Separation from employment

HR 118 Separations

Factors applicable in all separations

  1. All employees separating from employment with MU Extension should be given the opportunity to participate in an exit interview. Exit interviews are voluntary. See the exit interview documents on the MU HR Termination, retirement or transfer page.
  2. The separating employee and supervisory should complete a separation/transfer checklist to assure that all university property assigned to the employee is returned, that all necessary forms are processed in a timely manner, and that all authorizations and accesses to university records are properly handled. The form can be found on the MU HR Termination, retirement or transfer page.
  3. Under the provisions of the Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), upon separation from employment from the university for any reason other than gross misconduct, an employee and covered dependents may continue certain insurance coverage for up to 18 months, but the separating employee will be responsible for the full cost of participation. For specific information about the continuation of benefits, see COBRA participation information.
  4. Unemployment compensation: Under some circumstances, an employee separating from employment with MU Extension may be eligible for unemployment compensation.
  • For employees, information about potential eligibility for unemployment compensation is available through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
  • For directors, managers and supervisors, if a department receives a claim for unemployment compensation, it should be forwarded to Total Rewards, 1000 W. Nifong, Building 7 - Suite 210, Columbia, Missouri 65211- 8220, Attention: Unemployment Compensation Claims. Additional information about the Missouri unemployment compensation system is available at http://labor.mo.gov/Employers.

Resignation

  • Notice: At least two weeks notice is expected if a MU Extension employee is to resign from a position in good standing.
  • Payment: An employee who resigns will be removed from the payroll on the last day of actual work. At the time of separation, accrued pay and benefits will be paid as follows:
    • Payment for time worked will be made on the regular pay cycle.
    • For employees who have completed the probationary period, vacation accrual and usage will be calculated after the employee’s effective date of separation and accrued vacation will be paid on the employee’s next regular pay cycle.
    • Medical, dental and vision benefit eligibility will continue until the end of the month of termination.
    • A refund of employee contributions to the university retirement plans will be made for employees who have not vested in the university retirement plans. At the time of separation, the employee will be contacted by Faculty and Staff Benefits with information about processing this refund.
    • For vested employees, at the time or resignation, the employee may choose to receive a lump sum distribution or rollover to another retirement plan or may defer action, remaining a participant in the retirement plan. For more information on these options, see the appropriate retirement plan documents or contact the HRS Service Center at HRServiceCenter@umsystem.edu or 573-882-2146 (800-488-5288) for specific information. 
  • Continuation of benefits: Under the provisions of the Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), upon separation from employment from the university for any reason other than gross misconduct, an employee and covered dependents may continue certain insurance coverage for up to 18 months, but the separating employee will be responsible for the full cost of participation. For specific information about the continuation of benefits, see COBRA participation information.

Non-renewal of extension academic employees

  • Notice: Academic employees of MU Extension are employed on fixed term contracts, with appointments generally made on an annual basis through August 31. Appointment of an extension faculty member may be made for a term of less than or more than one year, but in no event will a Non-tenure Track extension faculty member be appointed for a term longer than three years. Decisions to appoint or not reappoint faculty members in Schools or Colleges will be determined by the policies of the campus and the appropriate school or college.

    Reappointment of an extension faculty member will be made in writing prior to the beginning of the term of appointment. Normally and barring extenuating circumstances, extension NTT faculty members will be provided at least three months notice of a decision to not reappoint the faculty member.
  • Payment: In the event of non-reappointment, a terminated will be compensated in a manner consistent with that of an employee who resigns from employment. At the time of separation, accrued pay and benefits will be paid as follows:
    • Payment for time worked will be made on the regular pay cycle.
    • Vacation accrual and usage will be calculated after the employee’s effective date of separation and accrued vacation will be paid on the employee’s next regular pay cycle.
    • Medical, dental and vision benefit eligibility will continue until the end of the month of separation.
    • A refund of employee contributions to the university retirement plans will be made for employees who have not vested in the university retirement plans. At the time of separation, the employee will be contacted by Faculty and Staff Benefits with information about processing this refund.
    • For vested employees, at the time or separation, the employee may choose to receive a lump sum distribution or rollover to another retirement plan or may defer action, remaining a participant in the retirement plan. For more information on these options, see the appropriate retirement plan documents or contact the HRS Service Center at HRServiceCenter@umsystem.edu or 573-882-2146 (800-488-5288) for specific information. 
  • Continuation of benefits: Under the provisions of the Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), upon separation from employment from the university for any reason other than gross misconduct, an employee and covered dependents may continue certain insurance coverage for up to 18 months, but the separating employee will be responsible for the full cost of participation. For specific information about the continuation of benefits, see COBRA participation information.

Retirement

  • Eligibility: For vested employees participating in one of the retirement plans of the University of Missouri, retirement benefits are calculated on the basis of the age and years of service of the employee at the time or retirement. Employees are eligible to retire from the University of Missouri if they have reached age 55 with at least ten years of credited service or at age 60 with five years of credited service. For employees retiring prior to age 65, retirement benefits based on credited service may be reduced. A retirement benefit calculator is available to assist employees in estimating benefits available to employees contemplating retirement. See www.umsystem.edu/totalrewards/retirement/retiree-estimate for information on using the retirement benefit calculator.
  • Notice of intent to retire: The decision to retire from a position with MU Extension is initiated by the completion and filing of a “Notice of Intent to Retire” form, available at  hrs.missouri.edu/forms/termination-retirement-or-transfer.php. The effective date of retirement will be determined by the last date of work and the amount of accumulated vacation time as of that date.
  • Accumulated vacation leave. Accumulated vacation leave is not paid to the employee at the time of retirement. Rather, the employee will exhaust all accumulated vacation time after the last day of work prior to the effective date of retirement.
  • Accumulated sick leave. Accumulated sick leave is not paid to the employee at the time or retirement. However, accumulated sick leave will be converted to additional credited service of the employee at the time of retirement. As a result, the total credited service at the time of retirement will be the number of years of employment plus the amount of accumulated sick leave at the time of retirement.

Layoff

  • Definition: Under university policy, a layoff is defined as the “cessation of regular employment due to a permanent or temporary reduction in force.”. The layoff policy applies to all regular administrative, service and support staff who have completed their probationary period, except for managerial and executive employees. (HR 117 Layoff)
  • Seniority: Under the Layoff policy, for regular administrative, service and support employee, other than service and maintenance personnel, seniority consists of the continuous service of the employee in the same department. If relative service among employees is equal the employee with the greatest university service is the most senior employee. For service and maintenance personnel, additional rules may apply. See the appropriate Understanding of Policies for relevant procedures.

    Employees laid off due to a reduction in force retain seniority accumulated to the date of layoff during the time the employee is on a layoff leave of absence but the employee does not continue to accrue seniority. If an employee who is notified of a layoff or who has been laid off transfers to another department, the employee continues to maintain seniority in the department where the layoff occurred for a period of one year from the effective date of the layoff or transfer, whichever occurs first. (HR 117 Layoff)

    All things being equal, job security shall be commensurate with an employee’s seniority. If the abilities, skills, training, and other relevant qualifications to fill existing positions are considered equivalent among  affected employees, the employee with the longest seniority will be retained and the employee with the shortest seniority will be the first to be laid off. The university reserves the right in any given instance to determine if an employee possesses the relevant qualifications such as ability, training, and skills to fill the position. (HR 117 Layoff.)
  • Notice:  Eligible employees will be given notice of a minimum of two weeks of a layoff due to a workforce reduction. At the university’s option, the employee may receive two weeks pay in lieu of notice. Issuance of layoff notice must be coordinated through MU Human Resources Services. For more information, see hrs.missouri.edu/policies-and-procedures/layoff-and-transitional-assistance.php. (HR 117 Layoff)
  • Layoff leave of absence/Continuation of benefits: Eligible administrative, service and support employees with a minimum of five years of continuous regular employment with the university immediately prior to layoff will be placed on a layoff leave of absence for one year from the effective date of layoff. Employees with less than five years of continuous regular employment prior to layoff will be placed on a layoff leave of absence for three months from the effective date of layoff.

    During the layoff leave of absence, the employee will be eligible to participate in the university’s benefit programs. The university will continue to pay its portion of the benefit premiums during the layoff leave of absence.

    The period of leave of absence is excluded in computing length of service under the University Retirement, Disability and Death Benefit plan. However, the leave of absence does not constitute an interruption of service. A layoff leave of absence does not count toward vesting in the university retirement plan.

    Upon expiration of a layoff leave of absence, if the employee has not located a position, the employee will be terminated. (HR 117 Layoff)
  • Recall and hiring preference: The university shall, in its sole discretion, after a reduction in force, determine the occasion and the advisability of recall of part or all of the laid off employees. The university shall consider seniority, ability, and qualifications, as well as the nature of the jobs for which the employees will be recalled.

    Employees retain preferential hiring rights in the department in which they have been laid off.  "Hiring preference" within a department shall mean that if laid off departmental employees meet the stated qualifications the department may only consider the laid off employee(s) and other employees in the same department for openings in that department. "Department" is defined as an organizational entity that has fiscal, programmatic and administrative responsibilities for employees. ( HR 117 Layoff)
  • Transitional assistance program: Laid off employees may be eligible to participate in a “Transitional Assistance Program.” For current information on the criteria for participating in the Transitional Assistance Program, contact MU Human Resource Services. See Layoff and transition assistance for more information.
  • Unemployment compensation: Under some circumstances, an employee separating from employment with MU Extension may be eligible for unemployment compensation.
    • For employees, information about potential eligibility for unemployment compensation is available through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
    • For directors, managers and supervisors, if a department receives a claim for unemployment compensation, it should be forwarded to Total Rewards, 1000 W. Nifong, Building 7 - Suite 210, Columbia, Missouri 65211- 8220, Attention: Unemployment Compensation Claims. Additional information about the Missouri unemployment compensation system is available at http://labor.mo.gov/Employers.
  • Resources:

Termination

Employees in temporary, part-time and other non-regular positions serve at the will of the university and may be terminated for lack of work or other legitimate reasons. Link to issues common to all separations for additional information.

Termination of employees in academic positions is subject to the policies concerning non-reappointment.

For employees in exempt staff positions, see the policies concerning discipline for limitations on the termination of employment and link to issues common to all separations.

Non-exempt staff positions are generally subject to progressive discipline. For no-disciplinary terminations of non-exempt regular employees, see layoff policies and procedures.

For more information, see the FAQs on termination of federal Schedule A appointments.