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Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions About Separation / Reduction in Force

1. I am planning to resign from my position at the University of Cincinnati. What do I need to do? 

  • The separating employee must visit each clearance location prior to separation of employment and obtain the necessary “sign-off.” The completed form should be returned to the Human Resources Department (University Hall, Suite 340), ML 0039, and Human Resources One Stop (HRONESTP) or faxed to 556-9652.

CLEARANCE LOCATIONS

  • Uptown Campus
    • Public Safety (Keys and IDs)
      513-556-4925   4 Edwards Building
    • Parking Services
      513-556-2283   4 Edwards Building

  • Blue Ash College Campus  
    • Public Safety (Keys and IDs) & Parking Services
      513-936-1520    123 Muntz Hall
  • Clermont College Campus
    • Public Safety (Keys and IDs) & Parking Services
      513-732-5240     145 Student Services Building

  • University Human Resources Department
    All Uptown Units and Regional Campuses
    340 University Hall
    51 Goodman Drive Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0039
    513-556-6381

2. When will I receive my final pay? 

The employee’s final paycheck will be released on the next scheduled payroll date following the processing of the separation. If the Separation Clearance Form is submitted to Human Resources on or before the employee’s last day of work, the employee’s vacation and sick payouts, if applicable, will be paid on the first available payroll period after the employee receives final pay for time worked. If the Separation Clearance Form is not submitted on or before the employee’s last day of work, the employee’s vacation and sick payouts, if applicable, will be deferred until the second payroll after the employee receives final pay for time worked.

3. How will I know my final check has been processed? 

Your final paycheck will be processed like any other paycheck- it will be direct deposited if you had chosen direct deposit; if direct deposit was not chosen your paycheck will be mailed to your home address of record on the pay date.

4. When will my benefit elections end? 

The benefit elections that an employee makes when initially eligible or during annual enrollment will remain in effect for the calendar year of the election, as long as the employee remains an eligible employee of the university.  If employment is terminated either by the employee or the university, the employee's coverage will end. Please refer to the following link for details: 

http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/hr/toolkits/managers/benefit-information-separation.pdf

5. How do I ensure I will receive a COBRA Election Form to continue my health and/or dental insurance? 

COBRA Notices are sent by UC’s COBRA administrator, United Healthcare. In order to ensure you receive your COBRA Election Form in a timely manner, you should provide a resignation letter (sample letters are available on the HR website) to your manager advising of your resignation or retirement date in advance of the intended date of leaving the University. (Suggested timeframes for submission of this letter: one month for monthly paid and two weeks for biweekly paid). Follow up with your manager and HR to ensure the necessary actions are in process or have been completed.

6. I am a former employee and I have not received my HIPAA Certificate. What do I do? 

You should contact United Healthcare, UC’s COBRA administrator. You can reach United Healthcare at 866-747-0048.

7. What must I do if I have a Rowe Loan? 

If you have an active Rowe Loan, you must contact the Bursar’s Office at 556-3431 (500 University Pavilion) to arrange payment options.

8. How do I go about requesting a distribution from OPERS? STRS? Alternative Retirement Plan? 403(b) Plan? 457 Plan? Are there any timing requirements I should be aware of? 

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) participants can request a withdrawal of their funds by contacting OPERS at 1-800-222-7377 or visiting their website at www.opers.org to obtain the applicable refund application.   

State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio) participants can request a withdrawal of their funds by contacting STRS at 1-888-227-7877 or visiting their website at www.strsoh.org to obtain the applicable withdrawal application.  A representative of UC is required to complete and sign a portion of the refund application.  Complete the employee portions of the form & forward to UC HR via email, USPS or fax. Please allow 7 – 10 working days for completion.

Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) participants can request a withdrawal of their funds by contacting the vendor for the applicable forms.  See the list of vendor contacts for contact information.  If the withdrawal form requires a “plan administrator” signature, please submit the form to UC HR (via email, fax or USPS), in order to request a severance of employment letter.  A severance of employment letter will not be provided any sooner than 30 days following your separation.  Additionally, at least one payroll period must have run following your separation of employment prior to issuance of the severance of employment letter.  Please allow 7 – 10 working days for completion.

403(b) participants can request a withdrawal of their funds by the vendor for the applicable forms.  A Severance of Employment Certificate will be required. If the withdrawal form requires a “plan administrator” signature, please submit the form to UC HR (via email, fax or USPS), in order to request a severance of employment letter.  A severance of employment letter will not be provided any sooner than 30 days following your separation.  Additionally, at least one payroll period must have run following your separation of employment prior to issuance of the severance of employment letter.  Please allow 7 – 10 working days for completion.

Ohio Deferred Compensation 457 Plan participants can request of withdrawal of their funds by contacting ODC at 1-877-644-6457 to obtain the withdrawal forms.

9. If I am an international employee, is there anything special that I need to do? 

Yes, you need to contact International Services at 513-556-4278 to advise them you are leaving university employment.

FTE Reduction

1. What is an FTE reduction? 

An FTE reduction occurs when an employee's quoted work hours are involuntarily reduced - for example, from 100% FTE to 80% FTE.

2. Are FTE reductions voluntary or mandatory?

For unrepresented, unclassified and SEIU employees, FTE reductions can be either voluntary or mandatory.  (SEIU employees can accept an FTE reduction or may have bumping rights.)

For other employees (classified and represented employees), FTE reductions are voluntary.

3. What is the minimum number of hours I can work each week and still be eligible for benefits?

You must work at least 32 hours a week in order to be eligible for benefits (80% FTE).

4. What review criteria should a department consider in selecting an employee for mandatory FTE reduction?

  • Performance
  • Responsibilities of the position and impact on department’s effectiveness
  • Seniority
  • Salary

5. What paperwork is necessary in order to reduce an employee's FTE?

Please contact Human Resources at 513-556-6381 to discuss the process.

6. How should I notify an employee that his/her hours will be reduced?

A meeting should be scheduled with the employee and his/her supervisor. The employee should be given a letter stating the need to reduce the FTE and the effective date.  The employee and supervisor sign and date the letter.  Please contact Human Resources at 556-6381 for assistance with drafting the letter.

7. If my department's financial position improves in the future, can the employee's FTE be increased?

FTE reductions should be considered permanent.  An employee's FTE can be increased only with the approval of department management.

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8. Is there flexibility in structuring a reduced FTE?

Yes.  Voluntary FTE reduction and the scheduling thereof is based upon departmental needs and is subject to supervisory approval.

9. Does an employee have the ability to change his/her reduced FTE schedule?

Voluntary FTE reduction and the scheduling thereof is based upon departmental needs and is subject to supervisory approval.

10. If I permit an employee to voluntarily reduce his/her FTE, can I later require that he/she return to 100% FTE?

Yes.

11. If an employee's FTE is reduced, how is his/her vacation, sick pay, and holiday pay impacted?

The employee's vacation and sick pay will be pro-rated based upon his/her normal work schedule.

Holiday pay will be pro-rated based upon his/her normal work schedule and is also impacted by the days of the week on which you are scheduled to work.  For example, if a holiday falls on a Monday and the employee is not scheduled to work on Mondays, he/she will not receive holiday pay.

12. If an employee is sick or takes a day of vacation, how will sick and vacation hours be counted?

Vacation and sick pay will be pro-rated based upon the employee's normal work schedule.

13. If an employee's FTE is reduced, how will his/her Life Insurance and Long Term Disability be impacted?

The employee's Life Insurance amount and Long Term Disability benefits are based upon the annual base pay.  These benefits will be reduced to correspond with the reduced annual base pay.

14. If the FTE is reduced, how will an employee's Spouse and/or Dependent Life Insurance be impacted?

The employee's Spouse and/or Dependent Child Life Insurance will be impacted if the Life Insurance amount is equal to or greater than the employee's new, reduced annual salary.  In this case, these coverages will be reduced or unavailable.

15. If the FTE is reduced, how will an employee's Retirement Plan contributions be impacted?

The employee's retirement plan contributions are based upon the employee’s eligible earnings as defined by the retirement plan.  If the employee’s eligible earnings decrease, his/her contributions will decrease as well.

16. If the FTE is reduced, is the employee still eligible to participate in the university's 403(b) or 457 plan(s)?

Yes.  Employees will continue to be eligible to defer salary into the 403(b) or 457.

17. How does a reduced FTE impact Tuition Remission eligibility?

As long as the employee works a minimum of 32 hours a week (80% FTE), he/she will continue to be eligible for Tuition Remission on the same basis as a 100% FTE employee.

18. How does an FTE reduction affect the annual increase?

The annual increase, if any, will be based upon the new, reduced annual salary.

19. Can an employee apply for positions in his department or another department?

Yes.

20. If FTE is reduced, is the employee restricted from working elsewhere?

As long as scheduled work times do not conflict and no conflict of interest exists, employees can work elsewhere.  The employee must update his/her OAR report.

21. Can I require employees to attend mandatory meetings held during a time the employee is not scheduled to work?

Yes, however, you may want to consider changing the time and date of the meeting in order to accommodate new work schedules.  If you require an employee to attend a meeting on a day he/she is not regularly scheduled to work, he/she must be paid for that time or must be scheduled for a different day off that week.  Remember, scheduling is based upon departmental needs and is subject to supervisory approval.

22. Can I suggest that an employee schedule physician's appointments on his/her day off?

Yes.  You can encourage employees to schedule appointments, whenever possible, during a time he/she is not scheduled to work.

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Furlough

1. What is a furlough?

A furlough is the placement of an employee in a temporary, non-duty, non-pay status for up to five (5) consecutive days for budget-related reasons.

2. Which employees are affected by the furloughs?

Unclassified, unrepresented employees may be affected.  Classified represented or unrepresented employees may volunteer for furloughs; however, they cannot be mandated.

3. How will employees be selected for furlough?

Unclassified, unrepresented employees may be required to take a furlough of no more than five (5) consecutive days, once per fiscal quarter.  Supervisors shall attempt to coordinate furlough dates with employees to minimize disruption to services; however, supervisors maintain the right to mandate furlough dates with the approval of the Human Resources Department.

4. Can a supervisor force an employee to make up work on weekends?

No.

5.  Will employees be able to offset loss of pay due to furlough by working additional hours?

No.

6. While on furlough, may employees perform duties elsewhere (e.g., telecommuting) or be on-call?

No. Employees on furlough must not perform work duties for the university.

7. If multiple impacted employees in the same department request the same furlough period, what determines which employee will be granted the furlough?

The supervisor will assess the University's operational needs in deciding what furlough dates will be allowed.  The supervisor will take the needs of the work unit and the impacted employees into consideration when assigning dates.

8. Can impacted employees forfeit other paid leave (e.g., vacation) instead of taking a furlough?

No.

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9. Will vacation or sick leave accrual be adversely impacted by a furlough?

Furlough days will not affect leave accruals.

10. Can employees volunteer to take more hours in lieu of another employee having to take a furlough?

No.

11. If an employee resigns, will he/she be expected to complete the furlough days?

If the furlough days occur prior to the resignation effective date, then yes. 

12. When a position is grant-funded, would the employee in the position be required to take a furlough?

Yes, employees may be required to take furlough regardless of how a position is funded.

13. What impact will this have on child support or garnishment?

All garnishments and child support orders will be processed in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines.

14. Is health insurance affected by a furlough?

No. Health insurance eligibility is not impacted by the furlough plan.

15. Is life insurance affected by a furlough?

No.

16. Is an employee eligible for unemployment compensation while participating in a furlough?

No.

17. Can an employee reduce his/her contribution toward retirement program (e.g., OPERS or STRS) during the furlough program?

No.

18. May an employee count furlough days as a charitable deduction?

No.  A furlough is not considered a charitable contribution.

19. Will the University close for one or more days to observe the furloughs?

No.  The university will remain open.

20. Will employees still be responsible for benefits and other deductions such as the credit union?

Employees are still responsible for credit union and other deductions at the full regular rate.

21. What will happen if an employee refuses to take a required furlough?

The employee may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

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Layoffs

1. What is a layoff?

Whenever it becomes necessary for an organization to reduce its work force, the appointing authority may layoff employees in accordance with Section 123.321 to 124.327 of the Ohio Revised Code (classified employees) and applicable bargaining unit agreements.

2. Who may be laid off at the university?

Classified and bargaining unit employees may be laid off.

3. What review criteria should a department consider in selecting employee(s) for layoff?

  • Seniority
  • Employee's Salary
  • Performance
  • Employees with less than one year of employment

4. What is the first step in processing a layoff?

The supervisor should call the Human Resources Department at 513-556-6381 to discuss with the Human Resources Director who is assigned to his/her area.

5. What paperwork is necessary to lay-off an employee?

Please contact the Human Resources Department at 513-556-6381 to discuss this process.

If a layoff is approved by the Sr. Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Appointing Officer, a notification meeting is scheduled.  This meeting will include the employee, supervisor, business person, and the Human Resources Director.

7. What happens after Human Resources receives the layoff request?

The Human Resources Director assigned to the area will contact the supervisor to acknowledge receipt of the request and to verify all needed information is attached.  If all needed information is attached, the Human Resources Director will review the request with the Abolishment Committee and the Sr. Associate Vice President of Human Resources.

8. What happens after the request is approved?

The department will be notified of the decision.

9. When does the Workforce Assessment Committee meet?

The Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

10. If the reason for this process is disciplinary action, who should I contact?

The supervisor should contact the Labor Relations and Policy Development Department at 513-556-6372.

11. If the department's financial situation in the future improves, can the former employee return to the position?

Yes.

12. Is the position abolished?

No.  The position remains.  When the department's financial situation changes, the department may refill the position.

NOTE: For assistance with the layoff process, please contact the Human Resources Department at 513-556-6381 and ask to speak to the Human Resources Director assigned to your area.

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