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Position Discontinuation and Severance

Policy Number: HR-64
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: March 2017
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

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 eligible non-faculty Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit or who occupy positions funded in whole or in part by grants, contracts or any other sources of external funding.

This policy shall not be applicable including, but not limited to, the following situations:

  1. To Professional Staff Members who are still in their introductory period on the date of separation, classified as temporary, casual, or per diem or to contract Professional Staff Members holding agreements with a specific end date. In case of resignation, job abandonment, leave due to a medical necessity, retirement, and involuntary separation other than position discontinuation including, but not limited to, circumstances covered under termination policy.
  2. To a Professional Staff Member whose job has changed as the result of a personnel reorganization but is in a Comparable Position, with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
  3. Where a Professional Staff Member has been provided notice by the University that his/her position will be discontinued on a future date and is determined by the University to have engaged in unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or other violation of University policies during the notice period.
  4. To a Professional Staff Member who is offered a new Comparable Position within Drexel University, including any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, prior to the effective date of separation. 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 Comparable Position prior to the effective date of separation.

IMPLEMENTATION

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

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

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

POLICY

While Drexel University 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.

DEFINITIONS

Adjusted Service Dateis the effective date of most recent benefit eligible position.

Comparable Position is a position with a) job location that is within 50 miles of the Professional Staff Member’s existing job site and b) a total target salary of 90% or more of the Professional Staff Member’s current salary.

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 Memberis 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.

PROCEDURES

SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. In preparing to execute a reorganization and/or professional staff reduction plan, the supervisor with potential position eliminations must consult with the Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) to receive assistance with the severance determination and processing. If positions are being eliminated that are held by more than one person but not all of the positions are to be eliminated, selection for reduction in force shall be based on skill and ability to perform the job. If two or more employees have equal skill and ability, performance evaluations, prior disciplinary actions and seniority shall be used to determine the order of the layoff.
  2. The supervisor will collaborate with the HRBP to complete the Request for Position Elimination Form.
  3. The supervisor will communicate privately and in person with each Professional Staff Member who is to be separated. The supervisor must ensure that the HRBP is present during the meeting.

HUMAN RESOURCES RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The HRBP will consult with the supervisor to provide guidance regarding severance determination, potential EEO matters and severance processing.
  2. The HRBP will work in conjunction with The Office of General Counsel to obtain final approval for position eliminations.
  3. The HRBP will attend the meeting to notify affected Professional Staff Member. The HRBP describes the procedure for separation and reviews the separation agreement with the employee.
  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.
  5. Human Resources will also provide assistance in reviewing other employment opportunities within Drexel University, connecting the professional staff member without placement services, if available, and information regarding accessing unemployment benefits.

DETERMINING SEVERANCE PAY FOR POSITION DISCONTINUATION

After a Professional Staff Member executes the separation agreement provided by Drexel University, in which the Professional Staff Member releases the University, its officers, and Professional Staff Members from all claims arising from her/his employment by the University or the separation of her/his employment, the University will provide a lump-sum severance payment according to the adjusted length of service as a Professional Staff Member.

 
 
 
 

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

 

 

 

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 if any, to demonstrate satisfactory performance, conduct and adherence to University policies, including, but not limited to, the Policy on Attendance.

All benefits will be discontinued at the end of the month of the effective date of the position elimination. Accrued vacation time and sick time, as applicable, will be paid out in accordance with Drexel policies.

ACCEPTANCE OF ANOTHER POSITION WITHIN DREXEL UNIVERSITY

  1. If the Professional Staff Member accepts a Comparable Position within Drexel University, including any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, before the effective date of separation, he/she will no longer be eligible for severance pay and the separation agreement shall be null and void.
  2. If the Professional Staff Member is offered a Comparable Position within Drexel University, including subsidiaries or affiliates, after the separation date, but before the expiration of the equivalent time period of the severance pay, the offer to the Professional Staff Member is contingent upon the Professional Staff Member repaying the remainder of the severance pay from the start date of the new position before the start date [or by such date as may be agreed by the parties, but in no event longer than the introductory period of 90 days from start date]. Continued employment is contingent upon full repayment of that amount. In no event shall the amount of severance pay be reduced to less than two (2) weeks.

    Example: A Professional Staff Member receives five (5) months of severance pay due to a position elimination effective September 1. The Professional Staff Member is offered a position by Drexel University effective November 1. The new position is comparable in job duties and salary. The Professional Staff Member must repay three (3) months of severance pay before the start date {or by such date as may be agreed by the parties, but in no event longer than the introductory period of 90 days from start date]. Continued employment is contingent upon full repayment of that amount.

    A professional staff member who is laid off shall have no right to recall, but should the employee return to work within 90 days from the date of layoff, no loss of seniority will result. After an absence of 90 days, the Professional Staff Member will return to Drexel as a new Professional Staff Member.

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 non-tenured Faculty or Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any non-tenured Faculty or Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.