and notify the department head.
Sec. 7 Re-employment Support
The Office of Talent and Innovation will provide re-employment support and assistance for any employees affected by elimination of their position, inclusive of information about job openings within the U.T. System Administration for which the employee might qualify and assistance in seeking other employment.
Employees who were terminated due to a reduction in force may take advantage of preferential procedures for rehire for a period of six months following termination.
Sec. 8 Notice and Appeal for Affected Employees
8.1 During a reduction in force, an employee occupying a terminated position shall be notified in writing as soon as possible, and preferably at least 60 days before termination. Additional requirements may apply in situations that involve the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
8.2 The Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee shall execute the termination notice and the department head shall provide it to the employee. A representative from the Office of Talent and Innovation is encouraged to be present when the notice is provided.
8.3 To appeal, the employee may appeal in writing to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee no later than 5 business days after the written notice of termination is issued. The appeal should state the employee's reasons for appeal, desired resolution, and include any relevant documentation.
8.4 The Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee shall issue a written decision to the employee, generally no later than 10 business days after receiving the appeal. This decision shall be final.
Sec. 9 Nondiscrimination
U.T. System Administration prohibits discrimination. As such, all decisions under this policy shall be made without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws, unless such distinction is required by law.
Critical [function]: a function required by law, Regents’ Rule, or highest-priority business requirements of the U. T. System Administration or its institutions.
Essential [function]: a function that is of the utmost importance, considered necessary for the U. T. System Administration or its institutions and/or one in which lack of functionality could have severely negative consequences for the U. T. System Administration or its institutions.
Reduction in force: a reduction in regular full-time and/or part-time positions due to re-prioritization of work, re-organization of work, elimination of work, budgetary needs, legislative enactments, directives from the U. T. System Board of Regents, or other business reasons with no likelihood or expectation that terminated positions will be reinstated or affected employees will be recalled because the positions themselves are eliminated.
Regular employee: an employee appointed to work 20 hours or more per week for a period of four and one-half consecutive months or longer (135 calendar days).