Represented Exempt (SSSSU) Employees

Questions and Answers

What is a layoff?

A layoff refers to the involuntary termination of employment because a regular position is eliminated for business-related reasons. A layoff is a sometimes called a reduction in force or RIF.

Where can I find out more about how layoff could impact my employment?

As a represented exempt employee, you should consult the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by and between The Evergreen State College and the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE). Layoff and Seniority is addressed in Article 33. See other sections of this Q&A if you are a represented classified employee or non-represented exempt employee. If you are faculty, please refer to the United Faculty of Evergreen CBA.

When can a layoff occur?

The basis for a layoff must be for business-related reasons and includes, but is not limited to, the following reasons:

  1. Lack of work
  2. Lack of funds
  3. Organizational change

How are positions selected for layoff?

In the event of a layoff, the President, reporting Vice-President and/or designee, in consultation with the Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services and/or designee, will determine the position(s) to be eliminated or subject to a furlough.

When there are multiple incumbents assigned to the same position group as a position to be eliminated, the layoff will be applied to the least senior employee(s) in the position group in Appendix D, after voluntary layoffs, if any, are applied.

I am a veteran. Is there any sort of preference for veterans in layoff?

Yes, for the purposes of layoffs, a maximum of five (5) years’ credit will be added to the seniority of permanent employees who are veterans or to their unmarried widows or widowers, as provided for in RCW 41.06.133 (1)(m).

Can an employee grieve a layoff action?

Yes, layoff actions are subject to the grievance procedure in Article 31.

How much notice will I receive before a layoff?

Pursuant to Article 33.5, the affected employee will be given written notice at least thirty (30) calendar days before the effective date of any layoff.

What should I look for in my layoff notice that will help me understand this layoff?

The written notice will contain the following information:

  1. Reasons or basis for the layoff,
  2. When applicable, notice to the employee of the employee’s right to revert to classified service as provided by RCW 41.06.070 and/or internal classified layoff list, and 
  3. When applicable, notice to the employee of any entitlement to request placement on the internal priority hiring consideration list, in accordance with Section 6.3A (2) of Article 6 Hiring and Appointments.

Do I have a right to revert to classified service?

A permanent employee who accepts an appointment to an exempt position has the right to return to classified service at any time as long as the employee was not terminated from an exempt position for gross misconduct or malfeasance.

What position is my return right to?

The employee's right is to a position in the highest job classification in which the employee previously held permanent status or to a position of similar nature and salary.

Where is my return right to?

The return right is to the most recent employer with which permanent status in the highest job classification was held. A position in the highest class does not necessarily mean return to the most recent employer.

What happens if no positions in my highest classification are vacant?

If upon an employee being returned to a classified position there are fewer positions than there are employees entitled to such positions, the applicable agency or higher ed institutions’ layoff procedure applies.

I have the right to revert to classified service with the college, so what do I do?

You must apply to Human Resource Services for return to classified service within thirty (30) calendar days of:

  • Separation from employment in the exempt position, or
  • Separation from employment in any subsequent exempt position if there is no break in state service of more than thirty (30) calendar days between initial and subsequent exempt appointments.

I have the right to revert to classified service at my former state agency or higher ed institution, so what do I do?

You must notify your previous agency/institution of your intent to exercise return rights. Please refer to the Transition Guide for Exempt Employees for more information.

If I revert to classified service with the college, how is my seniority determined?

The seniority of the employee returning to a represented position in the classified service will be subject to the terms of the classified employee’s collective bargaining agreement between The Evergreen State College and the exclusive bargaining representative. The seniority of the employee returning to a non-represented classified position will be subject to WAC 357 and The Evergreen State College’s “Layoff Procedure for Classified, Non-Represented Staff”.

What is the internal priority hiring consideration list?

Employees who are eligible will be given priority consideration and inclusion for purposes of internal applicant interviews, for a two-year period following the effective date of their layoff. In order to receive priority consideration, the employee must notify Human Resources at the time of their eligibility of the desire to maintain priority consideration status. An employee who has given such notice, who applies for a vacant bargaining unit position within two years of eligibility, and who is qualified for the position, will be given priority consideration (along with any other qualified bargaining unit applicants).

If I am rehired from the internal priority hiring consideration list, how will it impact my seniority?

Employees who are separated from state service due to layoff and are reemployed from a layoff list or internal priority hiring consideration list will not be considered to have a break in service and the time employees are on these layoff lists will be treated as leave without pay.

Other

While I am laid off will I still have my health insurance?

For an answer that addresses your circumstances, contact the Payroll Office or the Health Care Authority for more information.

While I am laid off will I qualify for Unemployment Insurance?

The college does not make this determination. Contact the Employment Security Department to find out if you’re eligible.

If I have additional questions about layoff, who should I ask?

Employees are encouraged to contact Tracy Dunn, Assistant Director for Human Resource Services, at (360)867-6362, dunnt@evergreen.edu or in person at LIB 3102.