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Separation from Employment

[Policy] Last Updated: February, 2017

A. Dismissal during Probation Period

Dismissal is the involuntary separation of an employee from employment during the probationary period. Probationary periods are classification specific and are generally for either a six-month or twelve-month period.  If for a specific reason the employer believes the employee cannot or will not provide satisfactory service, the employee may be dismissed prior to the completion of the probationary period. Good personnel practice dictates that progress evaluations be conducted by the employer at intervals during the probationary period in order to point out any existing deficiencies and to enable the employee to make the necessary adjustments.

In cases where an employee fails to demonstrate the ability and qualifications necessary to furnish satisfactory service, Human Resource Services should be contacted as soon as possible, but not less than three weeks prior to the end of probation period.  A minimum of one week's notice shall be given prior to the dismissal of the employee. Every effort should be made to notify probationary employees of possible dismissal at the performance evaluation conferences conducted during the probationary period. In certain extreme cases, such as an employee being guilty of an offense justifying disciplinary suspension, periods of less than one week's minimum notice may be given to probationary employees.

A probationary employee who is permitted to complete the initial probationary period becomes a status employee and the discharge provisions of the State Universities Civil Service System statute take effect.  Employees with seniority in other civil service classifications may have retreat rights into prior classifications. 

A dismissed employee is entitled to payment of applicable benefits as outlined in the Board of Trustee Regulations.  .

B. Discharge

Discharge is the involuntary separation of a status employee for cause. Referral is made to State Universities Civil Service Rules Section 250.110(f) Discharge Proceedings and Effective Date of Discharge. A discharged employee is entitled to payment of applicable benefits as outlined in the Board of Trustee Regulations.  .

C. Resignation

Resignation is an act by which employees voluntarily separate from employment. Civil Service procedures provide that an employer cannot refuse to accept a resignation submitted by an employee.

All Civil Service employees in status positions must complete and sign an Employment Separation Form at Human Resource Services. A resignation submitted by an employee is not considered to be complete until it has been accepted by Human Resource Services. Upon deciding to resign, employees are expected to provide the supervisor with a minimum of two weeks notice

Because resignation papers must be completed in Human Resource Services before any final actions can be processed by the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office, Payroll and Compensation, State Universities Retirement System (SURS), or others, it is in the best interest of both the employee and the University that the Employment Separation Form be completed with as much advance notice as possible.

Once completed, the Employment Separation Form constitutes a binding contract by which an employee is separated from employment and final benefits can be paid. If an employee wishes to rescind a resignation, for whatever reason, such action is subject to acceptance by the employing department with approval by Human Resource Services.

A resigning employee in a status position is entitled to payment of applicable benefits as outlined in the Board of Trustee Regulations up to the effective date of resignation. The effective date of resignation will be the last day worked by the employee. Resignation due to retirement may be the last day of actual work, the last paid holiday, or last paid date of administrative closure. A retirement application must also be completed to send to SURS by the Insurance and Employee Benefits Office For individuals retiring, see section D.

Except in cases of retirement, state health, dental, and life insurance coverage for both the employee and insured dependents ceases at midnight on the last date of employment. Continuation of group coverage or conversion to individual plans may be available.

D. Retirement

Individuals desiring to retire must complete an Employment Separation Form with Human Resource Services and complete  SURS retirement application with the State Universities Retirement System.    It is recommended that employees planning to retire should notify the State Universities Retirement System a minimum of two months before the effective date of retirement in order to prepare application with the State Universities Retirement System and Human Resource Services 30 days prior.  Employees wishing to release their position prior to the 30 day window can complete a form with Human Resource Services. 

The statutes of the State of Illinois govern the State Universities Retirement System.  Individuals wanting information regarding retirement eligibility should visit www.surs.org

Pursuant to university procedures the effective date of retirement may be the last day of actual work or the last paid holiday or last paid date of administrative closure.

E. Death

In the event of the death of an employee, the employing department should notify Human Resource Services.

F. Layoff

All layoffs should be coordinated with Human Resource Services

Official layoff notices will be prepared and issued by Human Resource Services. 

Layoff Due to Break in Academic Calendar (Season Layoff)

Employees laid off due to a break in the academic calendar must be notified of an expected return-to-work date. Employees have the option of having their vacation benefits paid out after the effective date of layoff. Sick leave benefits will not be paid out for reasons of layoff. The employer's share of insurance will be paid on the same basis that it had been paid prior to layoff. The employee will be billed for insurance coverage by Central Management Services. The employee cannot pay into the Retirement System. Employees receive 120 days protection and service credit. (Layoffs due to a break in the academic calendar usually do not exceed 120 days.)

Indefinite Layoff

When a position is abolished due to financial exigency, reorganization, or insufficient workload, the incumbent shall be placed on layoff status unless voluntary resignation from the University occurs. When placed on layoff, the employee will be put on a re-employment register and remain there until re-employment offers are refused or the employee later resigns. Eligible employees subject to layoff may utilize bump rights as provided for in Civil Service Section 250.110(c)(2). Re-employment will be by seniority within the class, on the campus, taking into consideration lesser units, if any. (For additional information regarding seniority rights, see State Universities Civil Service System Section 250.110(c) Layoff and Section 250.120 Seniority.)

For indefinite layoffs, an expected return-to-work date is unknown the employee cannot pay into the State Universities Retirement System while on indefinite layoff. Employees receive 120 days protection and service credit. After 120 days, the employee may apply for a refund from the Retirement System if they so wish.