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Human Resources

College Policies I Reduction in Force Policy (RIF)

Please note: This policy applies to all staff employees, excluding staff members whose positions are 100% grant funded. 

Purpose

Washington College highly values the contributions of its employees and attempts to provide continuous, regular employment. In the event it becomes necessary for the College to eliminate positions because of financial constraints, programmatic considerations, outsourcing, or other circumstances, the Reduction in Force (RIF) policy sets forth criteria and procedures to guide the fair and equitable treatment of regular full and part time employees.

Criteria

When reductions in force are necessary, position eliminations will be based on:

  1. relevant skills needed in order for the College to fulfill its mission; and
  2. employee qualifications and employment record, including any disciplinary actions.  Relative seniority (years of service at Washington College) will be considered only if employee qualifications and employment records are equivalent.
Notice Period

An employee whose position is being eliminated as a result of a reduction in force will receive a notice period which is equal to one week of regular pay for each year of continuous service in a budgeted position.  The minimum notice period will be four weeks at regular pay and benefits.  The minimum salary will be calculated based upon the employee’s salary rate as of the beginning of the notice period.  At the College’s discretion, the employee may not be required to work during the notice period.

Affected employees are encouraged to apply for available positions at the College for which they are qualified during the notice period. Human Resources will be available to advise and assist employees regarding job search techniques, resume preparation, interview skills, etc.

Eligibility

An employee whose position is eliminated as a result of a RIF is eligible to receive benefits described below, as of the effective date of separation, if the employee:

  • Holds a regular budgeted position of at least 17.5 hours per week or more;
  • Has at least one full year of continuous service;
  • Is an active employee or on an authorized leave of absence (such as FMLA);
  • Has maintained employment with the College throughout the Notice Period;
  • Has not been able to secure other employment at the College, including employment by a new vendor in the case of outsourcing, by the end of the Notice Period. ; and
  • Has met any other eligibility requirements established by the College.

An employee is not eligible for benefits under this policy if he/she is discharged for cause, is released for unsatisfactory performance, voluntarily resigns, or is approved for long term disability prior to the end of the Notice Period.

If an affected full-time employee is only able to secure a part-time position at the College, the severance payment and benefits will be pro-rated accordingly.

If an affected employee is only able to secure a temporary position at the College, the severance payment will be made at the end of that temporary position if the employee has not secured a regular position with the College.

Benefits

All eligible employees affected by a reduction in force or elimination of work are eligible for the following benefits through the Notice Period:

1. Retirement Contributions: Continuation based on regular base salary and wages received and vacation pay through the Notice Period. Retirement plan withdrawal options may be obtained from Human Resources.

2. Healthcare Coverage: Continuation at the current level of coverage through the Notice Period. Thereafter, affected employees are eligible to purchase healthcare coverage through COBRA rates for up to eighteen (18) additional months. Rates are subject to change annually.

3. Life Insurance Coverage: At the time of separation, employees will have the option of porting and/or converting their group life insurance to an individual policy through the insurance carrier at offered rates. Application forms and details are available through Human Resources.

4. Flexible Benefits Program: Continuation at the current level of benefits through the Notice Period.

5. Long Term Disability Plan: Continuation at the current level of benefits through the Notice Period.

6. Vacation Accrual: Vacation accrual will continue during the Notice Period and will be paid to the employee in the payroll following the final check of the notice period.

7. Employee Assistance Program Usage: Any individual who is affected by a reduction in force or elimination of work will continue to be eligible to utilize the EAP services up to two months following his/her final paycheck.   Eligible employees affected by a reduction in force or elimination of work may be eligible for the following benefits at the discretion of the College through the Notice Period:

8. Outplacement Services: Outplacement assistance and individual job/career counseling support may be available from Human Resources upon request.

9. Retraining Assistance: Some retraining assistance may be available using resources available within the College upon request from Human Resources.

10. Tuition Assistance Programs:

  • Tuition Waiver for Dependents – In the absence of comparable benefits at a new employer and if a dependent child has applied for admission to Washington College, or the dependent child/spouse/approved domestic partner, if applicable, is enrolled as a matriculated student at the time of the separation, he/she will continue to be eligible for tuition benefits through the completion of an undergraduate degree, up to a maximum of eight (8) academic semesters.
  • Tuition Waiver for Employees – In the absence of comparable benefits at a new employer and if an employee is presently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at Washington College, he/she will continue to be eligible for tuition benefits through the completion of an undergraduate degree, up to the equivalent of a maximum of eight (8) academic semesters.
  • Tuition Exchange Program (Dependents) – In the absence of comparable benefits at a new employer and if a dependent child is currently enrolled at another institution as a participant in the Tuition Exchange Program, he/she will continue to be eligible for tuition benefits up to a total of eight (8) academic semesters of undergraduate studies.

Individuals applying to use the Tuition Assistance Benefits under this policy must apply for all need based state and private assistance each year prior to the tuition waiver being applied.