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Contract-Classified Layoff Process

This information only applies to classified staff whose employment is covered by a labor contract. Your unit's Human Resources Consultant can help you if you have questions about the layoff process.

It is important that you understand the layoff provisions of your particular contract. Below are links to the contracts, each of which has an article that addresses the layoff process.

Departmental Decisions & Actions

Though each contract may use somewhat different terms, layoff is a result of a lack of funds, lack of work, or reorganization of work. Sometimes there is more than one reason for a layoff. For example, a lack of funding may result in a reorganization of positions and an elimination of some tasks that were previously performed (lack of work).

A layoff can be the complete elimination of a position, or the reduction of a position in either the percent time worked, or the number of months worked per year.

Normally your supervisor or administrator will let you know that your position has to be eliminated or reduced in time worked, and why. Your department is responsible for notifying Human Resources of the need for layoff.

Your department's Human Resources Consultant ensures that the layoff process is carried out properly, and will provide you information about options you may have for continued employment or rehire from layoff.

Official Layoff Notification

The Human Resources Consultant will meet with you to give you your official layoff notice and go over any questions you may have. The layoff notice includes the effective date of your layoff and identifies any layoff options that are available to you. Your supervisor may also be present. If a meeting is not possible within the required time frame, the layoff notification materials will be mailed to you.

Probationary Employees

Probationary employees do not have the rehire and employment rights that permanent classified employees do. However probationary employees who are separated from University employment may be eligible to continue health insurance coverage through COBRA.

Layoff Seniority Calculation

Seniority provides employee preference based on length of service and is defined according to the provisions of your collective bargaining agreement. See the links to the contract layoff articles above.

Layoff Options


If your position is being reduced rather than eliminated, you will have the option of staying in the reduced position and also having your name placed on the rehire list for your current classification and per cent time. You may also have a "bumping" option described below.


You may have the option to continue University employment by being placed into a contract classified position in your layoff unit that is either vacant or occupied by an employee with less seniority (the bump option). Whether or not you have a bump option depends on what jobs are open, the seniority of other employees in the layoff unit, and the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.

If you are offered and choose the bump option, you are placed in the position and there is no actual layoff. If the position is occupied, the less senior employee is laid off.

Layoff/Rehire Lists

Placement on the rehire list provides you with hiring preference for future job vacancies. If you are separated from University employment you can have your name placed on the rehire list(s) for which you are eligible. You are eligible to be placed on the rehire list in accordance with the provisions of your collective bargaining agreement.

Statewide Layoff Lists

In accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 357-46-080, permanent classified employees may request to have their names placed on the statewide layoff list for other state agencies or higher education institutions within two years of the date an employee;

Learn how to request placement on statewide layoff lists.

Layoff Topics