Workforce Reduction Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide for an orderly and equitable transition in staffing when a workforce reduction is necessary at Loyola University of Chicago (“Loyola” or the “University”). Conditions such as a decrease in student enrollments, department restructuring for economic or programmatic reasons, changes in operations, redundancy in roles, excess staffing capacity, or work schedule changes may require reductions in staffing. It is Loyola’s goal to balance the needs of the University and minimize any disruption of educational services, while respecting the dignity of employees affected by a workforce reduction (“affected employee”).
In planning and implementing a workforce reduction, the following objectives are set forth as guides to management:
- To provide education and supportive services for students in the Jesuit tradition of excellence.
- To support the University’s commitment to equal employment opportunity.
- To provide alternative employment opportunities where possible, and/or University approved services to affected employees.
This policy applies to workforce reductions affecting full-time and regular part-time staff positions within a job classification or due to job elimination within any department. This policy does not apply to officers, faculty, work study students, research and teaching assistants, fellows and others whose employment is a function of their degree programs, float pool staff, temporary staff, and staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement where this policy is in conflict or inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
Prior to implementing a reduction in force, the University may consider other alternatives such as reducing personnel by attrition, hiring freezes, changing employee work schedules or reducing work hours, voluntary time-off, or early retirement options.
4. Reduction Criteria
In analyzing the job classifications to be affected in any workforce reduction, department management must work in direct consultation with and obtain the approval of the Human Resource Department prior to announcing or finalizing any specific staffing or personnel reductions.
The following criteria are to be used by each department in deciding specific positions and/or individual reductions after vacant and temporary positions are eliminated:
- Performance factors that include job knowledge and the skill and ability of position incumbents (as documented in their most recent performance evaluations) necessary to do the work which remains to be accomplished; and the employee’s work history in terms of documented disciplinary actions or performance deficiencies (as contained in the Human Resources personnel file).
- University length of service (defined as the period of continuous full or regular part-time employment based on the employee's most recent date of hire) is used as the determining factor when performance factors are comparable among staff to be reduced.
- Each department must provide written support in the application of the criteria when selecting among employees in the same job classification and performance rating level.
5. Notice or Severance Pay Schedule
The University will provide two (2) weeks’ notice or equivalent severance pay (when it is not possible to provide advance notice or when notice may be disruptive to workplace operations) to all affected employees at the affected employee’s current, regular rate of pay. Affected employees may be eligible for additional severance pay upon the execution of a confidential separation agreement and release in accordance with the terms of that agreement.
Upon and following their separation date, affected employees’ eligibility for and/or participation in Loyola’s benefit plans and programs will cease or change in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans and programs. Loyola reserves the right to amend or discontinue any and all benefit plans and programs, provided that any such amendments are applied to affected employees in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans and programs.
7. Transfer and Re-employment Eligibility
- Transfer Eligibility
Employees affected by a workforce reduction (due to reduction in the job classification or job elimination) have no displacement rights, but may apply for any open positions for which they are qualified as posted for any campus of the University.
- Re-employment Eligibility
Employees affected by a workforce reduction will remain eligible for re-employment with reinstatement for a period equivalent to their length of service up to a maximum of one year from their last day of work. Upon rehire the employee will be reinstated to their most recent date of employment (prior to the reduction). Individuals affected by the reduction will be considered for future vacancies based on the same criteria used in the reduction. There is no guarantee, however, of being recalled to a former position or rehired to any other position with the University.
8. Policy Priority and Interpretation
Effective August 24, 2022, this policy supersedes all prior workforce reduction policies at Loyola.
Loyola reserves the right to plan and implement workforce reduction guidelines for each situation, consistent with its applicable Human Resources policies and procedures. The department manager is responsible for communicating the department’s rationale or reasons for the selection of each employee.
All differences of opinion, interpretations and applications of this policy and its supporting guidelines are reserved for final determination by the Human Resources Department. Supporting guidelines are reserved for final determination by the Human Resources Department.
All personnel actions will comply with applicable federal and state laws and Loyola’s Non-Discrimination Policy. Nothing in this Workforce Reduction Policy shall be construed as creating a contractual right to continuing or permanent employment or to change the existing employment-at-will status of employees.
Loyola reserves the right to amend or terminate this Workforce Reduction Policy.
Medical and Dental Coverage
Employees have the option to continue existing health, dental, and/or vision plans for up to 18 months under the provisions of COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). Under the terms of the University’s Workforce Reduction Policy, upon receiving the signed agreement to an Acknowledgment and Release, for a period of up to six (6) months, employees will have the opportunity to continue medical, dental, and vision plans by paying the required premium for active employees to BenefitExpress. The first six (6) months of coverage at the active employee rate runs concurrent with the COBRA 18-month continuation period.
After the first six (6) months, if needed, employees will be eligible to continue benefits for the remaining twelve (12) months of the COBRA continuation period, at an unsubsidized rate by paying the full monthly cost plus an additional two percent administration fee (the active rate may be adjusted each January). BenefitExpress, the University’s COBRA administrator, will send a COBRA packet the mailing address on file with the necessary information to continue benefits under COBRA.
Life and Long Term Disability
Insurance coverage ceases as of the last day of work. The life insurance plan my be converted during a 30 day grace period to a direct pay plan by contacting the carrier. The long term disability plan is not convertible.
Tuition Remission Benefit
Employees and/or their eligible dependents enrolled and utilizing the tuition benefit at Loyola University Chicago may complete the academic year under the provisions of the tuition remission policy in place at the time of the work force reduction. May be considered taxable income to the employee.
Earned vacation time will be paid in accordance with Human Resource policy, and are considered separate and in addition to severance pay.