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Position Discontinuation and Severance

Policy Number: HR-64
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: May 2013
Responsible Officer: Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff

PURPOSE

This policy was established to identify involuntary separation circumstances and to provide guidelines under which severance might be granted.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all Drexel University College of Medicine Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.

This policy does not apply in the following situations:

  1. To Professional Staff Members who are still in their introductory period on the date of separation.
  2. To Professional Staff Members classified as temporary, casual, or per diem.
  3. To contract (or term employees) holding agreements with a specific end date.
  4. To Professional Staff Members who occupy positions funded in whole or in part by grants, contracts or any other sources of external funding.
  5. In case of resignation, quit without notice, job abandonment, medical necessity, retirement, and involuntary separation due to unsatisfactory performance or misconduct.
  6. To a Professional Staff Member whose job has changed as the result of a personnel reorganization without a decrease in salary.
  7. Where a Professional Staff Member has been provided notice by Drexel University College of Medicine that his/her position will be discontinued on a future date and is determined by Drexel University College of Medicine to have engaged in unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or other violation of Drexel University College of Medicine policies during the notice period.
  8. To a Professional Staff Member who is offered a new position within Drexel University College of Medicine, Drexel University, or a parent, subsidiary or affiliate without a break in employment and without a decrease in salary by that organization.
  9. Where a Professional Staff Member's position is eliminated because (1) the Professional Staff Member's functional responsibilities will be transferred to, assumed by or provided through another organization and (2) the Professional Staff Member is offered a substantially equivalent position (without a break in employment and without a decrease in salary) by that organization

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff is the Drexel University College of Medicine official responsible for the administration of this policy.

POLICY

While Drexel University College of Medicine strives continuously to provide a stable and rewarding work environment, conditions require that it have flexibility for responding to changing financial conditions and organizational efficiencies. In doing so, it may be necessary on occasion to reorganize, enlarge, or reduce the personnel complement in some units.

Please note: Nothing contained in this policy is intended to alter the at-will employment relationship between Drexel University College of Medicine and its Professional Staff Members or to create legally enforceable contractual rights.

DEFINITIONS

Full-time Professional Staff Member is a Professional Staff Member who is regularly scheduled to work 40 hours per week.

Part-time Professional Staff Member is a Professional Staff Member who is regularly scheduled to work at least 20 but fewer than 40 hours per week.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University College of Medicine, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the FLSA and/or applicable state law.

PROCEDURES

  1. In preparing to execute a reorganization and/or professional staff reduction plan, the supervisor of an affected Professional Staff Member  should consult with the Human Resources Department to receive assistance with the EEO matters and severance determination and processing. Human Resource consultants will also assist with communications with the person(s) to be separated and remaining professional staff.
  2. The supervisor will communicate privately and in person with the Professional Staff Member who is to be separated, providing a rationale for the reduction in positions to the extent practical, and describe the procedure for separation. The supervisor may request that a consultant from Human Resources attend the meeting. Normally, the Professional Staff Member ends active employment on the day of notice. However, by mutual consent, the supervisor and Professional Staff Member may decide that active employment will continue through a certain date or contingency, in which case the Professional Staff Member's severance is paid at the end of active employment.
  3. An agreement confirming the separation and the severance arrangements will be prepared by the Office of General Counsel.
  4. Human Resources will consult with the separated Professional Staff Member on opportunities to continue benefits (through COBRA) and other programs offered by Drexel University College of Medicine.
  5. Human Resources will also provide assistance in reviewing other employment opportunities within Drexel University College of Medicine and information regarding accessing unemployment benefits.

DETERMINING SEVERANCE PAY FOR POSITION DISCONTINUATION

After a Professional Staff Member executes a separation agreement in a form satisfactory to Drexel University College of Medicine in which the Professional Staff Member releases Drexel University College of Medicine, its officers, and Professional Staff Members from all claims arising from her/his employment by Drexel University College of Medicine or the separation of her/his employment, Drexel University College of Medicine will provide a severance payment according to length of service as a Full-time Professional Staff Member. (Length of service is adjusted hire date as recorded in Human Resource Information System.)

For Part-time Professional Staff Members, the amount of severance payments will be adjusted on a pro rata basis.

Length of Service

 

Severance

 

End of Introductory Period to 1 year

 

2 weeks salary

 

1 year, but less than 2

 

1 month salary

 

2 years, but less than 3

 

2 months salary

 

3 years, but less than 4

 

3 months salary

 

4 years, but less than 5

 

4 months salary

 

5 years+

 

5 months salary

 

The following provision applies to any Professional Staff Member who has been given notice that his/her position will be discontinued. In order for the Professional Staff Member to receive a severance payment under this policy, the Professional Staff Member must continue, throughout the period of notice, to demonstrate satisfactory performance, conduct and adherence to Drexel University College of Medicine policies, including the Policy on Attendance.

SPECIAL PAYMENT RULES FOR TRANSFERS

When an affected employee is offered, but refuses another position under Paragraph II. I or Paragraph II J, above, and the offered position has a salary equivalent to or greater than the discontinued position, no severance will be paid under this Policy.

When an affected employee is offered and accepts another position with Drexel University, Drexel University College of Medicine, or a parent, subsidiary or affiliate, as described in Paragraph II. I or Paragraph II J, above, without a break in service, and the offered position has a salary that is less than the discontinued position, the Drexel University College of Medicine will make a one-time payment, in lieu of a severance payment under this Policy, which will be based on the difference between the annual salary for the discontinued position and the annual salary for the offered position. This payment will be made in a lump sum amount, after the employee’s execution of a release agreement in a form satisfactory to Drexel University College of Medicine.

Employees who, after a position discontinuation, receive an offer and accept a transfer to a position with Drexel University, Drexel University College of Medicine, or a parent, subsidiary or affiliate, are subject to a new Introductory Period unless the Introductory Period is waived by the new supervisor. If the employee is terminated from the new position during the Introductory Period, the employee is eligible to receive a portion of the severance payment he/she would have received from the discontinuation of the former position unless the termination is due to the employee’s misconduct or unsatisfactory performance, subject to the following sentence and the employee’s execution of a separation agreement as described in Paragraph III above.

The severance payment amount will be pro-rated to reflect the time worked in the new position; e.g., an employee who would have been entitled to five months salary from the discontinued position, who then works two months in the new position, would be eligible to receive three months as severance pay if the employee is terminated from the new position during the Introductory Period.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University College of Medicine at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.