Layoffs and Furloughs

Layoff and Furlough Policy (effective August 1, 2020)

To view this policy in a printable PDF, please download the Non-Faculty Staff Layoffs and Furloughs policy.

Review the Furloughed Employee FAQ

Review the Employee Layoff FAQ

Policy Intent

This policy has been adopted to replace existing policies covering these issues. This replacement policy has been adopted to enable the University to respond to the pandemic public health crisis.

There may be times when the University deems it appropriate to reduce the number of staff positions in order to reduce, reorganize or reallocate financial resources or because of reduced work for the positions in question, including the effects on University operations of the public health crisis.

Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for non-faculty staff layoffs and furloughs.

Who Should Read This Policy

This policy applies to regular full-time and regular part-time staff.

Staff within University collective bargaining units additionally should refer to their collective bargaining agreements and may wish to discuss with their steward or union representative. In addition, some collective bargaining agreements reference University policies that cover non-unit employees and this policy qualifies as such a reference policy.

Policy Text

Layoff Definitions

Permanent Layoff

Wherein the position in question is eliminated or the position in question is to be changed as to essential needs or functions;

Furlough

Wherein the position in question is neither currently eliminated nor currently changed as to essential functions, but the work of the position in whole or part is currently reduced. The staff member who fills the position may be assigned to non-work status or partial work status. The staff member will be recalled by the University if/when the University determines that operational needs for the position have resumed or increased.    


Permanent Layoff

Payments Made on Permanent Layoff

In the event of a permanent layoff, the University will provide advance written notice of the date of the layoff/termination that it judges to be practicable in the circumstance and the University may make pay in lieu of such notice to affected staff.

Whatever accrued and unused vacation time remain will be paid as a lump sum payment and will include applicable federal and state tax deductions.

Whatever unpaid wages remain will be paid on the date of layoff/termination in accordance with University policy. Additionally, severance payouts as salary continuation may be provided to staff who have satisfactorily completed their probationary period, according to the schedule below.  Severance will be paid in equal amounts during the “subsequent pay periods”.

 
Years of Continuous, Full-time Service with USF Salary Payout and Healthcare (COBRA)*
1 year to less than 2 years 1 pay period (1/2 month base salary) plus up to 1 month of healthcare (COBRA)*
2 years to less than 6 years 2 pay periods (1 month base salary) plus 1 month of healthcare (COBRA)*
6 years to less than 12 years 3 pay periods (1.5 month's base salary) plus 2 months of healthcare (COBRA)*
12 years or more 4 pay periods (2 month's base salary) plus 2 months of healthcare (COBRA)*

*Healthcare Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)  includes medical, dental, vision, and EAP.

RE-EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY AFTER PERMANENT LAYOFF

Notices of layoff will provide information required by the San Francisco “Back to Work Emergency Ordinance”.

In addition, staff who receive severance may thereafter apply for posted vacant University positions in the regular course of the position application process. There is no preference or guarantee. If, however, affected staff are rehired during the notice or severance continuation periods, any pay in lieu of notice or salary payouts will terminate on the rehire date.

Laid off staff who are rehired within six months from their last day of work will retain the previous date of hire from their last position. Staff who are rehired thereafter must complete a probationary period of one year. Staff who return to work after a break in service exceeding six months will not be considered rehires and will be given a new date of hire. These staff must complete a probationary period. All rehired staff must fulfill applicable waiting periods for benefits eligibility.

Benefits information after permanent layoff

Staff who are subject to permanent layoffs are eligible for certain benefits during the severance period as follows:

Medical, Dental, Vision, and EAP

Staff enrolled and covered in the University group medical, dental, vision, and EAP plans will continue coverage during the subsequent pay periods. Employee health plan contributions will also continue. Employee health plan contributions will terminate as of the last day of the month of the layoff date. Thereafter, USF will subsidize staff member's benefits via COBRA during the subsequent pay periods.

Staff will automatically receive a COBRA notice from our University vendor. Staff must complete the COBRA Election Form and submit it back to the vendor. The vendor will reinstate coverage and the subsidy will be applied. When the severance payout ends, staff may continue COBRA coverage by making premium payments monthly directly to the vendor.

The COBRA period is based on the employee’s number of years of continuous service as described in the table above. The vendor will have all the instructions for receipt of COBRA notification. If the staff member was enrolled in the medical waiver plan, this will end on the last day of work.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Dependent FSA, and childcare subsidy benefits end on the last day of work. Staff have 60 days from the last day of work to submit claims for expenses incurred up to and including the last day of work. After the notice period, staff may continue coverage for their healthcare FSA under COBRA.

Retirement

University contributions to the 401(a) plan cease as of the last day of work. Staff contributions to the 403(b) plan ceases as of the last day of work. Emeriti employer/employee contributions cease as of the last day of work. Per plan documents there are vesting requirements to retain access to employer contributions to the 401(a) and Emeriti plans.

Life and Accident (AD&D) Insurance

Basic life, voluntary life, voluntary dependent life, and voluntary AD&D insurance coverage ends the end of the month following the month layoff begins. Staff may convert to an individual policy by completing the conversion application and remitting payment directly to CIGNA. Conversion paperwork will automatically be mailed to the employee by CIGNA. Cigna must receive the conversion application and payment within 30 days of the last day of work.

Long-Term Disability (LTD)

LTD coverage will end at the end of the month in which the layoff begins. LTD coverage is not eligible for conversion.

Tuition Benefits

Staff and/or their eligible dependents receiving Tuition Benefits (tuition remission, FACHEX and Tuition Exchange) may continue receiving the benefit under the following provisions:

  • An employee who is permanently laid off and who is receiving tuition remission or has a spouse/registered domestic partner, or child(ren) using the benefit is eligible to receive tuition remission for the remainder of the academic year in which the layoff occurs.
  • A dependent child(ren) receiving FACHEX/Tuition Exchange are eligible to receive tuition benefits for the remainder of the academic year.

If you or your dependents are taking graduate courses, please note that since you will not be receiving a paycheck you are responsible for the taxation payment for the courses.

Other Benefits

Employer and employee contributions to Commuter Check Direct (CCD) will cease as of the last day of work.

Unemployment Compensation

Staff may apply for California State unemployment compensation benefits.


Payments and Benefits on Furlough

In the event of a furlough, the University will provide advance written notice of the date of furlough that it judges to be practicable in the circumstances and the University may pay in lieu of such notice to affected staff.

Accrued and unused vacation time remain intact and will not be paid unless and until a permanent layoff/termination later takes place.

Whatever unpaid wages remain will be paid on the date of furlough in accordance with University payroll policy.

Recall from furlough

Staff on furlough shall respond in a timely manner to notice of recall from furlough.

Benefits information while on furlough

Staff on furlough are eligible for continuation of benefits during the period of furlough as follows:

Medical, Dental, and Vision

Staff enrolled and covered in the University group medical, dental, and vision plans continue during the period of furlough as follows:

  • For employees on 100% unpaid furlough (.0 FTE), the University will pay 100% of the premiums.
  • For employees on 46.67% furlough (.53 FTE), the employee will pay 53.3% of the premiums and the University will pay 46.67%
  • For employees on 20% furlough (.80 FTE), the employee will pay 80% of the premiums and the University will pay 20%

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Health Care and Dependent FSA, and childcare subsidy benefits continue during the period of furlough as follows:

  • For employees on 100% furlough, Healthcare FSA and Dependent Care FSA will be suspended during the period of your furlough. Dependent care subsidy will continue.
  • For employees on a less than 100% furlough, you will continue to be enrolled in all Flexible Spending Accounts and deductions will be taken out of your paycheck.

Retirement

University contributions to the 401(a) plan will cease if you are on a 100% furlough. If you are on a less than 100% furlough, the University contributions will continue. Staff contributions to the 403(b) plan will cease if you are on a 100% furlough. If you are on a less than 100% furlough, the employee contributions will continue. Emeriti employer/employee contributions will cease if you are 100% furloughed. If you are furloughed less than 100%, the employer/employee contributions will continue. Per plan documents there are vesting requirements to retain access to employer contributions to the 401(a) and Emeriti plans.  

Life, Dependent Life, and Accident (AD&D) Insurance

Those on 100% furlough will have the option to either continue with coverage during the furlough by paying the University monthly premiums by submitting a check to USF at the beginning of each month, OR cancel your voluntary plan(s) on the first day of your 100% furlough and upon reinstatement from your furlough re-elect coverage within 31 days.

Those on less than 100% furlough will continue to pay their premiums during their furlough period.

Long-Term Disability (LTD), Basic Life Insurance, and EAP

Basic Life, LTD, and EAP coverage will continue during the period of furlough as follows:

  • The University will continue to pay your premiums while on furlough.

Tuition Benefits

Staff and/or their eligible dependents receiving Tuition Benefits (tuition remission, FACHEX and Tuition Exchange) may continue receiving the benefit under the following provisions:

  • An employee who is furloughed and who is receiving tuition remission or has a spouse/registered domestic partner, or child(ren) using the benefit is eligible to receive tuition remission during the furlough period.
  • A dependent child(ren) receiving FACHEX/Tuition Exchange are eligible to receive tuition benefits during the furlough period.

If you or your dependents are taking graduate courses, please note that if you are on 100% furlough you will not be receiving a paycheck you are responsible for the taxation payment for the courses. 

Other Benefits

Furloughed employees may revise their contributions by visiting the Commuter Check Direct (CCD) website.

Unemployment Compensation

Staff may apply for California State unemployment compensation benefits.


Contact Information

Benefits Vendors:

vendor Contact phone number
Anthem Blue Cross (800) 288-6921
Kaiser Permanente CA (800) 464-4000
Delta Dental (800) 765-6003
VSP Vision Care (800) 877-7195
Flexible Spending Account (800) 574-5448
TIAA (800) 842-2252
Fidelity Investments (800) 343-0860
Emeriti (866) 685-6565
CIGNA Insurance (LTD) (800) 732-1603
Concern (EAP) (800) 344-4222
VALIC (800) 448-2542

HUMAN RESOURCES

General (415) 422-6707 humanresources@usfca.edu
Benefits (415) 422-2442 benefits@usfca.edu