Reduction-in-Force

There are occasions when it is necessary to reduce the work force at UNL. This may occur because of budget considerations - either in a particular work unit or across the entire campus - or because changing conditions make it necessary to reorganize a work unit.

The department head or unit administrator must notify Human Resources before implementing a reduction-in-force. Every reasonable effort should be made to give employees as much advance notice as possible. Except in cases of extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies, notice shall not be less than the following:

  • Office/service employees - Notice of two weeks.
  • Managerial/professional employees - Notice of 90 days.

In cases where financial exigency is declared by the Board of Regents these notice requirements do not apply.

Staffing and reduction-in-force decisions should be made on the basis of factors which relate to the function of the department. Operating efficiency and programming needs will determine in what order employees will leave their positions.

Within a particular program or function, consideration shall be given to funding sources, types of appointments held, and quality and length of service. Within these guidelines, employees should normally be released in the following order:

  1. Part-time Temporary
  2. Full-time Temporary
  3. Original Probationary
  4. Regular

Employees separated from UNL under the Reduction-In-Force policy may be eligible for unemployment benefits as determined by the Nebraska Department of Labor. Costs for unemployment benefits are the responsibility of the department. Questions may be directed to Benefits, 472-2600.

Eligibility for Benefits Under the Reduction-In-Force Policy

Regular employees with satisfactory job performance are eligible for benefits under the RIF policy.

Important exceptions to the eligibility for RIF benefits are as follows:

  • Regular employees on original probation are not eligible.
  • Regular employees who are appointed for a designated period of time and/or employees whose positions are dependent upon grants or other temporary funding are not eligible. (NOTE: This exception applies to employees hired after May 1, 1994, and/or to employees notified in the Human Resources employment letter of offer that they are ineligible for benefits under the Reduction-In-Force policy.)

Reemployment Policies for Non-Probationary, Regular Employees

Eligibility for Reemployment

Employees shown to have below satisfactory job performance will not be eligible for coverage under this reduction-in-force policy.

A regular employee, not on original probation, shall be eligible for reemployment to the position previously held (or to a position in the same department at a classification comparable to or lower than that formerly held), provided the employee is qualified for the position should a vacancy occur in the twelve-month period after separation. The twelve-month period shall begin the day the reduction-in-force is effective.

Eligibility for employment in another position begins on the date the employee receives written notification of the reduction-in-force.

Employees will be eligible for reemployment in reverse order of layoff. Those desiring to be reemployed shall, following notification by UNL of the availability of a position, notify the department in writing of the acceptance or refusal of the position within three workdays.

Employees reduced-in-force may apply for all externally advertised positions and for those open only to University employees.

Layoff Pool

Employees who are a part of a reduction-in-force and who express interest in reemployment will be placed in a layoff pool by Human Resources. They will remain in the pool for twelve months after the date of separation. As vacancies occur, hiring authorities are expected to review qualified applicants from persons in the pool prior to filling positions. Human Resources will assist departments in identifying qualified applicants from the layoff pool.

Response to Offers of Reemployment

A reduction-in-force employee who declines reemployment in the position previously held or a comparable one will forfeit any reemployment right.

A reduction-in-force employee who declines reemployment in a position at a classification lower than that previously held shall retain eligibility for reemployment, should a vacancy occur within twelve months after layoff.

A reduction-in-force employee who accepts employment in a position at a classification comparable to that previously held will forfeit any further reemployment right.

A reduction-in-force employee who accepts employment in a position at a classification lower than that previously held shall retain eligibility for reemployment at a classification equal to the previously held position, should such a vacancy occur within twelve months after layoff.

A reduction-in-force employee who does not respond within three working days to an offer of reemployment will forfeit all reemployment rights.

Pay and Benefits for Those Reemployed

Reduction-in-force employees shall be considered separated from UNL for pay purposes but, if they are reemployed at UNL within twelve months, the service date will be readjusted. Upon employment, reduction-in-force employees will be treated as new employees for pay purposes. Reemployed RIF employees will be required to serve a new original probationary period.

An employee separating from a leave eligible position to move to another University of Nebraska leave eligible position within 12 months will not be paid for any leave.  Instead the leave will transfer to the new unit.  Exceptions are employees who are reduced in force or who move to a non-leave eligible position.