HR Operations

Involuntary Termination

Last updated: May 1, 2024

Involuntary termination of employment can occur for a number of reasons, including these situations:

  • An employee has not improved performance or behavior in response to corrective action
  • An employee cannot provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States
  • An employee has engaged in serious misconduct, such as: violation of University policy, violation of the law, workplace violence, theft, fraud in securing University employment, neglect of duty, or absence without authorization

Only an individual with the delegated authority, the “appointing authority,” may approve the involuntary termination of employment of a classified non-union, contract covered staff, or professional staff employee (other than those professional staff employees in limited term hourly-paid appointments).

Appointing authorities are typically deans, vice presidents, medical center CEOs, other individuals with comparable positions, or other individuals who have received a properly documented delegation of authority to act on behalf of the appointing authority.

In general, involuntary termination of employment requires that the individual recommending an employee’s termination write to the appointing authority explaining the reason(s) for termination. As soon as you have reason to believe that you may need to terminate an individual’s employment, you should talk with your unit’s HR consultant. They will help you evaluate the circumstances to determine appropriate action with respect to the particular situation and the individual’s employment program.

If involuntary termination is necessary, your HR consultant will ensure that the process is completed as required.

Processing and providing support

When termination is necessary, supervisors should review the separating from employment checklist to ensure that all required actions are completed:

Advise your employee to contact Employee Workday Help for assistance with questions about benefits and health insurance continuation. UW-paid medical and dental coverage ends at midnight on the last day of the month of termination from a benefits eligible position, as long as the employee was paid for at least eight hours that month.

Employees can learn about the federal COBRA law that allows insurance continuation by self-payment of premiums for up to 18 months after termination. Visit the Benefit’s COBRA page to download the enrollment form.

Consider referring an employee facing termination to the WA Employee Assistance Program, which offers professional counseling for up to three sessions per concern.