HR Operations

Layoff Procedure for Classified Non-Union Staff

(As Revised March 1, 2014)


This layoff procedure is adopted in accordance with WAC 357-46-015 and WAC 357-46-020. The University of Washington follows this procedure when it is necessary to lay off an employee in a classified staff position covered exclusively by Department of Personnel Rules. This procedure describes: terms used in the layoff process; how a classified non-union employee is notified of layoff; how the employee is provided with his or her layoff options; and how the employee is provided with other information related to the layoff process.

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Terms & Definitions

Layoff – A layoff is an action that is taken because of a lack of funds, lack of work, or organizational change that results in:

  1. separation from University employment; or,
  2. employment in a class with a lower salary range maximum; and/or,
  3. reduction in the number of months worked during a year; and/or,
  4. reduction in the number of hours worked during the work week.

Comparable Position – A position is comparable to the one from which an employee is being laid off if it is the same in:

  1. percent time worked;
  2. annual work cycle; and,
  3. geographic location (i.e., city).

Layoff Unit – A layoff unit is an administrative entity (department, division, college etc) or a combination of such entities within which an employee scheduled for layoff may have the option to be placed into another position that is vacant or occupied by an employee with a lower employment retention rating (seniority), instead of being laid off.

The University has established layoff units that provide options to employees scheduled for layoff while minimizing disruption of the University’s operation. See a complete list of classified non-union layoff units.

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Layoff Process

A. Determining that layoff is necessary
The employing official, administrator or other official

  1. determines that the need for layoff exists because of a lack of funds, lack of work or organizational change, and
  2. identifies the position or positions affected.

B. Notifying UW Human Resources of the need to layoff an employee in a position covered by this procedure
The employing official, administrator or other official notifies UW Human Resources of the need for layoff as described at:

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Determining an employee’s layoff option

UW Human Resources identifies the position that will be offered as an employee’s layoff option (if one exists) according to the following criteria.
The position is:

  1. in the employee’s layoff unit, and
  2. comparable to the employee’s current position as defined in this procedure, and
  3. the same class as the employee’s current position, and
  4. vacant, or if no vacant position is available, occupied by the incumbent having the lowest employment retention rating (seniority).

The employee must meet the position’s competency and other requirements.

If a position in the current class is not available, the layoff option (if one exists) is:

  1.  in the employee’s layoff unit, and,
  2. a position in a class in which the employee has held permanent status in the current period of unbroken service (see section below) that is at the same salary range as the employee’s current position, or
  3. a position in a lower class in an occupational category/class series in which the employee has held permanent status in the current period of unbroken service, in descending salary order (The employee does not have to have held permanent status in the lower class), and
  4. vacant, or if no vacant position is available, the incumbent must have the lowest employment retention rating (seniority) of incumbents in positions eligible to be considered as a layoff option.

The employee must meet the position’s competency and other requirements.

If a position meeting the above criteria is not available, then the employee is offered a position, if one exists, that is:

  1. in the employee’s layoff unit, and,
  2. at the same or lower salary range maximum as the position from which the employee is being laid off; and,
  3. vacant and less than comparable or held by a probationary employee; and for which the employee meets competency and other requirements.

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Unbroken service

As used in this documentation, unbroken service is in a classified job title at the University of Washington. A period of contract classified service at the UW, that separates periods of classified non-union service, is not considered a break in service, but is not counted as seniority.

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Determining an employee’s employment retention rating

UW Human Resources determines employment retention ratings. The employment retention rating is the total length of an employee’s current period of unbroken qualifying service calculated as follows:

Total length of unbroken service in calendar days for the current period of employment

-Leave without pay except that military leave without pay is not deducted from seniority

+Veterans eligibility calculated according to WAC 357-46-050

=Total layoff seniority (employment retention rating)

If two or more employees have rights to a layoff option and both employees have the same employment retention rating, the tie in employment retention ratings is broken by the University choosing lots.

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Criteria for “legitimate business requirements” that may considered in determining layoff options.

The University may exclude a position from consideration as an employment option based on “legitimate business requirements”. Legitimate business requirements include those circumstances or characteristics that render a position uniquely sensitive to disruption in operational continuity. Examples include the need to meet critical deadlines, continuity in patient care, and/or the need to achieve critical research goals. UW Human Resources determines whether there are “legitimate business requirements” that justify a position’s exclusion from consideration as a layoff option.

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Preparing the layoff notice, layoff notice content, and serving the layoff notice

UW Human Resources prepares the layoff notice for appointing authority signature. The layoff notice includes:

  1. the reason for layoff
  2. the employee’s employment retention rating (seniority)
  3. the employee’s layoff options
  4. notice of any requirement for the employee to serve a transition review period if a layoff option is selected
  5. the specific layoff list(s) on which the employee is entitled to request placement, if any
  6. how the employee must notify the University of the employee’s layoff option selection; notice of the employee’s right to appeal the layoff.

UW Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that the layoff notice is properly served.

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Selecting a layoff option and completing and submitting the option selection form

Each employee scheduled for layoff will receive the layoff notice and an employee option selection form. The employee is responsible for completing and returning the completed option selection form to the location, and by the deadline specified on the form. The form must be received by the specified deadline or the employee will be considered to have resigned from employment, and not be eligible for placement in an employment option or on a layoff list.

The University may accept an option selection form that is submitted after the specified deadline if the employee can show that the inability to meet the form submission deadline was beyond the employee’s control because the employee was incapacitated to the degree that completion and submission of the form were not possible.

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Employee options for avoiding or reducing the impact of layoff

An employee may seek to avoid or reduce the impact of layoff by applying for other University positions through the University’s employment process.

An employee may notify his/her supervisor of his/her willingness to take leave without pay, to voluntarily take a reduction in per cent time or work year, or to voluntarily demote. An employee’s willingness to take such measures will be considered but does not ensure that it will be possible to avoid the necessity of layoff.

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Notification of Separation for Probationary Employees

A probationary status employee who is separated from employment because of lack of funds, lack of work, or organizational change will receive at least one day’s written notice. Probationary employees are not eligible for placement on a layoff list or an employment option. UW Human Resources is responsible for preparing the notice of probationary period separation, obtaining the appointing authority’s signature on the notice and arranging for service of the notice of probationary period separation.

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Layoff Units for Classified Non-Union Positions

  1. Office of the President
  2. Applied Physics Laboratory
  3. Libraries
  4. Vice President for Minority Affairs
  5. College of the Environment- School of Oceanography, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, School of Forest Resources
  6. College of Engineering
  7. College of Built Environments
  8. School of Law
  9. Evans School of Public Affairs
  10. School of Social Work
  11. Foster School of Business
  12. College of Education except for Experimental Education Unit
  13. Experimental Education Unit
  14. School of Dentistry
  15. School of Nursing
  16. School of Pharmacy
  17. School of Public Health and Community Medicine
  18. Arts and Sciences, College of Arts
  19. Arts and Sciences, College of Humanities
  20. Arts and Sciences – Social Sciences
  21. Arts and Sciences – Applied Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics
  22. Arts and Sciences – Biology, Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences,
  23. Arts and Sciences – Dean’s Offices;; Finance and Administration; Development; Associate Dean – Research, Computing, Facilities, Burke Museum
  24. Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life; Intercollegiate Athletics
  25. Vice President for External Affairs
  26. Vice President for University Advancement
  27. Vice President for Human Resources
  28. Creative Communications
  29. Finance and Facilities – Financial Management
  30. Finance and Facilities – Capital Projects and Facilities Services
  31. UW Information Technology
  32. Special Employment Programs
  33. Health Sciences Administration – Academic Services
  34. Health Sciences Administration – Center on Human Development and Disability; Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute; Research Center in Oral Biology
  35. Health Sciences Administration – Hall Health; Environmental Health and Safety
  36. Washington National Primate Research Center
  37. Health Sciences Administration – All Other – Finance and Administration; Health Sciences and Medical Affairs; News and Community Relations; Institute on Aging; Office of the Executive Director
  38. Office of the Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, School of Medicine – Administrative/program units including the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs – Biomolecular Structure & Design Program, Molecular and Cell Biology Program, and Program for Neurobiology and Behavior

School of Medicine Departments as follows:

  1. Anesthesiology
  2. Biochemistry
  3. Biological Structure; Molecular and Cellular Biology Program; Bioengineering; Microbiology; Molecular Biotechnology; Department of Neurology; Program for Neurobiology and Behavior
  4. Clinical Research Center
  5. Comparative Medicine
  6. Family Medicine
  7. Immunology
  8. Laboratory Medicine
  9. Medical History and Ethics, Medical Education
  10. Medicine
  11. Neurological Surgery
  12. Obstetrics/Gynecology
  13. Ophthalmology
  14. Orthopedics
  15. Otolaryngology
  16. Pathology
  17. Pediatrics
  18. Pharmacology
  19. Physiology and Biophysics
  20. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  21. Radiation Oncology; Radiology
  22. Rehabilitation Medicine
  23. Surgery
  24. Urology

UW Medicine Layoff Units

  1. Airlift Northwest

UW Medicine Shared Services

  1. Chief Health System Officer
  2. Chief Financial Officer
  3. Financial Planning Officer
  4. UW Medicine IT Services
  5. Compliance
  6. Consolidated Laundry

Harborview Medical Center

  1. Executive Director, HMC and all other HMC units not listed below
  2. Associate Administrator – Clinical Support Services and Planning
  3. Associate Administrator – Ambulatory Care and Allied Services
  4. Associate Administrator – Surgical, Emergent and Integrated Clinical Services
  5. Chief Nursing Officer and Associate Administrator
  6. Medical Director

UW Medical Center

  1. Sr. Associate Administrator – Chief Nursing Officer
  2. Sr. Associate Administrator – Planning, Marketing, Design and Construction
  3. Associate Administrator – Service Lines
  4. Associate Administrator – Ambulatory Care Services
  5. Associate Administrator – Clinical Support Services
  6. Associate Administrator – Surgical Services, Regulatory, Infection Control and Transfusion Services
  7. Medical Director


  1. Planning and Budgeting – Vice Provost for
  2. Provost, Office of the – all Provost’s units not delineated as separate units
  3. Educational Outreach – Vice President for
  4. Vice Provost for Research, Dean of Graduate School ,and Undergraduate Academic Affairs
  5. University of Washington, Bothell
  6. University of Washington, Tacoma

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