Civil Service Layoff FAQs

The following information applies to non-represented employees governed by the Civil Service rules.

Where can I find the WSU policy on Layoff for Civil Service Employees?

This policy can be found in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual, BPPM 60.37 Layoff–Civil Service Employees.

What is a layoff?

It is a reduction in the University’s workforce. The most common reasons for a layoff are:

  • Lack of funds
  • Lack of work
  • Organizational change

Examples of layoff actions due to lack of work may include, but are not limited to:

  • Termination of a project or special employment.
  • Availability of fewer positions than there are employees entitled to such positions.
  • Employee’s ineligibility to continue in a position following its reallocation to a class with a higher salary range maximum.
  • Employee’s ineligibility to continue or choice not to continue, in a position following its reallocation to a class with a lower salary range maximum.

These are the impacts that may result:

  • Separation from service with the University.
  • Employment in a class with a lower salary range maximum.
  • Reduction in your work year/appointment term.
  • Reduction in the number of hours you work (FTE).

How much notice will I receive before a layoff?

Per WAC 357-46-025 (Layoff Notice), permanent employees must receive at least fifteen (15) calendar days notice unless employer and employee agree to waive the fifteen (15) days notice period. Probationary employees must receive at least one (1) calendar day notice.

My full time equivalency is being reduced due to the budget. What type of notice will I receive?

Civil Service employees will receive a 15 calendar day notice prior to the effective date of change.

What criteria are used in the layoff policy?

Seniority and position requirements, including competencies, are the two main factors to consider in determining layoff options for employees.

I am a Civil Service employee, is my seniority calculated based on time spent in my current classification?

No. Seniority is based on total days calculated from the employee’s continuous service date and any adjustments in accordance with BPPM 60.37 Layoff–Civil Service Employees.

Is performance considered in the layoff process?

Job performance is not a factor in the layoff process.

What should I look for in my layoff notice that will help me understand this layoff?

If you are a permanent employee, you must be notified in writing of the following:

  • The reason or basis of the layoff.
  • Any layoff options identified for you by Human Resource Services.
  • Any requirement that you serve a transition review period.
  • The date by when you must select any layoff options.
  • The layoff lists (internal and statewide) for which you are eligible to apply.
  • The right to appeal the layoff.

I am a veteran. Is there any sort of preference for veterans in layoff?

Yes. Up to five (5) years of military service is added to the unbroken state service of eligible veterans for seniority calculation purposes. See WAC 357-46-060 (veterans and layoffs).

I am a Civil Service employee in my probationary period. If I am laid off, am I eligible for layoff options and to be on layoff lists?

No. Employees must have permanent status to be given options and to be placed on a layoff list.

I have worked in a project position long enough to attain permanent status. Now the project is ending. Can I request to have my name placed on a layoff list?

If you have permanent status, in a project position, you may have options within the specified project and additionally you may be eligible to be on internal WSU and statewide layoff lists. (See BPPM 60.23, Project Employment–Civil Service, for project appointment information.)

What department is responsible for determining layoff options?

Human Resource Services-Pullman is the primary office responsible for determining employee layoff options.

What is a “layoff option”?

Within a layoff unit, a permanent employee impacted by layoff must be offered the option to take a position, if available. The layoff option criteria is outlined in BPPM 60.37, Layoff–Civil Service Employees.

What is a “layoff unit”?

Layoff units are defined in BPPM 60.37 Layoff–Civil Service Employees.

There is a possibility that I may be, or I have been “bumped.” What does that mean?

Someone with more seniority than you was laid off. His/her layoff option was to your position, and he/she took it so he/she could remain employed. Layoff seniority is calculated in accordance with BPPM 60.37 Layoff–Civil Service Employees.

My layoff option includes a “less than comparable” position. What does that mean?

WSU defines a Comparable Position in the layoff unit for full-time, 12-month positions, as 40 hours per week and 12 months per year within a 50 mile radius. A less than comparable position would be a position with fewer hours or less months per year or at a further distance or all of the above. (BPPM 60.37 Layoff–Civil Service Employees.)

How soon can I request to have my name placed on a layoff list?

You can request to have your name on the WSU internal layoff list as soon as you receive written notice of the layoff, including the effective date. You may be eligible to have your name on more than one layoff list including the statewide list.

Will there be a call back list?

No. The University has an internal layoff list.

How long can a person stay on the internal layoff list?

A person can remain on the internal layoff list up to two (2) years.

What is the difference between the types of layoff lists?

There are two (2) types of layoff lists. The internal WSU and statewide layoff lists are both maintained by job classification. Both lists are composed of laid off employees.

The internal layoff list is used and maintained by WSU only.

The statewide layoff list is used by other state agencies (general government). Since general government agencies may also employ people with competencies, skills, and abilities that you possess, you can improve your opportunities to be rehired after layoff by getting on the statewide layoff list(s) for classes for which you qualify. Higher education institutions maintain their own statewide layoff list.

Is my name automatically placed on all statewide layoff lists?

No. Since each higher education institution maintains their own internal layoff lists, you need to apply separately to each institution. To be placed on the statewide layoff list, apply to the Department of Personnel (DOP) for employment in General Government. Visit the Washington State DES Layoff & General Government Transition Pool page for more information.

I had permanent status in classes that no longer exist or have been revised. Did this take away some of my layoff options?

If you previously held permanent status in a job class(es) that has been revised or abolished, WSU will determine the closest matching job class(es) to offer as a layoff option which must be at the same or lower salary range as the class from which you are being laid off.

Will workforce retraining be provided for those impacted by layoff?

For additional job resource information, contact your region’s unemployment office:

What will happen to my benefits and retirement?

HRS has detailed information regarding benefits and retirement for employees that have been laid off available on our website. Visit the Benefits Separating Employee Information page. You may also contact HRS at 509-335-4521 or benefits@wsu.edu.

Can medical insurance be used up to the last day of employment?

Medical insurance is effective through the month of separation. This can be verified through Benefits.

Is there a Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive for civil service employees who participate in the PERMS retirement programs?

There is no incentive at this time.

Am I eligible for unemployment compensation?

An employee separating from WSU may qualify for unemployment benefits. For information on unemployment benefits and additional information can be found in the Financial Resources section of the Separation pages.

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