Last Revised: 10 Oct 2019 Refer Questions to: Executive Director, Human Resources


This policy applies to staff employees in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University unless specifically covered by collective bargaining agreements made between Gallaudet University and certified bargaining agents.


Although the University is committed to avoiding layoffs of employees to the greatest extent possible, conditions may arise which call for the layoff of staff employees due, most often, to program discontinuance or reduction, reorganization, decreased workload, budget considerations, or other reasons which indicate that the employee’s services are no longer needed. The University does not have a contract of employment with any of its staff employees. Each staff employee is employed on an at-will basis and may be terminated, with or without cause or reason, and with or without advanced notice, except as expressly provided for in a written employment agreement between the employee and the University, which is signed by President of the University or his/her designee, and the employee. Nevertheless, layoffs are conducted in a manner that is fair, respects long-term commitments to the University, and is sensitive to the needs and financial security of employees as well as to the mission of the University. Recommendations for layoffs are submitted by the unit administrator to the senior administrator and administrative officer for approval. Individual layoffs must also be approved by the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs. Layoffs should occur only after consultation with the Office of General Counsel. Throughout this policy, the word program may also mean a unit, department, office, service, or function. Layoffs pursuant to A&O 4.33 are final and not appealable. Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees


  1. Program Discontinuance If a program is discontinued (eliminated), all staff in the program, regardless of the source of funding, are laid off.
  2. Program Reductions The following guidelines are used in laying off individual staff employees:
    1. Program Needs: Program needs take into consideration the staff necessary to fulfill goals and objectives and to meet the needs of the students and the University.
    2. Staff Status: Substitute, call-in, incidental and short-term temporary employees are laid off first followed by extended temporary staff. Regular status staff have the highest priority for retention in their department.
    3. Seniority: Within any given job category (like titles and/or responsibilities with the same salary level), if there is more than one employee, the least senior employee is the first to be laid off. Seniority is based on total length of cumulative service with the University, counting both regular status and extended temporary status. If two employees have equal seniority, then deafness, sign language skills, and other legitimate factors are taken into consideration. If the displacement of a junior employee would jeopardize program needs or impair the functioning of the unit because the work of that employee cannot be performed by a more senior employee with reasonable retraining (i.e., the ability to meet the minimum requirements of the position within one year), then such employee will not be laid off and the other employees in the category will be considered for layoff consistent with this policy.
  3. Reorganization Requiring Layoffs If a program, regardless of its source of funding, is restructured or reorganized in order to implement changes or new initiatives or to provide more efficient and/or cost effective service, certain positions may be eliminated and others may be created. If the primary job responsibilities of an incumbent will no longer be performed or will be revised in such a way as to reclassify the position, the position is eliminated and the employee will be notified of layoff. Regular status employees receive first consideration for newly created staff positions in the program. Consideration is given based on qualifications and the guidelines described in 2 above.
  4. Decreased Workload, Budget Considerations, Other Layoffs resulting from decreased workload, budget considerations, or other reasons follow the procedures outlined in 1, 2, or 3 above.


Employees are notified in writing as soon as possible. Gallaudet endeavors to provide not less than two weeks advance notice.

Severance Pay

Regular Status Staff Employees with one year of service or more receive one week’s base salary for each full year of service in a regular status or extended temporary position subject to the employee signing (and, where applicable not revoking) a general release of claims in the form provided by the University. Employees with less than one year of service receive one week’s base salary subject to the employee signing (and, where applicable, not revoking) a general release of claims in the form provided by the University. Extended Temporary Staff If an extended temporary appointment is terminated prior to its expiration, one week’s base salary is given for each full year of continuous service subject to the employee signing (and, where applicable, not revoking) a general release of claims in the form provided by the University. Short-Term Temporary and Other Staff Short-term temporary staff, and all other staff, are ineligible for severance pay.

Reemployment Eligibility

A staff employee who is laid off is given the opportunity to apply and receive priority consideration to fill his/her former position (same program, responsibilities, and salary level) if opened during a two-year period following separation. If offered the position, the individual is offered his/her salary at the time of layoff or the minimum of the appropriate salary range, whichever is greater. Adjustments may be made for an alternative appointment schedule. Laid off staff employees receive priority consideration over applicants for other vacant positions at the University for one year following their separation. If offered a position, the salary offer is consistent with staff compensation guidelines and may take into consideration such factors as the level of the position, the appointment schedule, and the department budget. Staff employees who are rehired while still receiving severance salary payments from the University or are rehired during a period for which severance was paid will no longer receive severance payments or will reimburse the University for the severance paid for any week or portion thereof covered by the reemployment. Reemployment dates are determined by the University.


Insurances/Retirement All separating employees should contact Human Resources for information regarding termination, continuation of coverage or conversion privileges for insurances, and for information regarding retirement options and eligibility. Annual Leave Separating employees are reimbursed for unused annual leave according to the maximum outlined in Policy 4.11 – Annual Leave. Laid-off regular status employees may receive their annual leave reimbursement in a lump sum or may elect to use their annual leave to remain on the payroll (up to the maximum outlined in Policy 4.11) until the leave has been exhausted. Annual leave is used prior to severance if the employee elects to use annual leave to remain on the payroll. Annual leave does not accrue while being paid on annual leave. Sick Leave Unused sick leave is not reimbursable and may not be used to prolong the separation date. Unused sick leave will be reinstated (if not used for other purposes) if an employee returns to regular status staff employment within one year of the date of separation. Educational Benefits (Educational Assistance, Tuition Assistance, Tuition Waiver) Eligible employees and their family members may continue in the course(s) in which they are enrolled at the time of notification. Employees will be reimbursed for educational assistance and/or tuition assistance as long as the conditions described in the relevant policies have been met. Employees and their family members may not receive educational benefits for a course which would be scheduled to begin following their effective date of termination. Laid off employees are not required to reimburse the University for the cost of the course(s) in which they are currently enrolled at the time they are laid off.

Final Day

On the final day of work, employees are expected to return their keys and identification card and any other Gallaudet property in their possession, custody, or control. Departments must send an email to Contact to inform the appropriate departments of the separation. Several departments, including the Payroll Office, Gallaudet Technology Services, Department of Public Safety, and Finance Office, will receive this email. The separation PAF will be prepared by Human Resources after receiving confirmation of the final date.

Contact Us

Human Resources

College Hall 106

(202) 250-2284

(202) 651-5352

(202) 651-5344

8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm

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