Employee Handbook

Human Resources Office - Abilene Christian University 
Employment Policies and Procedures

Section 800: Employee Separation
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy No. 810 
April 1, 1997
Reviewed July 2003

EMPLOYEE SEPARATION

PURPOSE
To ensure timely and accurate communication between the university and the employees who are terminating employment with ACU.

SCOPE
This policy applies to all employees at ACU.

DEFINITIONS
The categories of separation and their definitions are:

  • Resignation.  A voluntary separation, including:
    • Resignation (employees should give two weeks written notice).
    • An absence of three or more consecutive working days without notice to the university. (See Policy No. 413, Attendance Control).
    • Failure to return from leave of absence as arranged with the university.
  • Release.  A separation in which the employee is not qualified or adapted for the type of work assigned and no other assignment is available.  Release usually results from no fault of the employee.  Employees who are unable to perform satisfactorily during the new employee orientation period will be considered as released.
  • Deceased.  The death of an employee in active employment.
  • Retirement.  A voluntary separation by an employee age 55 or older who has ten years service as full-time employee.
  • Reduction in Force.  Work is no longer available.  Recall is not expected (job eliminated, contract expired, department closed).
  • Discharge.  A separation in which the employee is removed from the payroll for violation of employee standards of conduct or safety regulations, unsatisfactory job performance, or any other reason deemed by the university to warrant separation.

PROCEDURE

  1. Notice to Employee.  There are no requirements for advance notice to employees upon separation.
  2. Pay in Lieu of Notice.  Where a future date is established for separation, immediate removal from duties may occasionally be desirable to minimize the adverse effect on other employees or to allow the separated employee to seek new employment.  In such cases, up to two weeks pay may be provided in lieu of notice.  The prior approval of one higher level of management and acknowledgment by the Director of Human Resources must be secured by the supervisor.
  3. Management Approvals.  When an employee is released, separated due to a reduction in force, or discharged, approval will be required from one level of management above the employee, and the Director of Human Resources.
  4. Change in Status.  The immediate supervisor of the separated employee is responsible for initiating the Personnel Action Form (PAF) and designating the appropriate separate code.
  5. Resignation.  Upon receipt of the PAF by the Human Resources Office, an exit interview will be scheduled with the employee.
  6. Outstanding Balances.  An employee who has an outstanding balance on any personal accounts will agree to pay or make arrangements to pay any indebtedness owed to the university.  Failure to pay or make arrangements with the Business Office to pay any amount owed to the university will result in the amount being deducted from final pay.
  7. Return of Equipment/Uniforms.  Prior to the last day of work, the supervisor must obtain all departmental equipment and uniforms (if applicable) from the separated employee.
  8. Exit Interview.  Separated employees, whether voluntary or involuntary, will be referred to the Human Resources Office for an exit interview with the Director of Human Resources or a designated representative on or before their last day of work.  University keys, ID, parking decal, telephone credit cards, ACU credit cards, employee handbook and other university property are to be returned at this time.  (See Policy No. 820, Exit Interviews)
  9. Employment References for Separated Employees.  (Refer to Policy No. 040, Personnel Records and Privacy)
  10. BENEFIT ELIGIBILITY
    Generally, when an employee is separated, ACU benefits discontinue, with these exceptions:

Health Insurance Benefits.  
Extended coverage and conversion privileges of the health insurance benefit plan is provided in accordance with conditions outlined in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA).  When participants (employee and dependents) lose eligibility for health insurance coverage because of the events stated below, the eligible participants may elect to retain group benefits.  The continued coverage can remain in effect for 18 or 36 months depending on the reason that eligibility terminated.  Participants covered on the group at the time of the qualifying event are eligible for continued coverage.

Events allowing the 36-month continuation are:

  1. Death of an employee.
  2. Divorce of an employee.
  3. Medicare eligible employee (employee becomes eligible for Medicare, leaving dependents without group coverage).
  4. Children who lose coverage due to certain contractual eligibility limitations.

Events allowing the 18-month continuation are:

  1. Loss of coverage due to reduction of employee work hours.
  2. Voluntary employee termination including retirement.
  3. Employee layoff for economic reasons.
  4. Employee discharged, except for gross misconduct.

Vacation.  
(See Policy 311, Vacations) Contingent upon two weeks notice, up to 80 hours of accrued vacation may be paid upon termination for staff employees.

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Policy No. 820 
Responsible Department: Human Resources
Responsible Administrator: Director of Human Resources
Effective Date: January 1, 1994
Reviewed Date: January 2012
Date of Scheduled Review: January 2016

EXIT INTERVIEWS

PURPOSE
To determine and document the reasons employees leave ACU, to offer an opportunity for the airing of unresolved grievances, to provide employees with information regarding their continuation of benefits, and to solicit constructive feedback to improve the university.

SCOPE
This policy applies to all employees of ACU.

POLICY
A week prior to the employee’s last day of employment, Human Resources will send an email to the terminating employee with information regarding the employee’s continuation of benefit options, exit interview survey, and a separation checklist.

PROCEDURE

  1. Supervisors will notify the Director of Human Resources as soon as possible after the separation decision has been made and communicated.
  2. The Director of Human Resources or designated representative will send an email a week prior to the employee's last day of employment with the following:
    1. Current Benefits Spreadsheet (Shows the specific benefits the employee had elected and how long the benefits will remain effective, as well as continuation options if applicable).
    2. COBRA paperwork (This paperwork needs to be completed by the employee in order to elect continuation of health, dental, or vision insurance as well as continuation of the employee's flexible spending account. The employee will need to mail the completed forms as well as a check for their premiums to Businessolver).
    3. Employee Separation Checklist (This checklist should be completed with the employee’s supervisor and returned to Human Resources on or prior to the employee’s last day of work).
    4. Shared Leave Bank Donation Application (This application should be completed and returned to Human Resources on or prior to the employee’s last day of work).
    5. Survey (This survey will ask the employee to rate the aspects of their employment at ACU).
  3. The email sent to the terminating employee will provide the employee with the option to make an appointment with the Director of Human Resources if desired.

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