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Termination of Employment

Policy Number: HR-48
Effective Date: January 2017
Responsible Officer: President of Drexel University Online

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

This policy applies to all eligible Professional Staff Members.

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

The Senior Vice President and President of Drexel University Online is the Drexel University Online official responsible for the administration of this policy.

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


Employment At Will refers to the Professional Staff Member's right to terminate his or her employment relationship with DUO at any time and for any reason (or for no reason at all), and the right of DUO 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 DUO and a Professional Staff Member resulting from the decision of DUO.

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 DUO, 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 DUO 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 DUO, and includes but is not limited to resignation, inability or failure to return from an authorized leave of absence, Job Abandonment and retirement.


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 DUO 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 DUO Holiday or other approved leave.
    4. Voluntarily terminated Professional Staff Members who are rehired are subject to DUO's policy on Rehire and Reinstatement.
  2. Involuntary Termination
    1. Although Involuntary Terminations generally include prior notice to the affected Professional Staff Member, DUO 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 Business 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 Business Partner is responsible for obtaining appropriate documentation and representing to the Vice President of Human Resources (or designee) for a final decision.
    7. Once the VP of HR (or designee) has approved the termination, the HR Business Partner will notify Office of General Counsel to assess the level of risk associated with the termination.
    8. The HR Business Partner then schedules a meeting with the supervisor to conduct the termination with the Professional Staff Member.
    9. Drexel University Online will not re-employ anyone who has been involuntarily terminated from employment at DUO for gross misconduct.
  3. Separation Processing
    1. All requests for references must be referred to Human Resources. Drexel University Online 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 Manager Separation Checklist [PDF], prior to the departure of the terminating Professional Staff Member, in order to ensure the collection of all Drexel University Online property, identification card, etc., and the completion of other measures necessary to protect DUO during the separation.
    3. The Professional Staff Member is responsible for completing the Employee Separation Checklist [PDF] to ensure they are separating from DUO according to policy.
    4. Supervisors are responsible for collecting ID cards, both API and the Dragon Card, on the employees last day of work and required to be submitted to Human Resources within 1 business day, accompanied by the Manager Separation Checklist. Human Resources will submit ID's to appropriate offices for deactivation.
    5. Human Resources 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 submitted to the Department of Human Resources during the pay period in which the termination occurs.
    6. The Supervisor is responsible for sending the disable accounts email for voluntary terminations. The HR Business Partner is responsible for sending the disable accounts email for involuntary terminations.
    7. A separating Professional Staff Member will be invited to complete a voluntary online exit interview survey, or may request an in-person exit interview with the HR Business Partner, in order to have the opportunity to provide feedback to DUO 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 accrual is not paid upon separation from employment.
    3. Unused vacation accrual (up to 100 hours) is paid out upon separation from employment.


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 Online 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.