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Home : Human Resources : Departure

Layoff Severance Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff Employees

Effective Date: September 2002
Last Update: March 2010
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Human Resources
Policy Owner:
  • Director, Retirement Programs
  • Manager, Benefit Services
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

The Layoff Severance Program is an elective benefit program provided to civil service and union-represented staff employees who have received a written layoff notice and who meet all the eligibility requirements as described.

ELIGIBILITY
Requirements

To be eligible for the Layoff Severance Program, civil service or union-represented staff employees must receive the layoff notice while holding a continuous appointment of 75 percent time or greater with an appointment term of nine months or longer. In addition, employees must actively work their scheduled appointment hours through the last day of employment. Employee must be actively at work on the last day of employment to be eligible for the Program.

Exclusions

In addition to not meeting the specific eligibility requirements, employees are ineligible for participation if they are:

  • not actively at work on the last day of employment;
  • working in a temporary appointment, unless the employee was transferred from a continuing appointment to a temporary one within the same seniority unit and without a break in service;
  • working in an hourly appointment;
  • opting to participate in another University exit program, voluntary or involuntary, to which the University contributes or has contributed monies; or
  • terminated for cause.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

Benefits of this program are based on continuous years of service with the University. One full year of service is credited for each anniversary from the employee's most recent hire date through the last day of employment. This number is adjusted for unpaid leaves of absence. If the employee worked less than 75 percent time (1,560 hours) in any year, that year will not be credited. This is not considered a break in service.

Under the program, a lump-sum payment is made to the employee equal to one week of pay per full year of continuous University service. Payment covers a maximum of 52 weeks of pay. One week of pay is equal to the employee's regular hourly rate times the number of hours per week (maximum of 40) the employee was regularly scheduled to work as of the last day of employment. This payment is subject to payroll taxes. Severance pay of this type does affect unemployment benefits. The employee is instructed to contact a Minnesota WorkForce Center for more information regarding unemployment compensation.

Medical and/or dental coverage may be continued for up to eighteen months following termination of employment, but not after the last day of the month in which the employee, spouse, or dependents becomes covered under another group medical plan that has no limitations or exclusions with respect to any pre-existing conditions of the employee or, for family coverage, the employee's dependents. If the employee is a federal employee with federal health benefits, this continued medical and dental coverage is not available through the University. If the employee becomes eligible for Medicare before or during this subsidized period, Medicare then becomes primary with the UPlan secondary for this individual. If a spouse or registered same-sex domestic partner is age 65 or older, application must be made for Medicare Part B. Upon termination of employee's employment, Medicare then becomes primary with the UPlan secondary for this individual.

The University will contribute toward the cost of the employee's medical and/or dental coverage for the following periods:

Full Years of Continuous Service Period of University Contributions
less than 3 years University will NOT contribute
3 through 4 years University will contribute for up to 6 months
5 through 9 years University will contribute for up to 12 months
10 years and over University will contribute for up to 18 months

The University's contribution for this coverage will be the same as if the employee had remained employed. If the above subsidy is for less than 18 months, coverage may be continued at the employee's own expense for the balance of up to 18 months; Employee Benefits will bill the employee directly for the unsubsidized months.

Dependent coverage may be added at the expense of the employee while covered by this program either during open enrollment time or if there is a change in the employee's family status. If medical and/or other coverages are canceled or dropped for any reason during the time that the University is subsidizing the coverages, including, but not limited to, cases where employees do not make payments towards their required contributions for coverages, then the University will not be responsible for any further compensation to or on behalf of the employee in connection with these coverages.

NOTE: The continuation of medical and dental coverage available under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) runs concurrently with the benefits extended under this program. See Appendix: Benefits Information Supplement, for further information on COBRA.

The University reserves the right to alter the terms of or eliminate this program.

PROGRAM PARTICIPATION

In order to obtain the Layoff Severance Program, laid off civil service or union-represented staff employees must apply for this program and leave University employment by the last day of their employment.

In exchange for participating in this program, the employee waives layoff rights*, reinstatement rights if rehired, and all other claims against the University. The employee's area unemployment office should be contacted for information regarding eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits. As part of this program, the employee also agrees to not reapply for or be rehired for University employment for a period equal to the number of weeks of severance paid, beginning on the first day of non-employment.

Individuals submitting incorrect, false or fraudulent information will be subjected to disciplinary action including revocation of the program and termination of employment, if still employed.

*Layoff rights include bumping rights, priority for rehire, Regents Scholarship eligibility, and the University's six-month health care extended benefits which is normally available to employees with three or more years of continuous service.

REASON FOR POLICY

The University chooses to recognize years of service to the University by eligible civil service and union-represented staff employees who receive a written notice of layoff and who elect the program set forth in this policy.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

See Appendices for packet of supporting Forms/Instructions.

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Employee Benefits – For questions on how the program works or to discuss personal situations
  • Employee Benefits Service Center
612-624-9090 or
800-756-2363, option 2
 
General Information or Procedural Assistance
  • Primary: Responsible administrator/supervisor
  • Secondary: Local campus, college, or administrative unit HR administrator
  • Other (as needed): Office of Human Resources specialist or consultant
Unemployment Insurance
  • Minnesota Workforce Center
 
Document Processing
  • HRMS Key Contact
  • Office of Human Resources Call Center

DEFINITIONS

Actively at Work
Employees must be physically present, working, and able to work the full scheduled appointment hours for the foreseeable future. They must not be on any form of leave of absence, including, but not limited to, vacation, personal leave, FMLA, or sick leave.
Base Pay
Appointment salary which includes augmentation (if continuous). A temporary augmentation, shift differential, lump sum payments, bonuses, etc., are not considered base pay.
Continuous Service
Service commencing on the employee's most recent date of hire with the University of Minnesota in an appointment of 75 percent or greater, with an appointment term of nine months or more, and ending on the employee's last day of employment. The employee must be in a continuous appointment (or temporary one provided the employee transferred to a temporary appointment within their seniority unit from a continuing appointment without a break in service). This period is non-continuous if it is broken by a voluntary termination of employment - no matter how brief. Periods of leave of absence, disability, part-time service, or involuntary layoff (if less than two years) would bridge periods of continuous service. Such permitted periods in which eligible service was not performed, however, do not count toward the number of years of service credited under the plan.

To obtain a year of continuous service, the employee must work at least 1,560 hours (i.e., an employee on a 12-month appointment could take a 3-month leave of absence and the year would still count, while an employee on a 9-month appointment taking the same 3-month leave of absence would lose credit for that year). If the employee has at least 1,560 hours in the final year, they must be employed on the anniversary date to count as a year of service.

A student appointment in 2xxx or any of the 95xx classifications will not be credited and will be considered a break in service. Employment prior to any appointments in the 2xxx or 95xx classifications, is not credited. Service credit would begin with the resumption of non-student, non-professionals-in-training employment.

If an employee changes appointments between one employee category to another (e.g., P&A to Civil Service), the service will be considered continuous as long as there is no break longer than two pay periods.

Year of Service
A 12-month period in which the employee worked at least 1,560 hours in an appointment term of nine months or more and in an appointment of 75 percent time or greater. One full year of service is credited for each anniversary from the employee's most recent hire date through the last day of employment.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Division/Department
  • Directs employee receiving a layoff notice to this policy, procedure, and appendices.
  • Manages the layoff process for the employee.
  • Enters appropriate data into the Human Resource Management System (HRMS).
Employee
  • Provides timely notice to the division/department of the choice to accept the terms of Layoff Severance Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff Employees.
  • Follows appropriate procedures.
  • Contacts area unemployment office for more information as desired.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
March 2010 - Clarification was made to the requirement that the employee must be actively at work on the last day of employment.
Amended:
May 2008 - Policy converted to the new University-wide format for administrative policies. Title was changed to Layoff Severance Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff Employees, formerly Civil Service and Represented Bargaining Unit Staff Layoff Severance Program.
Amended:
June 2005 - (1) Rule of 75 elimination effective July 1, 2005 for AFSCME Unit 6 members;
(2) The Civil Service Staff Layoff Severance Program and Bargaining Unit Staff Layoff Severance Program were combined into the Civil Service and Represented Bargaining Unit Staff Layoff Program.
Amended:
February 2003
Amended:
April 2003 - (1) Minor edits to clarify language.
(2) Rule of 75 elimination effective April 30, 2003 for civil service staff; effective May 8, 2003 for IBEW Local 292 members; and Effective June 3, 2003 for AFSCME Unit 7 members whereby if the sum of the employee's full years of continuous University service and age on the last day of employment was 75 or greater, then the University medical and/or dental coverage was continued until the last day of the month in which the employee became eligible for Medicare of other group coverage, whichever came first;
(3) eligibility criteria added requiring (a) an appointment term of nine months or greater on the issue date of the layoff notice and (b) employment through the effective date of layoff;
(4) exclusion added making employees on hourly appointments ineligible for the program;
(5) requirement added whereby the employee, in exchange for participating in program, agrees to not reapply for or be rehired for University employment for a period equal to the number of weeks of severance pay received; and
Adopted:
September 2002 - The Civil Service and Bargaining Unit Staff Layoff Program was divided into two separate documents, Civil Service Staff Layoff Severance Program and Bargaining Unit Staff Layoff Severance Program.
Amended:
March 1995, May 1994, and March 1994
Adopted:
August 1993 - U of MN Layoff/Non-Renewal Program for Civil Service and Professional and Administrative Employees.
Amended:
March 1993, August 1992, and November 1991
Adopted:
August 1991 - Voluntary Retirement/Health Benefits Program; Termination/Severance Program
Effective:
September 2002

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Last modified on October 2, 2013