3503 PR.03 Staff Layoffs

Revision Date: 
June 4, 2021


1.      Applicable Policies

2.      Determining Necessity for Layoff

3.      Review by Human Resources

4.      Notifying Employee of Layoff

5.      Updating Employee Record

6.      Accounting for Terminal Vacation Pay

7.      Completing Tasks on Termination Checklist

8.      Record Retention

1. Applicable Policies

The policies governing the layoff of managerial and professional (“M&P”) staff and of clerical and technical (“C&T”) staff excluded from the bargaining unit are contained in the Staff Workplace Policies, Layoff section.  This section explains the causes of layoffs; eligibility for layoff status; notification of layoff status; continuation of salary, benefits, and retirement benefits during layoff; and training and counseling during layoff.

Contractual obligations governing the layoff of clerical and technical employees included in the bargaining unit are contained in the Bargaining Agreement with Local 34.  Contractual obligations governing the layoff of service and maintenance employees are contained in the Bargaining Agreement with Local 35.

2. Determining Necessity for Layoff

Before seeking Human Resources (“HR”) approval for the layoff of an employee, the employee’s manager and business office should:

  • make certain there is no vacant position within the department that would be appropriate for the employee; 
  • consider alternatives to layoff; and
  • consult with other department administrators to confirm the necessity of layoff.

Once these determinations are made, the department requests approval from HR for the layoff.

3. Review by Human Resources

HR approval is required for all layoffs, including employees in fixed-duration positions.  The HR Generalist obtains a clear understanding of the operational unit, its functions, and its current and future operational requirements.  The HR Generalist will contact the employee’s manager to obtain additional information, if needed.

Based on a thorough analysis of the organizational changes, the HR Generalist reviews the request and, if applicable, may make recommendations for changes.  If the layoff involves a Local 34 or Local 35 bargaining unit employee, the HR Generalist advises the manager on all contractual obligations.  Refer to the Bargaining Agreement with Local 34 and Bargaining Agreement with Local 35 for specific details.

The HR Generalist notifies the manager and the business office whether the layoff has been approved or denied.  If approved, the HR Generalist provides the employee’s manager with the layoff notification template letter and guides the manager through the layoff process. 

4. Notifying Employee of Layoff

Meeting with Employee

Prior to written notification, the manager meets with the employee to explain the circumstances of the layoff and answer any questions the employee may have.  While this meeting is strongly recommended for non-union employees, it is required for bargaining unit employees.  For bargaining unit employees, the union representative should be invited to the meeting.

The HR Generalist will meet with the employee to review benefits and refer the employee to a Recruiter for advice and counseling regarding job opportunities.

Written Communication

The manager must inform the employee of the layoff in writing at least 90 days prior to the effective date of the layoff.  The HR Generalist will provide a sample letter to the manager.

5. Updating Employee Record

For a C&T employee, HR obtains a signed option form from the employee indicating which of the following options is selected:

  • Salary continuation, in which the laid-off employee will receive one week’s salary each week for each completed year of continuous service as of the layoff date as long as the layoff continues.  (See Staff Workplace Policies, Salary Continuation During Layoff);
  • Interim Employment Pool (“IEP”), where clerical and technical staff can receive temporary work assignments; or
  • Training Grant.

All M&P employees receive the salary continuation option. 

For both M&Ps and excluded C&Ts, the Employee Relations Support Specialist initiates the severance worksheet in Workday and sends it to the HR Generalist for approval.  If the HR Generalist approves, s/he initiates the termination process in the Workday system.  For detailed instructions on terminating an employee in the Workday system, see the Workday@Yale Training Guide Termination of Employees and Contingent Workers.

It is important for the business office to complete the Workday Termination business process because it accomplishes the following:

  • cuts off regular payroll processing after the last paycheck and begins the salary continuation payments;
  • automatically sends an email to the COBRA supplier, directing the supplier to send the official COBRA notification enrollment letter to the employee; and
  • prompts HR to generate a pink slip for unemployment compensation.

Extension of Employment

If the department determines that the planned layoff can be postponed because of a change in departmental needs or funding, the department must immediately inform the employee in writing and notify the HR Generalist.

6. Accounting for Terminal Vacation Pay

Before Terminal Vacation Pay (“TVP”) can be paid, the following steps must be taken:

  • the manager approves the employee’s final timesheet before the payroll runs;
  • Employee Services obtains TVP hours from Workday and reviews and/or enters the number of hours into Workday HCM to notify the Payroll Department;
  • Payroll Department enters the TVP hours into Workday Financials (via Pay Input) and Workday calculates the TVP;
  • the final paycheck with TVP is processed in Workday by the Payroll Department.

For information about accrual of vacation time and associated limits, refer to Staff Workplace Policies, Paid Time Off and Leaves.

7. Completing Tasks on Termination Checklist

The department’s business office is responsible for ensuring that all of the tasks on Form 3503 FR.03 Termination Checklist are completed before the employee leaves.  The only exceptions to the Termination Checklist for laid-off employees are as follows:

  • laid-off staff may retain their ID cards during their 18-month layoff status, provided they continue to seek employment at Yale; and
  • laid-off C&T employees who enter the IEP retain their ID cards while in the IEP.

8. Record Retention

Forward all employee documents to the appropriate HR Generalist at 221 Whitney Avenue.  These documents will be retained as part of the employee file.