Separation of Employment Policy

Berea College staff members are considered “at will” employees, which means that your employment may be terminated, without cause, at any time by either you or the College. In addition, separation of employment may occur in one of the following ways: “voluntary,” through resignation or retirement, or “involuntary,” through reduction in force or termination.  Termination may result from misconduct or from job-related performance reasons.

 A. Voluntary Separations

If an employee decides to leave employment with Berea College, we ask that a minimum of two weeks written notice be provided for non-exempt staff; 4 weeks written notice for exempt staff. Employees should inform their Supervisor in writing as soon as possible of the intended last day of work with Berea. This will give the employee’s department an opportunity to make necessary adjustments in staffing to ensure that College’s operations will not be negatively affected. Failure to provide proper notice may affect an employee’s eligibility for re-employment with the College at a later date.

In order to be considered a retiree, when leaving the College the employee must  be 55 years of age or older, have completed at least ten years of service to the College, and have no plans for employment elsewhere.

The date of separation will be the actual last day worked and the employee will be paid for any properly reported unused accrued vacation leave. Prior to leaving the College, all property owned by Berea College must be returned and an Employee Clearance Form initiated and processed. The employee’s supervisor is responsible for initiating, compiling results, and final processing of the Employee Clearance Form required on all employees who separate from the College. This form will be initiated during your last week of work.  In the event that your Supervisor is unavailable due to illness or vacation, it will be the Employee's responsibility to initiate the form and complete the clearance process. The Employee Clearance Form may be accessed at the following:

B. Involuntary Separations

  • Reductions in Force -  Please see:
  • Termination for Cause

Types of behavior that are unacceptable in the Berea College workplace which may ultimately result in termination of employment include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors/actions:

  • falsification of the employment application, time records, or other College records;
  • violating the College’s nondiscrimination or anti-harassment policies;
  • excessive absenteeism or tardiness or leaving work without authorization;
  • dishonesty;
  • reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs or the manufacturing, possessing, distributing or transporting of illegal drugs;
  • fighting or gambling on duty;
  • using obscene, abusive or threatening language or gestures in the workplace;
  • theft of property from the College, its clients or staff;
  • possession of a deadly weapon on campus or in the workplace;
  • insubordination;
  • failure to complete work assignments satisfactorily or demonstrating an unwillingness to perform assigned duties;
  • disclosure of confidential information about the College, its clients, its staff, students or donors;
  • misuse of College funds, including improper and unauthorized use of the College's Purchasing Card;
  • damaging or destroying College equipment or property;
  • any acts that are against local, state or federal law on College property while on the job;
  • incarceration following a conviction resulting in missing at least 5 consecutive work days;
  • job abandonment (3 consecutive work days missed without notice);
  • misconduct in violation of College policy;
  • disregard of safety or security rules or imperiling the safety of others;
  • excessive use of College telephones for personal use or excessive use of personal cell phones while on work time;
  • unsatisfactory job performance; and
  • any action which serves to harm or malign Berea College;

All terminations for cause will preclude the employee from being considered for future employment with Berea College.

C. Exit Interviews

Before leaving, a departing employee may be asked to participate in a voluntary exit interview. This will provide closure regarding employment and will allow the College to ensure that employees have an opportunity to discuss questions about continuation of benefits. This also allows individuals to provide comments or ideas about improving the workplace at Berea College. 

D. References

All employment references on behalf of the College concerning previously employed staff members are provided by the Director of Human Resources. No other Supervisor or Employee is authorized or permitted to release references on behalf of the College for a current or former staff member.

E. Re-employment

Former employees of Berea College may re-apply for positions in the future.  The College recognizes the value of prior work with Berea and the training and experience such employees may potentially bring back to the campus. Regular full time and part time staff members who have voluntarily separated from Berea College and whose employment was considered “in good standing” are eligible for re-employment. Employees seeking re-employment must make application for announced position vacancies through the regular application process.  An Application to Join the College Staff is required for all applicants.

Approved by the Administrative Committee, January 24, 2012