Responsible Office: Human Resources
Originally issued: March 2004
Revised: September 2011
In accordance with the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia, this policy outlines the reasons a workforce reduction can be initiated and necessary steps to follow for approval of such action.
Reason For Policy
The purpose of this policy is to set forth the guidelines under which a reduction in workforce for employees in classified positions will be carried out.
Entities Affected By This Policy
All employees of GHSU are affected by this policy.
Who Should Read This Policy
All employees of GHSU should read and be aware of this policy.
|Associate Vice President for Human Resources||(706) 721-3777||GHSU_AVP_HUMANRESOURCES@georgiahealth.edu|
Printable Version of This Policy
Reduction in Force:: A reduction in force (RIF) is an action to reduce the number of employees in a department or at a University overall. A reduction in force may become necessary due to reduced funding, reorganization, and/or changed workload
Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) is committed to providing stable employment but reserves the right to determine the appropriate staffing levels to meet the mission of the institution. GHSU may, in its sole discretion, add positions or change positions where necessary to meet the mission of the institution, and it may eliminate positions that are no longer critical to the mission of the institution. Situations such as lack of funding, lack of work, or reorganization may require a reduction in the workforce. Departments making such reductions are responsible for retaining the staff necessary to preserve GHSU’s excellence as a health sciences university.
Generally, a reduction in workforce may be implemented for reasons that include the following:
In an effort to avoid reducing positions due to budget cuts or funding changes, GHSU reserves the right to consider implementing a furlough or other such program to achieve the necessary budget reduction.
The provisions of this policy are not to be used to remove an employee if the sole cause is substandard performance, incompetence or misconduct.
The provisions of this policy do not apply to positions created to support a particular grant or other sponsored project when such positions are ended because the grant or other sponsored project ends according to the terms of the contract or award.
Guidelines for effecting a reduction in the workforce:
1. When a Unit Manager, Department Chair, Director, Dean, or Vice President, hereafter referred to as “Administrator,” is faced with a situation that he/she believes warrants a review of the workforce with the potential for a workforce reduction, he/she will be expected to critically review his/her department or unit and the circumstances prompting the potential reduction. All efforts should be made to minimize or reduce the extent to which positions will be eliminated. When position elimination is the most appropriate way to address a budget, programmatic, reorganization or other change, the Administrator will submit in writing to his/her Supervisor or Senior Administrator, a justification for a change.
2. The Administrator will identify all potential positions that may be affected by the change. Where possible, temporary positions and vacant regular positions should be the first to be eliminated. If positions to be eliminated are not vacant, the positions to be eliminated should be directly related to the functions or process being abolished. When, in a unit, multiple positions exist with the same title and essentially the same duties and responsibilities, documented performance appraisals should be used as the criteria for selecting the position(s) for elimination. Employees receiving the lowest performance rating should be the first outplaced. In the event that the documented performance ratings do not differentiate between employees and positions being considered for elimination, the last person hired should be the first person outplaced. For purposes of this policy, the hire date is defined as the most recent date of hire at GHSU.
3. If the positions eliminated via this policy are reestablished within one year, the employees displaced should be notified of the reestablishment and given an opportunity to apply for the positions. The department must coordinate with Human Resources to ensure this communication occurs.
The individual Administrator develops a proposal for a reduction in force. Such proposal should include:
It is strongly recommended that the Administrator meet with or communicate with the Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designee and Affirmative Action at this point to review the proposal and seek input.
The proposal must then be submitted to the appropriate Dean, Vice President or other Senior Administrator for review and approval.
If denied, the proposal is returned to the Department Head, Director or Vice President submitting the request.
If approved, the Dean, Vice President or other Senior Administrator will then forward the approved proposal with all documentation provided in the proposal submitted to him/her to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designee for review and approval.
If approved, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designee will forward to the Director of Affirmative Action/EEO for review and approval.
Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designee and Director of Affirmative Action/EEO will communicate the results of the review to the Dean, Vice President or other Senior Administrator.
When the proposed reduction is in response to a state or institutional budget cut, the Dean, Vice President or other Senior Administrator must notify the President of the proposed workforce reduction prior to its implementation.
If approved by all required parties, then communication with the affected employee(s) must take place and will occur as follows:
1. The Administrator will verbally inform the affected individual(s) of the decision and the reasons underlying the decision. This should be done in either a group meeting when more than one individual is affected, or in an individual meeting at the discretion of the Unit Supervisor. Outplacement packets containing information about other on-campus positions should be provided to each affected employee. A representative from Human Resources should participate in all meetings and be available to answer placement questions.
The Administrator will follow up in writing to the employee(s) to ensure clear communication of what was stated verbally. The Administrator will then complete a Personnel Action Request to communicate the action taking place and forward to Human Resources.
The responsibilities each party has in connection with this policy, are:
|Department||Submit the departmental approved paperwork with cover memo to AVP for HR.|
|Human Resources||Review of paperwork received from department and submission to AA/EEO office for approval.|
|AA/EEO||Review and decision to approve or deny.|