Department of Human Resources

Layoff Policy

 

PURPOSE
Seton Hall University (“Seton Hall” or the “University”) accomplishes its mission of academic excellence through effective utilization of a knowledgeable, responsible and stable workforce. Under certain circumstances, however, it may be necessary to eliminate or redesign positions, reorganize functions or reduce staff.

The purpose of this policy is to provide uniform criteria and procedures in the event it becomes necessary to reduce the number of positions and/or University employees or to restructure the workforce.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all regular full-time and part-time at-will University administrators and staff including union employees, but excluding faculty, professional librarians and individuals whose positions are grant funded or who are employed pursuant to an employment agreement.

This Policy does not apply to employees terminated for performance or disciplinary reasons.

Union employees are also covered by their respective collective bargaining agreements.

POLICY
Seton Hall recognizes the value of its employees and views them and their contributions as assets. There are occasions when circumstances require a “reduction in staff,” “position elimination” or “reorganization/restructure of the workforce,” collectively referred to as “layoffs.” These circumstances may arise due to business reasons, such as restructuring or reorganization of a work unit, discontinuation or modification of a program, function, or job(s), material change in duties and/or financial reasons.  

Positions abolished through a reduction in staff may not be reestablished or filled for a period of one year. Positions abolished through position elimination are expected to be eliminated permanently.

A reduction in staff, position elimination and reorganization/restructure are the only types of terminations for which an employee is eligible to receive severance pay. At the University’s discretion, employees may be offered a transfer to a comparable position, provided a vacancy exists for which the individual meets all of the qualifications and is considered a suitable fit. An employee who is offered a transfer, but elects not to accept the transfer, will not be considered laid off and, therefore, not eligible for severance. Severance pay is a cash payment to an employee who is involuntarily separated from the University’s employ and who meets the conditions of eligibility. Detailed information regarding severance eligibility and benefits can be found at www.shu.edu/offices/policies-procedures/human-resources-severance-and-release.cfm

The decision to implement a layoff must be non-discriminatory and must comply with the provisions set forth in this policy. Specifically, race, color, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other category protected by applicable federal or state law may not be considered in identifying an employee for a layoff or in implementing a layoff.

This policy sets forth criteria and procedures to guide the fair and equitable treatment of all University employees in the event of a layoff.

DEFINITIONS

Comparable Position A position that is available at the University for which the employee possesses the requisite skills and experience to perform the job with a reasonable amount of training. A position will be considered comparable if the salary is at least 90% of the employee’s current full time salary and the workweek for the position is 25 hours or more per week.
Layoff The elimination of employment due to a reduction in staff, elimination of the position, or a reorganization.
Notice Period The period of time between formal notification to the employee that he/she is being laid off and the last day of employment with the University. During this period, the employee is expected to perform his/her job duties in a satisfactory manner.
Position Elimination The elimination of a function that makes a position(s) redundant. The expectation is that there will be no need for the position(s) in the foreseeable future.
Restructure/Reorganize A significant modification to the position, operation or work unit for the purpose of making it more productive or better organized for business needs.
Seniority Seniority is the length of time an employee has worked for the University. It is calculated based on total continuous salaried service, computed from the beginning of the last employment or re-employment date, including any approved leaves with or without pay up until the date of termination.
Severance Pay The monetary payment available to an employee whose employment is involuntarily terminated as a result of a layoff. The University has the option to make severance payments either in a lump sum or over regular payroll cycles. Severance payments and benefits are available in accordance with the University Severance & Release Policy and are subject to appropriate tax withholdings.
Work Unit For the purposes of this policy, a work unit is one or more departments, schools, programs, divisions or other entities with similar functions and job descriptions. The University will determine and identify work units.


An employee who has been laid off does not receive preferential consideration for rehiring into another position that becomes available at the University; however, provided he/she possesses the requisite skills, experience and had a satisfactory work history in his/her prior positions with the University, an individual may be considered for reemployment. It is an individual’s responsibility to review open positions on the University’s job posting site at: www.shu.edu/offices/shu-job-opportunities.cfm

A part-time position with less than 25 hours is not benefits eligible. If a full-time position is restructured to a part-time position with less than 25 hours in an approved layoff plan, however, the affected employee will be eligible to continue health benefits for a period of time in accordance with the University’s Severance and Release Policy. If an affected employee declines to accept the part-time position, he/she will be laid-off and is eligible for severance benefits under the University’s Layoff Policy. An affected employee may also work in the part-time position for a probationary period of 30 days while remaining eligible for continuation of health benefits and layoff.

CRITERIA
The following criteria apply in making layoff decisions:

  1. The first and most important criterion is the operational needs of the University in fulfilling its mission.
  2. Second, is the work history of an employee. Decisions to layoff an employee or to fill a position subject to a Staff Reduction or a Restructured or Reorganized Position should be based on job qualifications skill sets, the competencies for the position, demonstrated ability, performance and/or productivity (including attendance). The candidates’ disciplinary records may also be considered.  
  3. The third and final criterion is the employee’s length of service or seniority. In instances in which no meaningful distinctions between the candidates is apparent, seniority generally should be used as the deciding factor.

The first and second factors should be given more weight than the third factor.  

For union employees, seniority is the only criteria that may be considered in identifying employees for a layoff.  

PROCEDURES
The provost, executive vice president for administration and the divisional vice presidents (“responsible officers”) are authorized and responsible for identifying employees for layoff.

All anticipated layoffs must be reviewed, in advance, by the associate vice president for Human Resources (“HR”). The review must occur before any proposed layoff is announced or implemented.

In planning for a layoff, the responsible officer must complete three steps: (1) preparing for a layoff, (2) completing and submitting a layoff plan and (3) implementing the layoff plan. The required forms and procedures governing each of these steps are available to responsible officers here »

Affected employees will be provided with written notification of a layoff prepared by the Department of Human Resources. The notification will include the reason for the layoff and the effective date of the layoff as well as any other pertinent information.

RESOURCES
The following are some of the most frequently referenced sites that contain information that employees may find useful in transitioning out of the University. The Department of Human Resources is available to assist with any questions employees may have and may be contacted at the website below or by phone at 973-761-9177.

Human Resources

www.shu.edu/offices/human-resources-index.cfm

Seton Hall Employee assistance program
To access the EAP, please call 877-622-4327 or online at
www.cignabehavioral.com. Employee ID: setonhall

Retirement information

www.tiaacref.org

NJ Unemployment information
lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/ui/ui_index.html

NJ Job Seeker information
lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wnjpin/findjob/findjobindex.html

Union employees should contact their respective unions for information regarding health and pension benefits provided through their union.

INTERPRETATION
Responsibility for the interpretation and administration of this policy resides solely with the Department of Human Resources. The University reserves the right to amend this policy at any time.



This policy was approved by Monsignor Robert Sheeran, President, upon the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on April 15, 2010

Effective date of this policy is April 15, 2010


Effective Date

April 15, 2010

 
 
Contact Us

Department of Human Resources
(973) 761-9177
Fax (973) 761-9007
humanres@shu.edu
Martin House

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