April 1, 2009

Terminations

Employment at the university is with the mutual consent of the staff employee and employer and either party may terminate the relationship at-will, with or without advance notice, and with or without cause. In the event of a discrepancy between these policies and procedures and a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern.

Involuntary Terminations

No staff employee may be involuntarily terminated from the university without the termination request first being reviewed by Human Resources Administration (HRA). Categories of involuntary terminations include: Misconduct, Separation, Release and Layoff, Resignation-Job Abandonment. Departments must contact HRA before initiating any involuntary termination. Additional procedures are required for layoffs and separation due to reorganization. (See Layoffs and Reorganizations policy.) After the termination request has been reviewed and approved by HRA, it may be submitted by HRA to the Office of the General Counsel for additional review. If the termination is acceptable, HRA will notify the department to proceed with the termination. If it is necessary to remove the staff employee from the workplace immediately, the staff employee must be placed on administrative leave until the review is completed. The determination as to whether or not a staff employee is eligible for rehire will be made by HRA based on information provided by the department.

California state law requires that employees who terminate involuntarily receive their final paychecks, including all accrued vacation leave and overtime pay, at the time of termination. A department that is unable to provide a final paycheck within the time required must contact HRA immediately. Staff employees who have resigned, been discharged for cause, have retired, or who have abandoned their jobs are not eligible for separation pay or pay in lieu of notice. Only staff employees who have been terminated due to layoff or reorganization are eligible for severance pay. Prior to initiating any action to terminate a staff employee on leave, a department must contact HRA. Staff employees who receive additional pay or benefits beyond that allowed by university policy will be required to enter into a Settlement Agreement and General Release with the university. Departments must contact the Executive Director of HRA to make the necessary arrangements.

Benefits coverage ends on the last day of the month in which a staff employee terminates. Terminating staff employees should contact the HR Service Center to discuss options for continuation of benefits coverage.

Voluntary Terminations

Categories of voluntary terminations include Resignation and Retirement. When appropriate, voluntary terminations may be reviewed by Personnel Services to verify that the reason for the termination is accurately recorded and that related issues are addressed (e.g., ongoing investigations, complaints, etc.).

In order to facilitate the termination process and allow adequate time for check preparation, as well as to facilitate appropriate transfer of work duties, a staff employee who elects to leave the university or transfer to another department is requested to advise his or her supervisor in writing at least two weeks prior to the intended last day. If that staff employee is a department head or supervisor, he or she is requested to provide written notice at least four weeks prior to the intended last day. Copies of this notification should be forwarded to the home department coordinator.

California State law requires that staff employees who terminate voluntarily and who have given at least 72 hours notice must receive their paychecks on their last working day. If a staff employee has not given sufficient advance notice, he or she must be paid within the ensuing 72 hours. A department which is unable to provide a final paycheck within the time required must contact HRA immediately. Timely payment is essential.

Unless alternative arrangements are made (e.g., department pick-up, mail, etc.), staff employees must pick up final paychecks from their home department coordinator. Questions regarding the calculation of final paychecks should be directed to the staff employee’s supervisor or home department coordinator.

Staff employees who have resigned, been discharged for cause, have retired, or who have abandoned their jobs are not eligible for severance pay or pay in lieu of notice. Only staff employees who have been terminated due to layoff or reorganization are eligible for severance pay. Prior to initiating any action to terminate a staff employee on leave, a department must contact HRA. Staff employees who receive additional pay or benefits beyond that allowed by university policy, will be required to enter into a Settlement Agreement and General Release with the university. Departments must contact the Executive Director of HRA to make the necessary arrangements.

Benefits coverage ends on the last day of the month in which a staff employee terminates. Terminating staff employees should contact the HR Service Center to discuss options for continuation of benefits coverage.

Responsible Office

Human Resources Administration

uschr@usc.edu
(213) 821-8100

Issued by

Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California