Human Resources

Involuntary Termination

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Policy Information
  • Issue Date: May 23, 1994
  • Primary Contact: Director of Human Resources
  • Responsible Member of Directorate: President and Director
  • Responsible Office: Human Resources
Policy Information


I. General

When an employee is terminated for reasons other than voluntary resignation of employment, the following procedures will apply:

II. Termination Due to Lack of Work/Lack of Funding

  1. If an employee is being considered for layoff because of lack of work/lack of funding, the Institution may, in the discretion of its Management, consider possible re-assignment of the affected employee to other open employment opportunities within the Institution which he or she is qualified to perform. Posting of the new position will not be required. The Human Resources Department will assist the Department Chair or Administrative Manager in assessing possible re-assignment opportunities. A change of status to Casual Labor in lieu of termination may be recommended by the Department Chair or Administrative Manager for the affected employee in his or her discretion. (See Authorization for Involuntary Termination form (pdf)).  However, nothing in this policy shall require the Institution to re-assign employees in lieu of layoff, and the Institution reserves the right to re-assign employees to open positions/available work funded by a project or not on a case-by-case basis considering the business needs of the Institution, the qualifications and performance history of the affected employee and other factors.
  2. In the event the affected employee is not  re-assigned at the Institution employment will be terminated, subject to such notice (if any) as may be provided under the Institution’s Notice Provision Policy.

III. Termination Due to Unsatisfactory Performance or Employee Misconduct

  1. Unless the employee has a written employment agreement for a guaranteed term of employment, all employment with the Institution is “at will,” meaning that employment may be terminated by the Institution with or without cause.  The termination of tenured scientists is subject to the requirements contained in the Appointment and Promotions Handbook (“The Blue Book”).  Prior to initiating the procedures for  termination, the supervisor, the Department Chair or Administrative Manager, as appropriate, shall confer with the Human Resources Department., Management may, but is not required to, counsel the employee to identify performance deficiencies and to set expectations for improved job performance   through the use of progressive discipline prior to the termination of employment. (See Progressive Disciplinary Action.).  However, whether a particular employee performance or conduct issue is suitable for progressive discipline is to be determined on a case-by- case basis and in the sole discretion of Institution Management.
  2. The following are non-exclusive examples of employee misconduct that may result in immediate discharge without going through progressive disciplinary procedures:
    1. insubordination;
    2. theft or destruction of Institution property;
    3. falsification of business records or dishonesty;
    4. sexual or other unlawful harassment;
    5. violation of the Institution’s equal employment opportunity policies;
    6. violence or threats towards other Institution employees;
    7. possession of illegal drugs in the workplace;
    8. being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during work periods
    9. Bringing dangerous or unauthorized weapons onto Institution premises.
    10. 10. Engaging in criminal activity

IV. Termination Authorization Form

Once it has been determined that termination of employment is indicated, the supervisor and/or Department Chair/Administrative Manager shall contact the Human Resources Department. An Authorization for Involuntary Termination Form must be completed by the Department Chair/Administrative Manager prior to any termination notification. The necessary approvals will be secured by the Human Resources Department. The level of approval to terminate will be the same as the level to hire (see Hiring Process). When final approval for the termination of employment has been received, the Human Resources Department will notify the Department Chair/Administrative Manager who, in turn, will notify the employee with the participation of a Human Resources representative. The completed form will be made a part of the employee's personnel file.

Should you require assistance in the interpretation or application of this procedure, please contact Human Resources.

Last updated: October 20, 2015