Layoff Resources- Guidelines for Managers & Supervisors

Introduction/Overview Communicating with Employee
Definition of Terms Transition Support Services
  Management Responsibilities Contracting for Services
  Options to Mitigate Layoff Options and Effects Chart
  Layoff Planning Frequently Asked Questions
  Initiating the Layoff: Layoff Justification Forms/Resources
Employee Rights


The purpose of this layoff guide is to assist managers and supervisors with planning and preparing for the layoff process for employees represented by collective bargaining agreements and non-represented employees covered by the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM).  

This guide is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for the layoff provisions contained in the PPSM and collective bargaining agreements. The layoff planning process requires the involvement of both management and human resource professionals. To ensure the most expeditious result, early involvement of your Employee and Labor Relations (ELR) Analyst is advised.


A layoff is the involuntary separation of a career, non-probationary, i.e., regular status employee from employment or a permanent reduction in the appointment percentage due to a lack of funds, lack of work, or reorganization. The terms, conditions, and employee rights during and after layoff are governed by applicable collective bargaining agreements (contracts) and University policy. In the event a probationary, limited or per-diem employee is identified for layoff, the employee may be released from his/her appointment.

Managers and Senior Professional (MSP) employees holding career appointments are not subject to the layoff policy and may be terminated when in management’s judgment, the needs or resources of a department or the performance or conduct of an employee do not justify the continuation of an employee’s appointment. Reference PPSM 65 Termination of Career Employees—Managers and Senior Professionals, Salary Grades I through VII or PPSM 67-Termination of Career Employees MSP Grades VIII- IX.

Once the need for layoff has been determined:

  • The focus is on positions, not individuals

  • For policy-covered employees, layoffs are administered by defined layoff units, job classifications and salary grades. Criteria for consideration when determining order of layoff must include relevant skills, knowledge and abilities, documented performance and length of service

  • For exclusively-represented employees, layoffs are administered by defined layoff units, job classifications and are implemented in inverse order of seniority

  • Layoffs are not to be used for resolving employee performance problems

Contracts and University policy provide the framework for an employee’s rights during and after layoff. For specific rights and notice periods, applicable PPSM and collective bargaining agreements should be reviewed in consultation with Employee and Labor Relations.

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Revised October 2012: C.26