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Classified Non-Union Layoff Process

This information only applies to employees covered by Washington state civil service rules (WAC 357-46), not those covered by collective bargaining agreements. Your unit's Human Resources Consultant can help you if you have questions about the layoff process.

Departmental Decisions & Actions

Classified non-union employees may be laid off without prejudice because of lack of funds, lack of work, or organizational change. 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 that you have the information you need to make decisions about any 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 layoff effective date, 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 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

Layoff seniority plays a role in determining which employee is selected for layoff and the order in which employees are referred to jobs from the rehire list. Your layoff seniority is calculated as follows:

  The number of calendar days (work days plus weekends or regularly scheduled paid days off) of continuous eligible UW employment
+ Veterans' preference where eligible (up to five years of qualifying active duty military service)
- Leave without pay
= Total layoff seniority

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 place on the rehire lists for which you are eligible. You may also have a "bumping" option described below.


You may have an option to continue your University employment by choosing to be placed in a classified non-union position in your layoff unit that is vacant or held by an employee with less layoff seniority (the bump option). If you have a bump option it means that you meet the necessary skill requirements and that the position:

If a bump option as described above is not available, you may be offered a bump option to a position for which you meet the necessary skill requirements and:

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 (bumped).

Rehire List Placement

If you are separated from University employment or are placed into a lower paying position through bumping, 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(s) for job class(es) in which you have held permanent status, and lower classes in the series, and you must not have voluntarily or involuntarily been rejected, reverted, demoted or dismissed from the class.

Placement on the rehire list provides you with hiring preference for future job vacancies. All eligible candidates on the rehire list are referred to the employing official when there is a job vacancy.

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