Revised Policy No. 628, Effective January 1, 1996
The Office of Human Resources has issued the following policy, which
supersedes that published Of Record on July 20, 1995. Note that...at the
end of the policy document, Human Resources has identified the changes
Position Discontinuation and Staff Transition
To maintain its integrity as a steward of public and private
resources, the University of Pennsylvania must ensure that its
administrative functions and academic programs are fiscally sound and
maximally efficient. Increasingly in the competitive, resource-
constrained environment of higher education, the University must make
difficult choices. Thus, from time to time, in order to respond readily
to changing demands, new opportunities for improvements, and increased
need to enhance the quality and efficiency of its programs, some staff
positions must be discontinued or transformed. This policy is designed
to provide for the orderly redeployment, when practical, of staff whose
positions are affected by such decisions to other available University
positions for which they are qualified, and for fair and consistent
treatment of those for whom replacement positions within the University
cannot be found.
This policy allows for the discontinuation of staff positions
resulting from a management decision that a reduction in the work force
is necessary or that work functions should be eliminated or changed.
Discontinuation under this policy does not include situations of
voluntary separation, including resignation, quit without notice,
medical necessity, and retirement. This policy should not be used
solely to address issues of unacceptable performance or misconduct.
These issues are covered under policies of the Division of Human
Resources regarding performance, conduct, and attendance.
This policy applies to regular full-time, regular part-time staff
members, and to staff members who are in appointments finalized before
January 1, 1996, which were made subject to continuation of funding from
external sources. This policy does not apply to staff members on term
appointments or to staff members who are still in their introductory
period. It does not apply to staff members in collective bargaining
units for whom terms of employment are governed by collective bargaining
agreements, or to staff designated Temporary Extra Person under Human
Resources Policy No. 114. It does not apply to a staff member with an
appointment, finalized January 1, 1996, or later, which is made
specifically (in writing) subject to continuation of funding from
external sources unless the staff member has ten years of continuous
service on the date of notice.
Nothing contained in this policy is intended to alter the at-will
employment relationship between the University and its staff employees
or to create legally enforceable contractual rights.
I. Responsibilities of Releasing Unit
The "releasing unit" is the organizational entity which makes a
decision under this policy to reduce the size of the staff work force.
The "releasing unit" includes not only the individual unit which is
discontinuing one or more staff positions, but also includes other areas
reporting to the same dean, vice president, or vice provost.
A. Transition Activities
Before a decision is made to eliminate a position, the
releasing unit should carefully assess its work and staffing needs and,
in consultation with the Division of Human Resources, should develop a
schedule of activities aimed at providing a smooth transition both for
staff members whose positions are discontinued and for those in the unit
whose jobs are affected by that change.
B. Selection of Positions for Discontinuation
Determination of positions to be discontinued will be made by
management of the releasing unit. When skills, abilities, performance,
and competence of staff members necessary to meet the current and
prospective operations requirements are deemed by the management to be
substantially equal, then length of continuous employment of staff
members with the University and the University's commitment to diversity
among its work force will be considered among the factors in selecting
positions for discontinuation.
Written notice will be provided to the staff member whose
position is to be discontinued at least 30 calendar days prior to the
expected separation date. In consultation with the Division of Human
Resources, management of the releasing unit should prepare a notice
letter, a copy of this policy, the Summary Plan Description: Position
Discontinuation and Staff Transition, and the agreement described in
Section IV.B. The supervisor or another member of management of the
releasing unit should meet with the staff member whose position is to be
discontinued to advise him/her of the decision and to respond to
questions and concerns. The period of notice will be no less than 30
calendar days, such period beginning with the date of delivery of the
written notice to the staff member and ending with the staff member's
last day of work.
D. Initiatives for Redeployment
The releasing unit, the Division of Human Resources and the
staff member whose position is being discontinued should try to identify
current and/or expected openings within the releasing unit. Under the
following circumstances, an open position within the releasing unit may
be made available as a transfer job opportunity without a competing
process: (1) the staff member whose position has been discontinued is
substantially qualified for the new position as determined by the hiring
officer and the Division of Human Resources; (2) in the judgment of the
hiring officer and the Division of Human Resources the new position
warrants a salary offer that is within 5% above or below the staff
member's salary at the time of notice; (3) the new position and
discontinued position are in the same exempt or non-exempt category as
defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act; and (4) the Affirmative Action
Office approves the offer.
The releasing unit should cooperate with the staff member in
providing reasonable released time to compete for position openings in
other units of the University.
If a transferred employee's performance does not meet
departmental standards during the first 90 calendar days in the new
position, the staff member may be placed on probation in accord with
the final remedial step of Human Resources Policy No. 621 (Performance
The releasing unit should provide to the staff member access to
outplacement services consistent with guidelines established by the
Division of Human Resources.
E. Financial Responsibilities of Releasing Unit
The releasing unit is responsible for payments to the staff
member through the periods of notice and pay continuation. Payments
shall include the following: (1) salary at the normal rate throughout
the period of notice, (2) compensation for unused and accrued vacation
credit, (3) pay continuation (where appropriate).
In those cases where the staff member receives and accepts a
job offer from an area outside the releasing unit, the releasing unit
will continue to be responsible for payments during the normal period of
pay continuation; however, during any part of the normal period of pay
continuation when the staff member is on the payroll of the receiving
unit, the releasing unit will pay any unpaid pay continuation, in
accordance with Section IV.B., to the receiving unit instead of to the
staff member. The releasing unit will pay the cost of outplacement
services, if any are provided.
II. Responsibilities of Receiving Unit
The "receiving unit" is an organizational entity reporting to a
dean, vice president, or vice provost, different from that of the
releasing unit, which accepts into a position a staff member whose
previous position has been discontinued. The receiving unit should
work with the releasing unit and the Division of Human Resources to
provide a smooth transition for the redeployed staff member. In some
cases, the receiving unit will receive into its own budget from the
releasing unit some or all of the pay continuation payments that would
have been paid to the staff member (see Section I.E). These payments may
be used to offset salary and/or training expense.
III. Responsibilities of Division of Human Resources
The Division of Human Resources is available for consultation
with the releasing unit during planning for transition and preparation
for notifying individuals of the discontinuation of their positions.
Human Resources will respond to inquiries regarding these procedures.
In addition, Human Resources will provide inplacement assistance,
designed to facilitate the smooth transition of staff whose positions
are being discontinued to other positions within the University for
which they are qualified, and will coordinate the University's
relationship with external providers of outplacement services for
transition of displaced staff to positions outside the University.
IV. Benefits of Staff Members Whose Positions are Discontinued
A staff member whose position is being discontinued may receive
the following benefits under this policy:
A. Access to Inplacement Assistance
Inplacement assistance is intended to facilitate the
transition of staff members to other positions within the University for
which they may be qualified. It is available to a staff member prior to
the separation date provided that he/she meets all the following
requirements: (1) the staff member has completed the introductory period
as described in Human Resources Policy No. 618; (2) the staff member has
a performance rating of "meets established requirements" or above, as
recorded in the last performance evaluation; if no performance
evaluation has been submitted during the twelve-month period prior to
notice, it will be presumed that the staff employee meets this
requirement except in cases where performance problems have otherwise
been documented; (3) the staff member has not refused the offer of a
transfer job opportunity, as defined in Section I.D., since notification
of discontinuation. A staff member who is eligible for inplacement
assistance and who chooses to participate, may receive such services
from the date he/she receives notice of the discontinuation of his/her
position through the last date of work.
B. Pay Continuation
After a staff member whose position is to be discontinued executes
an agreement in a form satisfactory to the University releasing the
University, its officers, and employees for all claims arising from the
separation from his/her employment, the University will provide pay
continuation payments according to the following schedule:
Length of Service* Pay Continuation
During Introductory Period None
End of Introductory Period
Up to Two Years 4 weeks' pay
Over 2 years Non-exempt (A-3) staff in grades
G4 - G13 and exempt (A-1) staff
in grades P1 - P8 are eligible
for 4 weeks' pay plus 1 week pay
for each full year of full-time
service or equivalent in excess
of two years, except that total
pay continuation will be no more
than 52 weeks.
Exempt (A-1) staff in grades
P12, blank, and ungraded are
eligible for 4 weeks'pay plus
weeks pay for each full year of
full-time service or equivalent
in excess of two years, except
that total pay continuation
will be no more than 52 weeks.
* Length of service is counted from the last date of hire until
Pay continuation will begin on the date of the revocation period for a
valid release or the separation date, whichever is later.
C. Benefits Continuation
Consistent with rules of eligibility and laws governing the
University's benefits programs, staff members are subject to the
following rules regarding benefits continuation:
A staff member who is notified of a discontinuation will receive
full benefits until the date of separation.
By executing the appropriate release, a former staff member who has
been separated under this policy without a transfer job opportunity and
is receiving pay continuation payments is eligible for benefits
continuation during the period of pay continuation, as described in
Section IV.B., for the following benefits: medical, dental, and tuition
assistance* with continuation by the University of its normal share of
the cost. All other benefits, including disability, life insurance, and
retirement, will be discontinued on the date of separation. (*Tuition
assistance is available only to a staff member who is participating in
the tuition scholarship or direct grant program at the time of notice of
discontinuation. Such assistance terminates as of the end of the
semester in which notice of separation is given.)
Upon separation and within prescribed time periods afterwards, the
former staff member may be allowed to continue benefits at his/her
expense under federal regulations implementing the Consolidated Omnibus
Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA).
Such coverage may be available for eligible dependents, as well.
D. Outplacement Assistance
An eligible staff member who has received notice of
discontinuation should be offered outplacement services consistent with
guidelines established by the Division of Human Resources during the
period of notice and pay continuation. Outplacement assistance is not
available to a staff member who has rejected inplacement assistance or a
transfer job opportunity, as defined in Section I.D.
V. Rehire of Former Staff Member
A staff member who has not found employment at the University by
the date of separation will be considered in the future for new
employment opportunities at the University or any of its subsidiaries
or components, including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania,
in the same manner as any other external applicant. A former staff
member who is rehired must complete a new introductory period for the
If a former staff member is rehired by the University the rehire
date will be the first day of reemployment. (Bridging of service
periods may occur in accord with Human Resources Policy No. 410.) Any
pay continuation to the staff member will cease as of the first day
worked in the new position at the University or any of its subsidiaries
or components, including the Hospital of the University of
VI. Grievability of Provisions of This Policy
Administration of this policy, including a decision by the
releasing unit to reduce the size of the work force, selection of
particular positions for discontinuation, and the designation of
individuals for separation from the unit or redeployment, are not
matters subject to a grievance.
Summary of Changes in this Revised Policy
The revised Position Discontinuation and Staff Transition Policy
reflects the following changes.
Applicability: The policy does apply to staff members who are in
appointments finalized before January 1, 1996, which were made subject
to continuation of funding from external sources.
The policy does not apply to a staff member with an appointment,
finalized January 1, 1996, or later, which is made specifically (in
writing) subject to continuation of funding from external sources unless
the staff member has ten years of continuous service on the date of
IV. Benefits of Staff Members Whose Positions Are
Section B. Pay Continuation: For purposes of pay
continuation, length of service is counted from the last date of hire
until separation date.
Section C. Benefits Continuation: Tuition assistance is
available only to a staff member who is participating in the tuition
scholarship or direct grant program at the time of notice of
Such assistance terminates as of the end of the semester in
which notice of separation is given.
Section D. Outplacement Assistance: Outplacement assistance
is not available to a staff member who has rejected inplacement
assistance or a transfer job opportunity, as defined in Section I.D.
V. Rehire of Former Staff Member
A staff member who has not found employment at the University by
the date of separation will be considered in the future for new
employment opportunities at the University or any of its subsidiaries or
components, including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in
the same manner as any other external applicant.
Any pay continuation to the staff member will cease as of the
first day worked in the new position at the University or any of its
subsidiaries or components, including the Hospital of the University of
Tuesday, December 5, 1995
Volume 42 Number 14
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