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Termination of Employment

Policy Number: HR-48
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: March 2013
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer and the Office of Equality, Disability, and Training

PURPOSE

This policy provides guidelines for termination of employment from Drexel University and is intended to ensure that the University fulfills its responsibilities in relation to all termination decisions.

 

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible non-faculty Professional Staff Members, excluding those Professional Staff Members who are affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

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

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer is the Drexel University official responsible for the administration of this policy.

 

POLICY

Drexel University has established a process by which the relationship between the University and the Professional Staff Member is terminated.

 

DEFINITIONS

Employment At Will refers to the Professional Staff Member’s right to terminate his or her employment relationship with the University at any time and for any reason (or for no reason at all), and the right of Drexel University to terminate the employment of any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.

Involuntary Termination is the termination of the employment relationship between the University and a Professional Staff Member resulting from the decision of the University.

Job Abandonment refers to the Voluntary Termination of the employment relationship when a Professional Staff Member who is not on authorized leave fails to show up to work or fails to contact his or her supervisor for three working days.

Layoff refers to Involuntary Termination that typically (although not exclusively) occurs due to lack of work, lack of funds, reorganization, elimination of position, reduction in force or grant expiration.

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

Termination is the cessation of the employment relationship between the University and the Professional Staff Member, regardless of the reason.

Voluntary Termination is the termination of the employment relationship resulting from the voluntary decision of the Professional Staff Member to resign from the employment of the University, and includes but is not limited to resignation, inability or failure to return from an authorized leave of absence, Job Abandonment and retirement.

 

PROCEDURES

Any termination of the employment relationship, whether voluntary or involuntary, must be treated in a confidential, professional manner by all concerned.  The Department of Human Resources will share this information with others in the University as deemed necessary to complete the termination process and to resolve any issues relating to the termination.

  1. Voluntary Termination
    1. A Professional Staff Member who voluntarily terminates the employment relationship is expected to provide his or her supervisor with adequate written notice, and preferably no less than two weeks in advance, regardless of job classification.
    2. A Professional Staff Member who voluntarily terminates the employment relationship is expected to work the entire notice period unless approved by the immediate supervisor.
    3. The Professional Staff Member must work the last day of their notice period which cannot be a University Holiday or other approved leave.
    4. Voluntarily terminated Professional Staff Members who are rehired are subject to the University’s policy on Rehire and Reinstatement.
  2. Involuntary Termination
    1. Although Involuntary Terminations generally include prior notice to the affected Professional Staff Member, the University reserves the right to bypass any notice, including the steps outlined in the Performance Improvement Process Policy, as it deems necessary in light of the specific circumstances.
    2. In the event of gross misconduct by a Professional Staff Member, the Professional Staff Member could be placed on Investigation and Administrative Leave (with or without pay). Involuntary Termination may occur without prior notice or application of the Performance Improvement process.  Gross misconduct may include, but is not limited to, the following:
      1. Violation of any law, policy, regulation, or practice, including those related to the Code of Conduct;
      2. Unlawful or improper conduct while on work time;
      3. Conviction of a crime which may call into question the Faculty or Professional Staff Member’s ability to properly carry out the responsibilities of his/her position;
      4. Violence or the threat of violence in the workplace;
      5. Theft or fraud;
      6. Lying or intentionally withholding information that should be disclosed;
      7. Insubordination or refusal to perform work;
      8. Serious negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongdoing;
      9. Acts of discrimination or retaliation; and/or
      10. Demonstrated lack of respect for others.
    3. The list set forth above is not exhaustive. Gross misconduct may require the supervisor to take adverse employment action, including but not limited to, any action outlined in the Performance Improvement Process Policy (which includes termination).
    4. A supervisor contemplating involuntary termination of a Professional Staff Member must review the matter with the next level of management and their HR Partner prior to making a final determination.
    5. The supervisor is responsible for compiling complete and accurate documentation regarding any Involuntary Termination, regardless of the basis, as outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy.
    6. The HR Partner is responsible for conducting the termination meeting with the affected Professional Staff Member, and for fully documenting the discussion. 
    7. Drexel University will not re-employ anyone who has been involuntarily terminated from employment at the University for gross misconduct.
  3. Separation Processing
    1. All requests for references must be referred to Human Resources. Drexel University and its representatives may only disclose the position(s) held and dates of employment of individuals about whom a reference is requested.
    2. The immediate supervisor is responsible for completing the Separation Checklist, prior to the departure of the terminating Professional Staff Member, in order to ensure the collection of all University property, identification card, etc., and the completion of other measures necessary to protect the University during the separation.
    3. The immediate supervisor is responsible for promptly completing a Personnel Action Form. The Personnel Action Form, and the letter of resignation from the terminating Professional Staff Member, must be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources during the pay period in which the termination occurs.
    4. A terminating Professional Staff Member will be invited to complete a voluntary online exit interview form, or may request an in-person exit interview with the HR Partner, in order to have the opportunity to provide feedback to the University about the employment experience.
  4. Benefits Upon Termination
    1. Benefits information related to continuation of medical, dental, and vision coverage as required by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), conversion options for life and disability insurance, and distributions from retirement account plans will be sent directly to the terminating Professional Staff Member's home address following the processing of the termination documents.
    2. Unused sick leave is not paid upon separation from employment, with the exception that Professional Staff Members retiring from the University at or after age sixty-five (65) will be paid for accrued but unused sick leave up to a maximum of thirty-five (35) days.
    3. Effective July 1, 2013, the maximum amount of accrued and unused vacation leave that will be paid out upon separation from employment is 200 hours.

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 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.