5.01. Layoff Defined
5.02. Employer's Responsibility in Making a Layoff Decision
5.03. Approval of a Layoff Decision
5.05. Right to Appeal
5.06. Appeal Process
5.07. Joinder of Layoff Appeals
5.08. Layoff Status Defined
5.09. Reappointment Rights and Referral Priority
Layoff is the termination of an academic staff member’s employment because of a funding loss or a budget or program decision (as defined in ASPP 1.03) either prior to the end of the appointment or when proper notice of nonrenewal under ASPP 3.05 cannot be given. If proper notice of nonrenewal has been given, the provisions of this chapter do not apply. Layoff is neither dismissal for cause (ASPP 6) nor nonretention of a probationary appointee (ASPP 4).
The provisions of this chapter do not apply to rehired annuitants. If it becomes necessary to terminate an appointment of this type prior to the end date of the appointment, prior approval by the dean, director or designee is required, and a minimum of 2 weeks written notice must be provided.
In carrying out its mission and goals, the university retains the right to determine the direction and scope of its programs—including the right to reduce staff levels through layoff because of a funding loss or a budget or program decision that requires a program to be discontinued, curtailed, modified or redirected. When a layoff will occur in an operational area with two or more academic staff employees, it shall be implemented on the basis of years of UW–Madison academic staff service (as defined in ASPP 1.03), except as follows. The presumption in favor of years of service shall not apply when program needs dictate other considerations such as the need to maintain specific expertise or responsibility levels within a program or operational area.
A layoff decision requires prior approval. The supervisor must submit a written statement describing the facts and circumstances justifying the layoff. This statement must be approved by the employing unit and dean, director, or designee and the Office of Human Resources. Upon receipt of this approval, the employing unit shall notify the employee in writing of the layoff (see ASPP 5.04.A).
If a proposed layoff is based on a substantial redirection of program activity without significant funding loss, the chancellor or designee may establish, at their discretion, an ad hoc committee to review the layoff proposal. Affected employees will be notified whether or not there will be a review. The ad hoc committee shall include academic staff employed within the program or activity that will be affected by the layoff decision. This committee will make a recommendation to the chancellor or designee, who must approve the recommendation before the layoff notice can be issued.
|Years of Academic Staff Service||Minimum Layoff Notice Period in Months for Funding Loss||Minimum Layoff Notice Period in Months for Budget or Program Decision|
|Fewer than 2||1||2|
|At least 2 but fewer than 6||2||3|
|At least 6 but fewer than 10||3||5|
|10 or more||4||6|
|Type of Appointment||Minimum Layoff Notice Period in Months for Funding Loss||Minimum Layoff Notice Period in Months for Budget or Program Decision|
In the case of a financial emergency as defined in UWS 5.02, which can be declared only by the Board of Regents, the minimum layoff notice period for indefinite appointees may be reduced to 12 months and the minimum layoff notice period for fixed-term rolling-horizon appointees being laid off for budget or program reasons may be reduced to six months. When two or more rolling-horizon appointees in the same operational area will be laid off, and if more than the minimum required layoff notice periods can be given, employees holding longer-term rolling-horizon appointments shall receive notice periods equal to or longer than those given to employees with shorter-term rolling-horizon appointments.
An academic staff member who is laid off has the right to appeal when the staff member believes that there are no valid grounds for layoff (see ASPP 5.01); or that another academic staff member should have been laid off instead; or when the layoff is arbitrary, capricious, for reasons prohibited by law, or in violation of ASPP when the alleged violation is substantive enough to influence the decision under review. An arbitrary or capricious layoff decision is one that is made without a basis in fact or for inconsequential or unsubstantial reasons when the needs of the program have not changed, funds for the position are available, and performance has been satisfactory. A pending appeal of a layoff decision does not extend the appointment.
If the layoff of two or more members of the academic staff arises from the same or similar situation in a single operational area, the academic staff members who appeal or the dean or director may request joinder of cases for hearing. The Academic Staff Appeals Committee shall consider joinder before taking up the merits of any case. In addition, the Academic Staff Appeals Committee may join the cases on its own motion.
Layoff status shall be defined as the three-year period starting with the effective date of layoff. To initiate layoff status, the individual must register with the Office of Human Resources. To maintain layoff status, the individual shall notify that office at least quarterly regarding employment status, or whenever a change of address or employment status occurs. Layoff status ends automatically when an individual accepts an alternative appointment that is not temporary, fails to accept an appropriate alternative appointment, resigns, or fails to notify the Office of Human Resources of changes of address or employment status. The primary test in the determination of appropriate alternative appointment is not salary level but comparability of the qualifications necessary and skill level required.
Pursuant to Wis. Stats. 36.21 and UWS 12.09, 12.10 and 12.11, in an operational area where layoffs have occurred in the past three years, no person may be employed to perform reasonably comparable duties to those of the staff member laid off without first offering an appointment to the staff member on layoff status without loss of rights or status including salary rate. The head of each operational area is responsible for notifying laid-off academic staff members of their right to reappointment within that operational area. To ensure compliance, a record of laid-off academic staff members by operational area shall be kept in the Office of Human Resources.
The UW–Madison shall devote its best efforts to securing alternative appointments in positions for which staff laid off under this chapter are qualified. The head of the operational area responsible for the layoff is encouraged to identify and inform the employee of any comparable positions in related operational areas. An academic staff member on layoff status may be hired without open recruitment into an academic staff position in another unit at the discretion of that department or unit. Units are encouraged to provide released time to academic staff members being laid off for such purposes as retraining, job interviews, career counseling, or job searches. Members of the academic staff on layoff status or on notice of layoff shall have referral priority rights to all academic staff vacancies for which they may reasonably qualify. Such referrals shall be made by the Office of Human Resources prior to posting of position vacancies. Prospective employers must consider these persons before consideration of other referrals, if any, and before the commencement of open recruiting, and upon request must give written reasons to any referred academic staff member on layoff status to whom employment is refused.