Reduction in Force Policy for Full-Time Employees


This policy applies to all full-time employees of Berea College ("the College”) other than tenured or tenure track faculty, faculty with term or special appointments, temporarily contracted employees, employees whose positions are externally funded, and students participating in the College’s Labor Program whose full-time position has been eliminated.  Employees covered by this policy are referred to individually as an “Employee” or collectively as the “Employees.”


To provide policy and procedures for layoff of full-time College Employees. The  provisions of this policy do not apply to the dismissal of an Employee for misconduct or lack of satisfactory performance.

General Policy

Berea College endeavors to provide stable employment to all Employees. Situations including, but not limited to, financial exigency, a lack of work, reorganization of the College’s operations, or changes in programs or technologies, may require a reduction in the work force to assure the continued financial security, quality and efficiency of the College. The College reserves the right to layoff or reassign its Employees when such layoff/reassignment meets operational needs.

Determination of Necessity for Reduction in Force

The Administrative Committee, in consultation with others as required (e.g., Trustees), is responsible to determine whether circumstances exist which warrant a reduction in the College’s work force to assure the continued financial security, quality or efficiency of the College’s offices and programs.

Layoff Procedures

The Administrative Committee of the College will designate in which Institutional Unit(s) the reductions will occur. The appropriate Administrative Committee member (for each Institutional Unit affected by the reduction in force) will recommend and the Administrative Committee will determine the level at which reductions in staff will have the least detrimental effect on the Unit’s or College’s operations and shall accordingly specify the layoff of personnel within the Unit.

Employees will be laid-off based on a determination of whether the elimination of the particular job will have less detrimental effects on the College than the elimination of other jobs within the same or other Institutional Units.  For the purposes of this policy, the terms “Institutional Unit” or “Unit” are defined as an office, business, department or other operational subdivision of the College.


The Employee (incumbent) will receive written notification not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date their position will end. The date on which employment will be terminated will be determined through conversation between the incumbent and the supervisor, but cannot be later than the date on which the position is due to be eliminated. The Office of Human Resources shall receive written notification from the appropriate member of the Administrative Committee of the name and title of each Employee selected for layoff and the date of the layoff. This notification will be sent to the Office of Human Resources no later than seven (7) days prior to the date of the actual notification.

Benefits Eligibility

The following rules concerning benefits will apply to Employees who have been laid-off:

  • Payment for all accrued vacation leave.
  • Sick leave balances accrued at the time of layoff will be restored if the Employee is rehired by the College within one year of the layoff date.
  • COBRA regulations allow the conversion of the health insurance policy and the dental insurance policy, provided the Employee pays the total monthly premium for the coverage.
  • A vested right to all contributions made by the College to the Employee’s TIAA/CREF retirement account.
  • Long term disability (LTD) is not available for continuation.
  • Life insurance is available for conversion to a private policy.

Severance Benefit

An Employee whose employment at the College has ceased as a result of the application of this Policy shall be entitled to a lump sum severance payment benefit equal to two (2) months of regular work time of pay plus 1/10 of one month’s pay for each completed year of employment, calculated on the Employee’s last rate of pay.

Previous Work Force Policy Superseded

This Policy supersedes and replaces the College’s Work Force Adjustment and Employment Assistance Policy [Policy No. 58], dated November 1, 1995.

Out Placement Services

The Office of Human Resources will provide out placement services for Employees whose employment at the College has ceased as a result of this Policy.

Layoff decisions will be made without regard for the Employee's race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability where reasonable accommodation can be made.

This policy was approved by the Administrative Committee on 3-10-03; clarified 9/1/04.

Revised: 2/2013