I. OBJECTIVE AND PURPOSE OF POLICY
This Policy addresses separations of employment for employees. If this Policy conflicts with the terms of an applicable collective bargaining agreement for an employee subject to that agreement, the conflicting terms of that agreement supersede this Policy to the extent they are inconsistent.
II. STATEMENT OF POLICY
Generally, individuals employed by the University are employees-at-will, which means the employment relationship has no fixed duration and an employee or the University may choose to end the relationship, with or without cause, at any time. The only exception to this policy occurs if there is a signed, written contract that expressly overrides the employment-at-will relationship.
The employment relationship may end for a variety of reasons. For purposes of this Policy, “separation from employment” is defined to include the following:
B) Job Abandonment;
C) Termination of Employment During Probationary Period;
E) Non-reappointment; and
III. DISCUSSION OF SEPARATIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
A) Resignation – An employee may resign at any time. Whenever possible, employees are encouraged to provide at least two weeks advance notice of resignation to the University. Once tendered, a resignation, whether communicated verbally or in writing, is deemed accepted, and may not be rescinded by the employee without concurrence of the appropriate vice president or designee.
B) Job Abandonment - An employee who is absent without approved leave for three (3) or more consecutive workdays shall be considered to have abandoned his or her position and therefore resigned from the University.
C) Termination During Probationary Period - Employees serving in a probationary period in any position or class may be terminated at any time, for any reason. Terminations during the probationary period do not require notice and may not be appealed.
D) Layoff – If required, the University may conduct a layoff. The following list provides a non-exhaustive list of examples of when the University may conduct a layoff.
1. Adverse financial circumstances or loss of an applicable “soft money” source for an employee whose employment is contingent on such a source;
2. Reallocation of resources;
3. Reorganization of degree or curriculum offerings or requirements;
4. Reorganization of academic or administrative structures, programs, or functions;
5. Curtailment or abolishment of one or more programs or functions;
6. Shortage of work; or
7. A material change of duties.
If a layoff is required, the University will notify any appropriate employee organizations when layoffs are to take place. Layoffs may be at an organizational level such as a division, college, department, area, program, unit or other level of organization.
In designating employees for layoff, the University may determine that individuals with certain qualifications and relevant experiences are required and exclude such individuals from layoff. In addition, the University may make reasonable efforts to locate appropriate alternative/equivalent employment for laid-off employees, where possible.
E) Non-reappointment (Separation With Advance Notice) – A non-reappointment occurs when the University separates an individual employee for reasons that do not qualify as “Termination for Cause”. When non-reappointing an individual, the University will provide advance notice prior to the separation and identify the last date of employment with the University.
The amount of advance notice depends on length of service and role.
Employees hired after, January 31, 2006, receive the following amounts of notice:
1. Non-tenured, non-unit Faculty or Administrative employees in their first two years of employment with the University shall be given 60 days advance notice of separation.
2. Non-tenured, non-unit Faculty or Administrative employees in their third year of employment or beyond with the University shall be given 90 days advance notice of separation.
3. Tenured and Tenure earning non-unit faculty members who, at the end of the sixth year of continuous full-time, (or equivalent part-time) employment or service, have not been granted tenure, shall be given 12 months advance notice of separation.
Non-tenured, non-unit Faculty or Administrative employees hired before February 1, 2006, shall
be given twelve months advance notice of separation.
If an out-of-unit faculty member has a break in service from the University for more than 120 days in
one full year, or has received a payout of annual leave, only service following that break is counted
for determining length of service for purposes of notice calculation. Support and Administrative
employees who have a break in service of 31 days or payout of annual leave will only have service
following that break counted for determining length of service. In all cases, approved paid or unpaid
leaves shall not be considered a break in service.
An employee who has received a notice of non-reappointment may be reassigned to other duties,
responsibilities and locations for the duration of the notice period and shall not be eligible for benefits
designated for employees “in good standing.” In addition, they shall not receive any pay increases or
bonuses during the notice period.
To the extent permitted by Florida Statute 215.425, the University may, at its discretion, reach an agreement with an employee to provide severance payment in lieu of providing the applicable waiting period following a notice of non-reappointment.
Certain employees are not entitled to a notice of non-reappointment:
1. Visiting, acting, interim or temporary appointments;
2. Appointments for less than one academic year;
3. Contracts stating that employment will cease on a specific date where no further notice of cessation of employment is required.
4. Those funded all or in part through “soft” money, e.g., contracts, grants, auxiliary or local funds. Although not entitled to notice, the University may continue to employ an employee whose pay was funded in part by soft money by continuing to utilize legislatively appropriated Education and General funding for the remaining job duties. In that situation, the full-time-equivalent calculation for the employee will be reduced in accordance with the percentage reduction of the funding source.
5. Time-limited appointments.
6. OPS positions.
7. Employees serving in a probationary status.
F) Termination for Cause - Employees terminated for cause are not entitled to notice of non-reappointment and may be terminated at any time.
Cause includes, but is not limited to,
2. Conduct unbecoming of a University employee.
4. Willful neglect of duty.
6. Theft: or
7. Conviction of a crime, including violation of any Federal or State law.
The University will utilize the following procedures when terminating an employee for cause:
1. An employee shall be given ten (10) days written notice that the University intends to terminate him or her. The notice will contain the reasons for the termination decision. The notice will advise the employee of his or her right to request a pre-determination hearing.
2. If an employee does not request a pre-determination hearing, the termination will be effective at the end of the notice period.
3. If an employee requests a pre-determination hearing, one shall be provided.
4. After the pre-determination hearing, the University shall provide the employee with a Notice of Determination which shall advise the employee of the date of termination, where that is the action taken.
5. The University reserves the right to place the employee on paid administrative leave during the period between issuing a notice of intent to terminate and the outcome of any requested pre-determination hearing.
IV. Exit Interview
Each employee who separates from employment is encouraged to complete an Exit Interview Questionnaire. Exit Questionnaire can be found at: https://www.unf.edu/hr/forms/Human_Resources_Forms.aspx
In addition, the Human Resources Department welcomes the opportunity to conduct a personal exit interview. A personal exit interview can be requested via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
V. Return of Property and Payment of Outstanding Balances
All persons separating from employment must return all University property in their possession and
settle their financial accounts. The employee’s supervisor, department head and the Office of Human
Resources work together to ensure the timely return of all University property. The employee’s
supervisor is responsible for ensuring proper separation procedures are followed and for notifying the
Department Head if property or keys are not returned or accounts are not settled.
To the extent permitted by law, the University may subtract from any funds which may be due
Employee all amounts owed to the University, including the value of unreturned property. The
University may also delay or withhold the issuance of transcripts where applicable.
If the separated employee still has outstanding amounts due to the University it may send such debt
to a collection agency or engage in other collection efforts. To the extent permitted by law, the
employee will be responsible not only for repayment of the outstanding amount, but also for payment
of all collection fees, including penalties, late fees, attorney’s fees, and court costs, which may add
significant sums to the outstanding balance.