Layoff Frequently Asked Questions

Questions regarding layoff and preferential rehire that have been fielded by our ELR team

  • What determines a layoff or reduction in time?
  • Indefinite layoffs and reductions in time for employees in career positions are implemented when there is a lack of funds or a lack of work.
  • Who makes the determination of what positions are proposed for layoff?
  • The department head determines when layoffs are necessary, and shall identify the position(s) selected for layoff, due to a lack of funds or lack of work.
  • Is a layoff based on seniority?
  • Yes, generally, a layoff is based on seniority, which means that the least senior employee (with the least amount of University service) in the identified classification in the layoff unit is laid off. However, in some cases layoffs may be based on special skills, which means the department may need to retain a less senior employee with special skills that the more senior employee does not possess. If this occurs, a more senior employee would be laid off. There may be situations where a position requires special licensing or a credential that a more senior person in the classification cannot acquire within a reasonable period of time (3-6 months). The documentation supporting a special skills layoff must state the specific skills required and why the more senior employee(s) cannot acquire them in a reasonable amount of time.

    For employees covered by Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM), layoffs may also be based on performance if the deficiencies are documented.  The department must work with their Employee Relations Consultant in such cases.
  • How is seniority calculated for the purpose of layoff?
  • Seniority points are calculated based on the hours on pay status from the most recent date of hire (service time prior to a break in service is not counted toward seniority for purpose of layoff). Included in this calculation are hours worked in all career, academic, student (casual restricted) and limited appointments.
  • Is a reduction in time considered a layoff?
  • Yes. If a career employee’s time is involuntarily reduced, it is considered a layoff, and the employee is entitled to layoff rights.
  • Is the layoff candidate entitled to severance pay?
  • Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement can elect severance pay or retain preference and recall rights.

    Policy-covered employees shall only receive severance pay.
  • What is preferential rehire?
  • An employee with preferential rehire rights will receive preferential consideration for any active, vacant career position when the position is at the same or lower salary grade, and at the same or lesser percentage of time. Preferential rehire entitles layoff candidates to have their applications forwarded to the hiring department before all other applications are forwarded, provided the employee meets the minimum qualifications of the position. Refer to Preferential Rehire and Recall Rights for additional information.
  • What are recall rights?
  • Recall entitles layoff candidates to an open, vacant position in the same classification, salary grade, and department, at the same or lesser percentage of time as the position held at the time of layoff. A layoff candidate could have recall rights for up to three years from the date of layoff depending upon the employee's service time. Refer to Preferential Rehire and Recall Rights for additional information.
  • What services are available through Human Resources for employees facing layoff?
  • Human Resources offers a variety of services including:

    • > Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP): Confidential cost-free counseling for faculty, staff, and their immediate family members. Mental health assessment, consultation, and referral services are also offered.
    • > Benefits: See the UCnet Being Laid Off Checklist or make an individual appointment with a Benefits Counselor at 530-752-1774 for information about the effects of a layoff on your insurance and retirement benefits.
    • > Temporary Employment Services (TES): individual consulting on the employment application process and resource information on job development agencies in regional areas, as well as resume review and preparation for job searches. Individuals may apply at TES for temporary employment. TES also offers a four-hour DaFIS training module.
    • > Career Transition Support: Learning & Organizational Development provides career coaching appointments to help you process and plan your career transition, including tools and support for your job search. Visit the Career Transitions web page for additional information.

    For more information, please see Layoff Information for Employees.

  • When does the layoff candidate receive their final paycheck?
  • The laid off employee receives their final paycheck on the last day of work, at their regular place of work. If the employee receives pay in lieu of notice, the check is paid at the time of notice for all future wages.
  • How does the department process the employee’s leave accruals?
  • Vacation is paid out to the employee on the last day of work. Sick leave is reinstated upon reemployment, as long as the employee is on preferential rehire status.
  • Is layoff considered a break in service?
  • A layoff is not considered a break in service as long as the layoff candidate has preferential rehire and recall rights, and if the individual is rehired within the period in which they are eligible for these rights. If the individual received severance pay at the time they were laid off, the separation is considered a break in service. 
  • What is the impact of layoff on the employee’s insurance benefits?
  • Medical, dental and vision coverage will end on the last day of the separation month. For example, if an employee separates effective July 6, coverage will end effective July 31 (disability coverage will end July 6). If an employee separates July 31, coverage will end July 31.

    The employee and/or the eligible family members may be eligible to continue UC-sponsored coverage under COBRA continuation. There is a very limited time to take advantage of COBRA continuation. The employee should refer to the COBRA Continuation of Group Insurance Coverage notice.

    Coverage end dates and conversion privileges vary for the Life, Dependent Life and AD&D insurance plans. Disability coverage ends on the employee’s last day of active employment and is not available for continuation or conversion.

    Please refer to the UCNet Being Laid Off Checklist for additional information about any of these insurance plans.

  • How does layoff impact the employee’s retirement benefits?
  • The employee stops accruing University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) service credit on the last day on pay status. If the employee is a UCRP member, he/she may be eligible for one of the following options upon leaving UC: Inactive Membership, Refund of Accumulations, Retirement Income, or Lump Sum Cashout.

    If the employee is eligible to retire and eligible for Retiree Health benefits, (medical and dental), the retirement date must be within 120 days of separation from UC, and the employee’s medical and dental benefits must still be active up to the retirement date. The employee should call and make an appointment with a Benefits Representative as soon as possible.
  • What resources are available for the employee regarding UC benefits and retirement plans?
  • Several publications are available that provide additional information, including: UCnet Being Laid Off Checklist, Termination of Employment Benefits Checklist, Continuation of Group Insurance Coverage (COBRA) Notice and the University of California Retirement Handbook. These materials are available from the Benefits Office and at the UC website. Benefits representatives are available from the campus Benefits Office at 530-752-1774 between 8:30-4:00.
  • What types of training opportunities are available to the layoff candidate?
  • The employee is entitled to take any of the LMS courses without charge. The employee determines which courses support their re-training effort and contacts Learning & Organizational Development at 530-752-1766 to enroll. In addition, during the period of time the employee retains preferential rehire rights, UC Davis and Continuing and Professional Education reduced fee programs may be available.
  • Are there any career counseling services available?
  • Yes. Learning & Organizational Development provides career coaching appointments to help you process and plan your career transition, including tools and support for your job search. Appointments can be scheduled through Learning & Organizational Development by calling 530-752-1766. Visit the Career Transitions web page for additional information.
  • Is the employee entitled to release time to look for a new job?
  • Yes. With reasonable notice, an employee shall be granted reasonable time off with pay to interview for University positions.