Terms and Conditions of Employment

For non-faculty employees, employment and compensation with the University of Southern California are at-will and therefore may be terminated, with or without cause, at any time without prior notice, at the staff employee’s or the university’s option. Position assignment and/or job duties may also be altered by the university at any time, with or without cause or notice. This at-will employment relationship may only be modified by an express written employment agreement executed by a duly authorized officer of the university and the staff employee. The at-will employment relationship may not be modified by any oral or implied agreement, and no staff employee handbook, nor any course of conduct, practice, policy, award, promotion, performance evaluation, transfer, or length of service can modify this at-will relationship. 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.

The specific terms and conditions of employment should be discussed at the time of offer and included in a letter given to the candidate or current university employee at the time he or she is offered a position. This encompasses positions for which a candidate is newly hired or rehired by the university or in to which a current university employee has been transferred or promoted. The offer letter should include the items listed below. Sample offer letters may be obtained from Human Resources Administration.

Offer letters should include:

  • start date;
  • salary or wage rate;
  • title, grade level, status (exempt or non-exempt);
  • fulfillment of requirements specific to the position (e.g., maintaining necessary professional licenses and certifications, passing pre-employment health screenings, maintaining eligibility to participate in federally funded programs, passing random drug and alcohol tests, training requirements, etc.);
  • execution of a written agreement that the employment relationship is at-will;
  • execution of a written agreement to arbitrate claims;
  • if hired under a contract or grant, the name of the grant, its expiration date, and the terms of hire under the contract or grant, including last date of employment and the staff employee’s ineligibility for severance pay at termination; and
  • candidate’s or current university employee’s signature confirming acceptance of the terms indicated in the offer letter.

The candidate or current university employee should direct questions concerning the terms and conditions of employment to his or her supervisor or home department coordinator.

Responsible Office

Human Resources Administration

(213) 821-8100

Issued by

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